As we’ve considered what missing from the arts scene in Farmington/Farmington Hills to make it more vibrant we wrote about the need for a performing arts center to be built in downtown Farmington, along with the need for some alternative cinema options, a cool, hip, café that supports the arts, a dynamic art gallery space (or two), a public arts project to add fun & poetry to our neighborhoods, and the need for some creative writers and gadflies.
Now let’s consider artist live/work spaces.
Are you following what’s happening in Dearborn? The former Dearborn City Hall, thanks to Minneapolis-based nonprofit Artspace, is on its way to becoming the City Hall Artspace Lofts combining “53 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families, work studios, co-working space for entrepreneurs and artists, a live/work unit for an artist-in-residency program, and galleries”.
We can think of a few places for a development of this sort in our community and the Old Winery comes immediately to mind. We’ve already suggested this site in our post on the need for art gallery space. This development would be a great complement to the work of the Grand River Corridor Improvement Authority, a joint effort of the cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills to revitalize development along Grand River.
The Old Winery is situated in a convenient spot along Grand River near Orchard Lake Road and could anchor a unique arts district as part of the improvements and redevelopment in the area, and the land across the street (currently an underutilized strip mall and parking lot) could be used for a performing arts center, if other ideas for the center fail to materialize.
The development of artist live/work spaces could make the community more attractive to younger creatives and serve to keep some of the state’s talent here in Michigan, in addition to bringing an economic and cultural spark to Farmington and Farmington Hills.
What do you think? How would artist live/work spaces benefit the community? Can you think of other locations in the community for this type of development?