Embracing the value of the arts
Artspace empowers artists through affordable, sustainable housing
Artspace is a nonprofit organization that creates, fosters and preserves sustainable space for artists and organizations. To do this, it constructs or restores places for artists to live and work while building healthy communities. Since it was founded in 1979, the organization has invested more than $650 million into the national infrastructure, with offices in Minneapolis, Denver, New Orleans, New York City, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Veronica Casares Lee and her husband, Patrick Lee, live in an Artspace apartment in New Orleans. Before finding this affordable and stable option, they had moved three times and were struggling to pay bills and support their two children. Now that this isn’t a worry anymore, they are able to put their focus on being creative.
“This is the first time that I feel like we’re being appreciated for being artists,” Veronica said. “Being at Artspace makes me love New Orleans even more.”
After returning to New Orleans years after Hurricane Katrina displaced her, Journey Allen found herself unable to pay two rents and, as a result, living in her studio with her two sons. The same day she toured the Artspace community, she moved in and her family is able to thrive in an art-based environment.
“At Artspace, I expect to be around other creatives and see people creating all the time,” Journey said.
House of Talents in Minneapolis is owned by Kate Herzog, a creative entrepreneur born and raised in Ghana. Founded in 2009, House of Talents is how she promotes and sells work by African artisans to combat poverty that “strips people of their dignity and aspirations,” according to Herzog. She uses Artspace as a place to showcase her merchandise such as hand-crafted baskets, jewelry, textiles, soaps and housewares.
Praxis Mutual Fundssupports organizations such as Artspace through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1 percent of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.