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Artist space program launches in Pioneer Square, ID

Artists and arts groups seeking affordable space are invited to attend a space workshop on Jan. 7, take a survey and apply for space consulting services, all part of the the Artist Space Assistance Program (ASAP), a pilot program of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs designed to provide relocation and placement services for artists and arts organizations seeking space. 

Nonprofit arts service organization Shunpike is developing and managing the program, which is focused in the Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods. The program, also supported by 4Culture, grew out of community concerns related to the recent loss of artist studio space in Pioneer Square. The 619 Western Building, home to about 100 artist studios, closed in October to make way for construction of the Highway 99 tunnel below.

“One of the primary goals of ASAP is to connect property owners looking for tenants with artists in search of space,” said Vincent Kitch, director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. “Arts and culture play an important role in sustaining and building active, engaged neighborhoods that attract visitors, residents and businesses.”

Shunpike will assess artist needs and space opportunities, offer direct services to artists and arts groups and develop a model for expanding the program to other Seattle neighborhoods. Artists and arts groups working in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District – especially those displaced by the closure of the 619 Western Building – will receive priority for participation in a small pilot group, which will receive free planning and placement services in January and February 2012.

To help determine current art space needs citywide, Seattle artists and arts groups are invited to take an online survey available here. Artists and arts groups who want to be considered for the pilot program must complete the survey and check a box indicating their interest in the pilot group.

Shunpike will host a free art space workshop, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 7 at Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. Real estate broker Richard Hesik will give an overview of commercial real estate issues for artists. The event will include roundtable discussions, where artists will work with facilitators from Shunpike’s Arts Business Clinic. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, go here.