Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced yesterday a new affordable housing program targeted toward artists in rural areas of the state. Over the next eight years, nine projects will be launched in eight regions in the state’s rural, small town, and mountain communities.
Space to Create, Colorado is the first state-driven initiative in the United States for creating affordable housing for artists and is led by the Colorado Office of Economic Development’s Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, History Colorado, The Boettcher Foundation, and Minneapolis-based Artspace,
“Housing and economic development are vital needs in rural Colorado, and the Space to Create initiative advances both of these issues by harnessing the power of the public, private, and philanthropic sectors, as well as the creative community, to activate historic spaces and elevate rural economies,” said Hickenlooper during the announcement at Artspace Loveland, a development with 30 occupied units for artists and their families.
Artspace Loveland, which opened this spring and has a waiting list of over 100 households, is serving as a model for the initiative. Artspace, the nation’s leading developer for creating affordable live/work units for artists, constructed the housing above gallery space and is working on transforming the Loveland Feed and Grain building into a commercial arts hub in this city about 45 miles north of Denver.
The Space to Create initiative is expected to advance mixed-use projects that blend affordable live/work space for artists with commercial space for other creative endeavors, like the arts campus in Loveland. The first demonstration project is set for Trinidad, a small community just north of the New Mexico border. After that, the developments in the other regions will be prioritized based on local resources, housing demand, and readiness.
Artspace will act as lead consultant of the initiative with Colorado Creative Industries.