In the heart of El Paso’s downtown art district on the corner of Oregon and Missouri, Artspace, a building project that has been in the works for nearly five years is finally being realized. Artspace is a program that builds and provides affordable living space to local artists as well as a collaborative working environment to foster their gifts and trade. This program currently has over 1,100 units providing low-income housing to artists and their families all over the United States.
“We are overwhelmed by the support of the community to this project. Grassroots support and philanthropy is so unbelievably critical to our success, and our success is your success. We know that the Artspace in El Paso will thrive,” says Kathleen Kvern, Senior Director for National Advancement for Artspace. “Assuming the project is funded by the end of 2014, construction could begin mid 2015 with completion in spring or summer 2016,” says Bill Helm, the lead designer for this project and Founder of in*situ architecture.
Sitting on the foundation of Artspace will be a commercial area for creative businesses, and the upper floors will contain over 50 dual-purpose live/work units as well as an additional 7,500 square feet of non-profit artistic space for tenants to use to explore their work. Artspace facilities are for all kinds of artists from painters and sculptors to dancers and musicians.
This program equips local artisans with the ability to initiate new community programs that could spread into the school systems, community centers, and other art-minded organizations so that enrichment spreads outside the walls of Artspace.