The city of Dallas has launched a new online rental database that helps match up artists with affordable spaces.
Called SpaceFinder Dallas, it's a way for community groups and cultural organizations to find rental venues for arts and cultural events or services, and addresses the inaccessibility of spaces needed to make and present art. Art is important.
Director of the Office of Arts and Culture Jennifer Scripps says in a release that the pandemic has made it even harder for artists to find safe, accessible spaces.
"SpaceFinder will help activate our venues – with a new focus on outside options – as our community begins to recover," Scripps says.
In the 2018 Dallas Cultural Plan, finding space was listed as a top priority for artists and organizations. There are spaces out there, but the owners of those spaces do not always have connections to the artist community or understand the creative events, services, and opportunities artists can provide.
The SpaceFinder website will hopefully increase the visibility of space options and connect them to artists and community groups.
The idea was inspired by a similar project in Seattle. The Office of Arts and Culture wanted to an actionable step towards supporting a sustainable arts ecosystem.
The website is nicely designed. You choose what kind of space you're looking for from options such as rehearsal, workshop, readings, or office, then specify how long you need: hour, day, week, or month. It pulls up a list with a map.
Community groups such as Alegre Ballet Folklórico can testify to what a blessing it is to have space.
"As a Latino performing arts group, being able to use the Latino Cultural Center plaza has really helped us continue to offer classes for our students," said Alegre Ballet Folklórico's founder and director Pedro Perez.