The arts can have an incredible economic impact in our community. In fact, reports from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis state that this sector accounts for 2.8 percent of Michigan’s economy – or more than $13.9 billion. These numbers could soon increase on the local level, as Artspace, the nation’s leading developer for the arts, recently announced its intention to explore the creation of a live/work space for creatives in Mount Clemens.
“This is an exciting opportunity with the potential to positively impact Mount Clemens, Macomb County and the region in general,” said Phil Gilchrist, executive director for the Anton Art Center. “The completion of this project would help to attracts artists of all mediums to our city as well as those who support the arts.”
To move the project forward, Artspace will conduct a major online survey of artists, arts organizations and creative businesses in the City of Mount Clemens area and beyond. The results will help the organization determine the size and nature of the market for a mixed-use project like affordable live/work housing, studio and work space of various kinds.
“The Artspace project could help us add to the incredible economic impact of the arts, with real benefits for the City of Mount Clemens and Macomb County as a whole,” said Vicky Rad, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “So I am pleased to provide our support and I look forward to our next steps.”
The survey is the second phase of a scope of work that began in February 2019 when an Artspace team conducted a Preliminary Feasibility Study in Mount Clemens. If the survey identifies a market for an Artspace project and the community decides to proceed, survey results will inform both the project concept and site selection. They will also impact specific design and programmatic decisions, such as square footage, parking spaces, types of shared creative spaces to include, rents, etc.
Artists who take the survey will have the option of being among the first to be informed of project developments, including leasing opportunities. Project partners include the art center, city of Mount Clemens, Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority, Mount Clemens Foundation and Macomb County Planning & Economic Development.
Are you in a creative industry and looking to get involved? Here’s how you can help. The eight-week survey will be launched with a free public event at 7 p.m. on February 4, 2020, at Anton Art Center, 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens, MI 48043. The event is open to all; artists and directors of arts organizations and creative businesses are especially encouraged to attend. Registration is requested here. For those unable to attend, the survey will open on February 4: http://artspacemountclemens.org/
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.