FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, September 28, 2015 PUEBLO — Pueblo Creative Corridor’s growth has led to Pueblo Arts Alliance’s acquisition of a multi-use studio and retail space enabling affordable opportunities for an artistic and business infusion of 22 new creative industries. In June of 2015, the Pueblo Arts Alliance purchased a 16,000 square foot property at 107 S. Grand Ave and 401 City Center Drive, formerly the location of Fred’s Decorating Center and Betty’s Costumes. The Pueblo Arts Alliance purchased the building with financing through Colorado legislated Creative District Community Loan Fund, established through Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) and the Mile High Community Loan Fund (MHCLF). “The acquisition of this building is an exciting way for the Pueblo Creative Corridor to attract business, retain assets and create sustainability for the local creative community,” adds Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries.
Applications are being accepted for studio and retail space. The current tenants are Izotov Dance Academy, Premier Ballet, muralist Matthew Taylor and artist Barrett Skul. The building will be open for tours during the First Friday Art Walk, October 2 from 5 – 8 p.m. or by appointment, 719-242-6652. More information can be found at PuebloArts.org.
About the Building Project
The Pueblo Arts Alliance was awarded and completed Fast Track Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011 and again in 2012 to create a multi-purpose facility that provides creative industry work/live space. These national grants along with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Boettcher Foundation, Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority and Legacy Bank provided funding for a feasibility study completed by Artspace, market demand survey by ArtsMarket, State sight visits, design charrette by Tim Stroh, AIA, Principal architect with Source Architechnology Systems and business plan by ArtsMarket. During the planning process the Arts Alliance held seven stakeholder forums that included over 150 participants.
The affordability of the studio and retail space is essential in meeting the goal of providing economically sustainable rentals for creatives in the Pueblo Creative Corridor. “This art-centric facility offers limitless opportunities for artists looking to move into the Pueblo Creative Corridor. We are grateful to Colorado Creative Industries for having the foresight to create access to capital funding from the Creative District Community Loan Fund, ” says Pueblo Arts Alliance Executive Director, Susan Fries. The Pueblo Arts Alliance is the first Colorado Creative District to secure funds through the Creative District Community Loan Fund for financing of a capital project.
The building is currently ready for artists to occupy 13 individual or shared studio spaces on the second floor of the main building, three or more retail spaces on the first floor and a large shared outdoor plaza. There is an additional 2,700 square foot adjacent one story building that the Arts Alliance is reserving for proposals for a “stand alone” creative industry such as a wood or glass manufacturer, brewery or fiber mill. Fries elaborates, “The historic property has the character that artists love as well as the unique feature of a communal plaza available for all tenants’ use to create connections and build a vibrant community hub.” Melian Izotova of resident Izotov Dance Academy echoes Fries’ sentiment, “The new building is going to be a hive of creativity and we are looking forward to the life born out of it!”
While the occupancy and energy of the tenants will place the building on the map, the Arts Alliance plans to launch a branding campaign and grand opening celebration later this fall. The design process for architectural changes to the building will begin in 2016 and will include the addition of several artist work/live studios, interior reconfigurations to match programing goals, exterior improvements for public access and energy efficiency upgrades.
About Pueblo Arts Alliance
The Pueblo Arts Alliance is a non-profit organization that exists to provide support to its creative industry membership in the form of 1) collaborating for marketing, performances, and education opportunities, 2) raising awareness in the community as to the availability of local and regional performing arts production and events and 3) promoting and facilitating economic impact through the arts. The mission of the Arts Alliance is to promote the production, enjoyment and collaboration of the arts for the purposes of economic development and an enriched quality of life in Pueblo. Melian Izotova, Directress of Izotov Dance Academy, praises the Arts Alliance’s alignment of their mission with the building project efforts, “We are grateful for the proactive efforts of the Pueblo Arts Alliance to enrich the community and develop our city from hobbyists to artisans! We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Arts Alliance by training the children of Pueblo to strive for excellence, appreciate beauty and enjoy their innate talents.”
The Pueblo Arts Alliance is the administrator of the Pueblo Creative Corridor, a state-certified Creative District, which is supported by the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, City of Pueblo, Colorado Creative Industries, and the Boettcher Foundation.
About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado’s state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life. coloradocreativeindustries.org
About the Creative District Community Loan Fund
In 2014, the Colorado legislature passed and Governor Hickenlooper signed into law HB14-1093 creating the formation of a creative district community loan fund to promote growth and sustainability in the creative industries in Colorado’s creative districts by providing access to capital to grow creative sector employment and infrastructure.
About the Mile High Community Loan Fund
Founded in 1999 to provide a source of early stage capital for organizations developing affordable housing in the City and County of Denver, Mile High Community Loan Fund invests in affordable housing and other assets to improve economic opportunities of low-income persons and communities. For more information, visit www.mhclf.org.