An announcement was made on Tuesday, Sept. 7, regarding a new project which will benefit more than just the artistic culture of Little Rock. Minneapolis-based Projects, in conjunction with the Little Rock-based Windgate Foundation, declared in a news release its plans to forward a “new mixed-use project for artists.” Set in the Little Rock East Village neighborhood, the Artspace Windgate Campus will be comprised of roughly 94,000 square feet and four stories, furnishing 60 units of economical combined residential and work space for artists and their families. It will further accommodate ten artist-in-residence studios, generous event and gallery areas (including some outdoor) and nearly 16,000 square feet of commercial real estate for local arts and cultural organizations.
According to a press release from Artspace, the Artspace Windgate Campus has emerged out of an intentional mission by the Windgate Foundation, girded by “support from civic leaders, arts organizations, local artists, and creative businesses.” Materializing steadily since 2018, Artspace has allied itself with Little Rock and North Little Rock communities in the realization of this vision.
“Providing the creative community in central Arkansas with a place to gather, live, and work is essential to the growth of our culture and economy,” explained Robyn Horn, Board Chair at the Windgate Foundation. “Our belief in this project and our confidence in Artspace is what propelled Windgate Foundation to initiate it. The response from artists in the area was so enthusiastic. We knew it would be a welcomed addition to Little Rock,” Horn continued.
Lucas Koski, Director of Property Development at Artspace, also observed, “The Artspace Windgate Campus will build on local efforts to provide a hub and a home for the creative community in Central Arkansas by providing access to affordable spaces to live, create and experience art.”
Little Rock Mayor, Frank Scott Jr. has heralded the project as creating an artistic center for the community, intelligently located adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, and eventual home of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. “When we look at what makes cities great, it is a combination of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and exciting quality of life. The Artspace Windgate Campus provides all three,” Scott said.
Stan Hastings, on behalf of the Rosalyn & Harry Hastings family, commented further on the “strong aggregating power that will further stimulate the growth of art in Central Arkansas and beyond. This collaboration will not only bring people together physically. It will inspire and celebrate creativity, while also strengthening the community’s diverse cultural character.”
Victoria Ramirez, Executive Director of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts also added, “While Central Arkansas boasts a network of cultural organizations, public and private support, and enthusiastic patrons, the addition of the Artspace Windgate location will afford new opportunities for our artistic community…[and] a thriving cultural future.”
Specifically, the 60 units will be aimed to benefit residents making between 30% and 60% of Area Median Income (approximately $23,700 to $47,400 in annual income). Construction start is anticipated for Summer 2023 and completion in Fall 2024.