A nonprofit real estate developer will hold a community meeting Wednesday to explore Augusta as a site for affordable home and work space for artists.
The meeting will be part of a two-day preliminary feasability study for Artspace, a real estate developer specializing in local arts communities. It will be held at the downtown library’s first-floor meeting room at 7 p.m.
Artspace, based in Minneapolis, works to assist development projects, asset management activities, consulting services and community-building activities that serve artists and arts organizations across the U.S. Some current Artspace live-work spaces are located in more than 30 cities ranging from Monterey, Calif., to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Wendy Holmes, a senior vice president of consulting and strategic partnerships, said Artspace first started considering Augusta as a potential site after a suggestion from a site consultant who has worked with companies in the Augusta area.
Artspace will explore the possibility of creating affordable spaces where artists can live and work. In many cities, Holmes said, once artists become successful, their rent becomes higher and they are priced out of the neighborhoods.
“Affordability is our primary focus, and making sure artists do not become a victim of their own success,” Holmes said.
“I think Augusta is interested in encouraging more of this kind of space to be created.”
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver first heard of Artspace last year at the Mayor’s Institute on City Design. He said that while Augusta has not seemed to price artists of the market yet, by developing an Artspace building Augusta could become a destination for artists. Augusta would be the first Artspace project in the Southeast.
Copenhaver said the city paid some travel expenses to bring Artspace to Augusta. He estimated it was about $4,000.