Artspace project shows promise for community

The OlympianDecember 17, 2013 

The Olympia Artspace Alliance reached another milestone last week, completing a survey of artists, arts groups and creative businesses about the possibility of an affordable housing development for artists.

If the survey results show support for the concept, the hard work will begin, raising money to take the project from a concept, which first surfaced in the community more than three years ago, all the way to reality.

Supporters say artists of all persuasions would benefit from a complex of below-market rate housing, a place for artists to live, work and perform. At its best a dedicated arts space in the community could enhance the arts, create community downtown and boost the local arts economy.

A recent study by the Thurston County Economic Development Council said Thurston County ranks first in the state in per-capita jobs in the creative sector of the economy, including performing arts, arts-related retail sales and arts-related jobs.

The arts were one of the few economic sectors that have shown growth since the 2008 economic recession, according to the Economic Development Council. It makes sense to support this unique part of the local economy.

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