KCMO Wants To Know: What Are Top Space Priorities For Creatives? | KCUR

KCMO Wants To Know: What Are Top Space Priorities For Creatives?

Oct 25, 2016

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District are a big draw for crowds. But it's not as affordable as it used to be for artists and other creatives.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3 / File

What do artists, arts organizations, and cultural businesses want when it comes to creative space? Affordability? A sense of community?

A new regional arts market study is trying to find out.

Artspace, a national leader in developing arts facilities, visited Kansas City, Missouri in 2015 to assess the needs of the arts community and recommended the survey. The city partnered with Artspace and Kansas City Economic Development Corporation to conduct the survey over the next 11 weeks. 

"The study is focused primarily on creative spaces," says Megan Crigger, director of the city's Office of Culture and Creative Services, "and so that is a range of live-work space into retail, creative businesses, and even arts and culture non-profits." 

Crigger says needs are often very specific for creative spaces, according to artistic discipline. For example, sculptors, she says, might require "big bays for loading in," or painters would need "certain ventilation systems."

Artists and arts businesses across the metro area will be encouraged to fill out the survey. 

"We hope to spread it broadly to really get a sense of who is currently in Kansas City and what are their needs, as it relates to production of their work and sales of their work," Crigger says.

The findings are expected to help shape future arts planning, including a new affordable multi-use arts facility. Crigger says the survey is likely to address some pressing questions: "What kind of spaces are needed? Is there a lack of those in Kansas City? And, I think, what this will really tell us, too, is, what does affordability look like?"

The official survey launch starts Tuesday with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board Room at Union Station, 30 West Pershing Road. The survey can be filled out at the event or online at kcartsurvey.org through mid-January.

Results are expected in early spring of 2017.  

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter @lauraspencer.