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Reflection: Artist Input Meeting II

Artists inspect scale models of various sizes.

Artists inspect scale models of various sizes.

On October 30, 2017, 5:30 pm at The Union for Contemporary Art we held a second artist input meeting to further discussion around ideal live/work spaces to be potentially built on Lake Street.

Attendance: 11 artists (sculpture, multi-media, photography, installation, fiber, encaustic/graphic design)

1. Recap of presentation with suggestive live/work frameworks. Co-living, shared spaces, single rooms, etc.

2. Introduction to high-level concepts about the building(s) scale, placement on lot, volumes, and number of structures.

3. Models investigation – scales of living vs. studio spaces, layout, feasibility of configurations

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All images are examples and are not indicative of final design

All images are examples and are not indicative of final design

COMMENTS

- Photographer – prefers studio to be a separate space for clients to visit

- Sculptor – needs higher ceilings and free-flowing studio space

- Most in attendance are in consensus that having live and work spaces separate would be ideal

- Interest in an open floor plan that allows the residents to build out their own spaces as needed with pre-fabricated rolling walls, curtains, or dividers for artists

- Shared kitchen versus personal kitchenette

- Artist storage space such as archive area

- Artist would be willing to have smaller living spaces in exchange for larger workspaces

- Multiple configurations would be nice to accommodate families

- Residents must show how they are connected to the community or willing to be a part of the community

- Artists FROM here are important, but more important is are they FOR here.

- Windows that blackout

- Is it possible to do more studios than living spaces?

- Vibrant, bold colors – draw people in.

- Keep in mind that Lake Street is on a truck route and buildings are loud. Shake, etc.

Scale model examples

Scale model examples

QUESTIONS

What are the thoughts on restrictions for spaces?

A: Still talking about the range of possibilities. We know we cannot be all things to all people so we are seeking input and asking for insight on what is already available or needed in our community.

How raw will the spaces be?

A: Looking at keeping the spaces very raw – possibly concrete floors, things that can sustain artists mixed uses

Will there be job opportunities within the space?

A: There is a high possibility

What are the thoughts for the Showcase?

A: Not sure yet, but thoughts have been coming around to a music venue, recording studio, etc.

PAYMENTS

- $1/sq ft

- For people living in a house, $1500 is too much above budget

- $250-300 is the sweet spot (for just studio space)

All content present is preliminary discussion and is not guaranteed. It is merely indicative of the direction of the conversation held and the information is being factored into the design and development stage of this project.

We invite you to attend our next meeting which will be a community conversation November 16, 2017 to discuss the findings more broadly and gain feedback from all persons who wish to participate. 

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Reflection: Artist Input Meeting

Architects of SO – IL & Min|Day

Architects of SO – IL & Min|Day

The Union for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Omaha Economic Development Corporation, and architectural firms, SO - IL and Min|Day are currently in the research and development phase for potential artist live/work residences to be built on a vacant lot at 2221 Lake Street. The process began with a broad community conversation on September 11, 2017, with over 80 residents and community partners in attendance to share their ideas and discuss the needs, wants, and desires for North Omaha. Topics including education, employment, entertainment, history, economics, and resources were split up for people to share their perspectives and determine potential uses for the building project. The passionate and insightful discussion helped the working team build a framework from which to envision the plan development.

In order to gain more specific details, the team coordinated listening sessions so to hear directly from local artists about their live and work conditions, desired physical accommodations, and community resources. The first "artist input meeting" took place on October 9, 2017, 5:30pm in The Union's Wanda D. Ewing Gallery. Here are a few key points:

Current Live/Work Situations

  • Limited living and workspace

  • Shared space with roommates

  • Not enough storage

  • Using living room as work area

Ideal Live/Work Conditions

  • Separate, private living quarters: bedroom and bathroom

  • Plenty of storage

  • Shared spaces: kitchen, living room, and gallery

  • Collaborative common area

  • Affordable rent, perhaps exchange labor for discount

Desired Physical Accommodations

  • Large, ventilated room for big projects

  • Cork wall for pinning and hanging

  • Wash out room with drainage

  • Guest artist studio space

Community Resources

  • Short-term Rental studios

  • Classes/Workshops available

  • Public space for community to meet and gather

  • Open artist studios

  • Green space for outdoor activities and events


Another artist-focused conversation will take place at The Union for Contemporary Art (2423 N 24th Street) on October 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public. If you are unable to attend but would like to contribute feedback, please fill out this survey: http://bit.ly/artistloftsurvey

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Artist Input Meeting – October 9, 5pm

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Artist Input Meeting – October 9, 5pm

Join us for a community conversation on October 9, 5pm at The Union focused on what artists in our community need for functioning, desireable live/work spaces. 

For those unable to attend the meeting you can provide feedback via Google Form: http://bit.ly/artistloftsurvey

An exciting project is underway on Lake Street! The Union for Contemporary Art and the Omaha Economic Development Corp in partnership with the City of Omaha have received an Our Town research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for $75,000 to initiate research and planning for artist live/work residences on Lake Street. As part of the planning process, we’re inviting community members and artists to help us shape these spaces. Please join us and our architectural teams SO-IL and Min | Day, for a community conversation to help us answer questions about artists needs and desires for live/work spaces. 

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September 11 – Community Meeting recap

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September 11 – Community Meeting recap

On September 11, 2017 we held an evening community meeting to discuss the possibility of artist live/work spaces on the lot between The Showcase and site of the Great Plains Black Museum on Lake Street. We had a great turn out and many people got to voice their ideas and perspectives for progress in the neighborhood. 

We heard from over 75 of our neighbors on what they'd like to see the communal spaces of the building function as. There were a myriad of creative ideas from bringing the Great Plains Black History museum back to Lake Street to creating outdoor gathering spaces for movie nights, community cookouts, and events. Thanks to all that showed up, ate some great grub, and provided your insights for what you'd like to see in our community! 

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Community Conversation + Dinner: September 11, 5:30–7pm

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WHEN: Monday, September 11th, 5:30PM
WHERE: Meeting will be held on the proposed Artist Loft site located on Lake Street between North 24th & North 22nd Streets
WHAT: Community dialogue, music, and FOOD!

An exciting project is underway on Lake Street! The Union for Contemporary Art in partnership with the Omaha Economic Development Corp and the City of Omaha have received an Our Town research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for $75,000 to initiate research and planning for artist live/work residences on Lake Street. As part of the planning process, we’re inviting community members and artists to help us shape these spaces. Please join us and our architectural teams SO-IL and Min | Day, for a community conversation to help us answer to following questions:

  • What is an icon of pride for the community, and what about North Omaha is worth celebrating? 
  • What brings people in North Omaha together? 
  • What infrastructure or change can improve the neighborhood? 
  • What are some of the local institutions that you’d like to have a presence in the neighborhood?

If you cannot make it to dinner but would still like to have your voice heard, we've created a survey you can fill out! Please give us your ideas + input: http://bit.ly/artistloftscommunityinput

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Arts-based Community Development in North Omaha

The Union for Contemporary Art, Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC), and the City of Omaha are collaborating on an arts-based community development project called The Artist Lofts at Lake Street, one of 89 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town projects selected nationwide.

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Omaha, Nebraska -- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced 89 awards totaling $6.89 million supporting projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program. The Union for Contemporary Art, OEDC, and the City of Omaha are some of the recommended organizations for a grant of $75,000 to launch a planning and design process for the creation of artist live/work housing and commercial space at the intersection of North 24th and Lake Streets.

 The NEA received 274 eligible applications for Our Town this year and will make grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. “The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as The Union, OEDC, and the City of Omaha to cultivate vitality in their communities through the arts.”

The Union, OEDC, and Omaha Planning Department requested funding for the planning and design project, which will support the creation of artist live/work space in North Omaha, catalyzing the completion of plans for an arts and cultural district in the area. The facility would be adjacent to The Union, which provides direct support to local artists and free cultural experiences, mentorship, and access to the arts for community members and neighborhood children.

For a complete list of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.

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