Spaceworks Launches New Interactive Website

Spaceworks, the nonprofit organization that builds and operates subsidized creative workspace for New Yorkers, enters a new chapter as it expands its mission and vision to actively support local artists and cultural workers in creating work in their neighborhoods while resisting cultural displacement. Today Spaceworks also announces its participation in Gowanus Open Studios (GOS) 2018. As part of the event, Spaceworks invites the public to their Gowanus headquarters for a glimpse at the vital work that can be created when artists-across disciplines and backgrounds-aren't constrained by prohibitive costs. The event speaks to the values outlined on Spaceworks' relaunched website, envisioning a New York where access to space for expression is not a luxury, where the development of art spaces can serve and provide space for-rather than pricing out and uprooting-existing communities and neighborhoods.

Spaceworks Organizational Focus

Spaceworks has built long-lasting partnerships with local artists and cultural organizations in order to support their sustainability. In response to their expressed needs, Spaceworks builds and operates subsidized workspace. To date, Spaceworks has completed five workspace projects in Brooklyn and Queens, where the organization operates 33 solo practice studios, 4 co-working spaces, and 19 rehearsal studios.

Under Executive Director Risa Shoup, the organization has engaged with BDAC/Ebony Noelle Golden, PURPOSE Productions, and Race Forward's Racial Equity in the Arts Innovation Lab to evaluate its approach, in order to address the impact of systemic racism and displacement caused by new real estate development. The organization strives to support the economic wellbeing of cultural workers, particularly artists of color, LGBTQIA artists, disabled artists, and those living on low to modest incomes.

The organization is currently restructuring its programming around its three core focus areas: Making Space, Operating Space, and Caring for Cultural Workers.

Making Space: Spaceworks creates cultural space by engaging in dialogue with the creative communities surrounding its project sites, and collaborating with artists and cultural workers on space design. The organization partners with public and private property owners to build space.

Operating Space: Each Spaceworks site has a unique operational model based on location, costs, and the needs and desires of the community members who use the space.

Caring for Artists and Cultural Workers: Spaceworks is developing programming to support the sustainability of artists, cultural workers, and small organizations. For example, the Creative Economic Initiative fosters the economic wellbeing and growth of individuals and organizations by providing technical assistance and economic workshops, in addition to subsidized workspace.

The Website Redesign

In fall 2017, Spaceworks asked its members for feedback about how they wanted Spaceworks' new website to look. The feedback: they loved Spaceworks' easy, self-serve booking and cheerful design. They were also eager for more dynamic and accessible content as well as ways to connect with creatives in the Spaceworks community.

Spaceworks engaged Misfit Media, led by the visionary Nicole Brydson (web developer, conceptual artist, journalist and entrepreneur), to develop a new website that is not only mobile-responsive, but responsive to the needs of New York City's creative communities.

The redesigned site includes a social space, where artists can create a profile and connect with creatives across disciplines and boroughs. The new site will lead to connections in real life, too, as members now have the ability to list upcoming events and performances on Spaceworks' public calendar. Spaceworks' new website will be regularly updated with news about the creative works of their community partners and members, project development, and how to get involved.

Gowanus Open Studios

Spaceworks program partner Arts Gowanus' celebration of the dynamic Brooklyn community's artistic output offers the perfect introduction to the rare service Spaceworks offers: the provision of subsidized space to create in NYC.

Gowanus Open Studios 2018, a free event, takes place from 12pm-6pm on Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21. Spaceworks artists' studios will be on view at the nonprofit's Gowanus headquarters (540 President St, Studio # Suite 2E, Lower-Level, Brooklyn, NY), and the organization is supporting its tenants by covering the cost of their participation in the event. Furthermore, at the event, Spaceworks will have community action bulletin boards, which will includeinformation about the Gowanus rezoning, participatory budgeting in the district, the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process in development, and voter registration.

GOS is an enlivening annual weekend event that turns a Brooklyn neighborhood into a labyrinthine art exhibit, providing the public with the opportunity to wander between the creative dens of over 300 artists in total, glimpsing the unique environments in which their visions are constructed. Touring individuals can stop and talk with artists about their work and processes. Spaceworks' fostering of artistic community is reflected in their partnership with Arts Gowanus for the Open Studios event-with the public getting a view of the potentials of affordable art-making in an inclusive environment, and with Spaceworks artists having yet another platform to share their work and ideas.

For additional information, please visit artsgowanus.org/gos-2018.

About Spaceworks

Spaceworks is a nonprofit organization that builds and operates subsidized creative workspace for New Yorkers. The organization co-creates spaces that become resources for artists, cultural workers, creative entrepreneurs, and cultural organizations so that neighborhoods and cultures can continue to thrive in place.

About Arts Gowanus

Arts Gowanus is a not-for-profit organization working to support, promote, and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community. To do this, Arts Gowanus nurtures relationships between individual artists, arts organizations, and the broader community:

  • Arts Gowanus organizes the Gowanus Open Studios event annually in October.
  • Arts Gowanus cultivates supportive artist-to-artist relationships through monthly networking and business meetings, a workshop series, and artistic collaborations.
  • Arts Gowanus connects artists to the greater Gowanus community through art events, business-artist collaborations, and community service.
  • Arts Gowanus connects the world to the Gowanus community by organizing events to promote the arts in Gowanus.

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