New collaboration will create affordable artist housing.
Those of us in the arts community have seen it time and time again in cities across the country: Artists move in to decaying neighborhoods because of cheap rents for plentiful studio/rehearsal space, help renew those neighborhoods—and are then driven out by gentrification and rising costs.
But Artspace, the Minneapolis-based nonprofit now working with Chattanooga’s ArtsBuild, has a decades-old track record of helping artists, and the cities they enliven, avoid that scenario. Since 1979, Artspace has completed 35 major projects that contain more than 1,1000 affordable residences with built-in studios for artists and their families.
“We heard about Artspace at a conference,” says ArtsBuild President Dan Bowers, “and with the help of the Benwood and Lyndhurst foundations, we are now working with them to develop an affordable live/work project.”
The first two phases of the evaluation project, the feasibility study and the survey of local artists, have been completed. The feasibility study included visits to a number of potential sites around the city, noting positive and negatives of each.
The study states, “Most artists want to be part of the urban core,” so possibilities included the Chattanooga Bank Building on Broad Street, the Fleetwood/Coffee Company Building on King Street and 11th— and the parking lot on E. MLK Blvd., among many others. Artspace usually rehabs old buildings into mixed-use space, Bowers explains, but also can build from the ground up, if that is the best solution.
Artspace also looked at and admired the Chattanooga Workspace development on 6th Street downtown, but noted that it is designed to be studio space only, not living accommodations.
One key component of the process is that Artspace owns the buildings it rehabs or creates, and will not sell them in a few years to be converted to costly condos. Artists have to qualify for what is essentially low-income housing based on their income, which must include proceeds from their work in the arts. All visual and performing artists who fall within the HUD income guidelines would be potential tenants.
Bowers envisions a development that would initially be comprised of “a few dozen units that would include studio apartments to three-bedroom live/work spaces. It would also possibly include gallery and meeting space.”
The feasibility study notes: “Every independent artist is, in effect, the owner/operator of his or her own cottage industry, generating activity by selling products or services, purchasing equipment and supplies, paying taxes, and thus contributing to the local economy.”
And the Chattanooga artist community has embraced the idea enthusiastically, according to ArtsBuild Director of Grants and Initiatives Rodney Van Valkenberg. “It’s really captured the imagination of the community. They are getting the word out among themselves about the project.” More than 30 local artists participated in the initial artist focus group, artists formed the bulk of the more than 100 people who attended a public meeting, and the online artist survey to determine need had extremely high participation. Online participants are in line to be first considered for Artspace units.
“We are now in the first predevelopment stage. This is a new idea in the state of Tennessee, not just Chattanooga,” says Bowers. Stay tuned as the project advances.
For more information, visit ChattanoogaArtspace.org
Mark Your Musical Calendars
Patten Performances, River City Sessions and the CSO are all all that.
Some quick news bites about don’t-miss events coming up this season:
In this year’s Patten Performance series at UTC: Ramsey Lewis on Sept. 9. The legendary jazz composer and three-time Grammy winner has recorded more than 80 albums and has seven gold records...Rioult Dance on Oct. 14, Patten Performances. This New York-based choreographed dance troupe will wow the audience with their perfect timing and flawless moves...Dave Mason on Nov. 5. Best known for his guitar shredding in the band Traffic, Mason has jammed with members of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson...Mummenschanz on Feb. 17. The Swiss mask theater troupe found fame with their wild masks and unpredictable props...Rory Block on Feb 24. This female guitar slayer has been playing since the ’60s and has mastered the country blues rock n’ roll...“The Great Gatsby” on Mar. 10. The Great American novel is coming to Chattanooga, complete with decadence, idealism and fabulous parties.
Patten Unplugged: Count This Penny on Sept. 20. This up-and coming-band recently appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” and their music recalls legends such as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris... Cello Fury on Mar. 7. Brings together progressive rock and classical music for an unheard-of concert series.
Coming at River City Sessions: Jeremy Moore will bring Americana to RCS on Sept. 9, having just released his first EP...Jess Goggans and the Magnetics will be performing their “funky folk” to RCS on Sept. 28...Dana Shavin will be speaking about her new book on Oct. 26, a memoir about her battle with anorexia.
New season at the CSO: The season opens on Sept. 11 with Beethoven’s 9th, one of the world’s most well-known pieces of music...Celebrating the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, look for “Shakespare in Love” on Oct. 9. Tchaikovsky Mendelssohn—and some “West Side Story” with guest artist Shakespeare Chattanooga...Schubert’s 4th, known as the “Tragic” Symphony,this masterpiece of music includes Beethoven’s infamous Leonore Overture Nov. 3 on Nov. 6...the CSO goes happy feet with Brahms’ Hungarian-based dance tunes and Mendelssohn’s Italy-inspired symphony on Jan. 29(the bill also inlcudes Helene Rasquier’s “Samsara”...Tchaikovsky’s 6th comes alive on Mar. 12...Schumann’s 2nd on Apr. 9 is a powerful piece of music was written while Schumann was battling a terrible sickness...
The finale of Barnett & Company Masterworks Series will showcase
Rachmaninoff’s 2nd at the Tivoli on Apr. 30.
Luken Holdings Pops Series: A Salute to Arthur Fiedler and John Williams. Bob Bernhardt conducts the CSO on Oct. 25...Home for the Holidays, classic Christmas piecesn on Dec. 20 and 21...Big Band Fever means grab your partner and find the dance floor on Feb. 13 and 14...Hooray for Hollywood on Feb. 28 salutes Hollywood with songs from from some of the greatest movies ever filmed...Broadway’s Golden Age and Beyond on Mar. 28 digs into the songbook and perform Broadway favorites from composers such as Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, Lloyd Weber and many more.
Around the World on Oct. 19. Be at the Sheraton Read House Silver Ballroom for classic compositions from composers all around the world...Gems from the CSO Principals on Nov. 23. CSO principal musicians will select their favorite chamber pieces to perform on this special night...Basically Baroque revisits early European chamber music on Jan. 11...All Things English on Feb. 15 includes St. Paul’s Suite, Elegy, and the Water Music Suite.
Volkswagen Series: Classical’s Top Hits on Nov. 9. The public wanted it and the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera is providing it. The CSO will once again perform a greatest hits concert at the Volkswagen Conference Center...All Aboard: Coast to Coast on Feb. 1. Hop aboard the musical train for a symphonic meditation of life across America...Opera Faves and Raves on Mar. 15. Artisti Affamati will join the CSO to reimagine some of opera’s most iconic pieces...All Mozart on Apr. 12. The Volkswagen Conference Center is the place to be as the CSO presents Mozart’s greatest compositions.
Special Events: Yo-Yo Ma Gala Event on Oct. 2. Living legend Yo-Yo Ma joins the Chattanooga at the Tivoli. This once-in-a-lifetime event will showcase the great cellist and the CSO performing Dvorak’s cello concerto...“The Pirates of Penzance” on Nov. 15. The swashbuckling G&S operetta is soundtracked by the CSO.
Mark Your Art Calendars
Visual art pleasures abound...take your pick
Editor’s note: There is so much going on with museums and galleries around town that this is by no means a comprehensive list...instead, it’s a sampler. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of the visual arts scene.
At the ever-fabulous Hunter Museum, look for the “Hunter Invitational III” show of regional artists through Oct. 19, the “Twenty Original American Etchings” exhibit through the end of summer, and you have until Mar. 8, 2015 to explore “Open 24 Hours”, the exhibit showcasing public art...Look for coverage of the Hunter’s 2015 season very shortly...
Our friends at AVA always have so much going on we’ll just hit a few of their upcoming shows and projects...on Sept. 6, everyone’s favorite, The Gallery Hop (check with avarts.org for details)...”Needle & Thread” coming to AVA in September, celebrating the art of quiltmaking...In November, the “Member Solo Exhibit: Shadow May” featuring the ceramic art of this talented local...and of course, Apr. 10-12, 4Bridges Arts Festival returns to the Tennessee Pavilion, featuring more than 150 artists...
At River Gallery, a full, exciting season has been announced...Visit them at river-gallery.org for a full schedule, but look for these exhibits coming up soon...In September, “True to Nature” will feature the works of Christina Goodman, an acrylic painter known for her Italian Renaissance style, D. Langford Kuhn, displaying her hand-painted porcelain pots, and oil painter Eleanor Miller…In October, “Connections” will display artists such as Nancy Jacobsohn and Lisa Klakulak, who depict their connections with figures that encompass their surroundings…In November, look for a wide array of works from three very different artists. Patrick Dougherty will showcase his ceramic works while David Kidd and Jenifer Utterback both will display abstract paintings; Kidd with his botanical paintings and Utterback paintings with surface texture…
Signal MACC Sept. 13-Oct. 18 features the work of Signal Mountain watercolor artist Carolyn H. Wright...The work of the MAGI, the Mountain Arts Guild, is up during the months of November and December. The Mountain Arts Guild is based at the Bachman Community Center in Walden on Signal Mountain. The co-operative features locally popular artists who work together and display their work for pleasure and sale…
Currently showing at Grafitti (soon to be known as the Northshore Gallery of Contemporary Art) is “Abstract Expressions: The Paintings of James McKissic and Larry Young”, running until Sept. 3 and also featuring paintings from many other artists, plus 3-D assemblage art by Ken Herrin, woodturnings by Eddie Graham, and sculptures by Maria Willison…
Visit the Chattanooga Workspace Sept. 10-13 for this year’s AQS Quilt Week...
At In-Town Gallery, look for the “All Member Show” in November...
The Cress Gallery at UTC kicks off the Diane Marek Visiting Artist Series Sept. 16 with Keetra Dean Dixon and J.K. Keller as they display their graphic design works in the exhibition “We Keep Having This Conversation.”…
Every Tuesday from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14 Durinda Cheek will be teaching a class on oil painting at the Townsend Atelier. Beginning Oil Painting is perfect for those new to the art of working in oil...
Coming Aug. 28 through Oct. 23at Reflections Gallery is “Literary Art”. This exhibit will feature local art with altered books, sculpture, painting, photography and more used to illustrate the world of the bibliophile…