ArtsAVL Releases the Creative Spaces Report

Paint and paint brushes on an art board.

The results of ArtsAVL’s comprehensive Creative Spaces study are out now. Over the last year, ArtsAVL has surveyed and interviewed over 500 arts professionals and businesses to better understand the space challenges facing the local arts sector.

“ArtsAVL is constantly listening to the needs of our creative community, and over the last few years we have heard growing concerns across the arts sector about space affordability– both live and work space for creatives.” said ArtsAVL Executive Director Katie Cornell. “In order to better address these obstacles, we must first clearly understand the issues.”

The nearly 100 page report primarily looks at creative work spaces– locations where arts professionals and/or arts professionals create, present, or sell their work. Findings include occupation demographics and median earnings, survey results assessing current and needed workspaces, an inventory of current creative spaces, local and national case studies addressing these similar space challenges, and next steps.

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Details of the report were released at an ArtsAVL Town Hall event on May 10. Executive Director Katie Cornell presented highlights from the report, and Matt Peiken, founder of Podcast AVL and The Overlook podcast, moderated a panel featuring local arts leaders working to address different creative space issues: DeWayne Barton (Blue Note Junction), Ashleigh Hardes (Lexington Glassworks), Jeffrey Burroughs (River Arts District Artists), Tamara Sparacino (Asheville Community Theatre), and Rebekkah Hilgraves (RadHaus).

The Creative Spaces Report is a first step to addressing creative space availability and affordability challenges. Next, ArtsAVL will work with community leaders and the Arts Coalition to draft possible initiatives to address the long term stability and sustainability of Buncombe County’s creative sector as part of ArtsAVL’s 2024-2025 policy agenda.

The report will also be used to help prepare for a county-wide cultural plan, which will create a road map for Buncombe County arts and culture over the next 10 years. The planning process will be led by ArtsAVL, in partnership with local governments and other community partners, and is set to launch in mid-2025.

Learn more about the Creative Space study and read the full report at artsavl.org/spaces.

Written by ArtsAVL.