New artist spaces on South Street are a step closer to opening after community funding steps in. From WHYY’s Arts and Culture desk, Alex Schmidt reports.
Landlords with vacant storefronts on South Street have been offering space to artists free of charge for about a month. But the cost of liability insurance has held up the process. Now, South Street Headhouse District has stepped in, paying for cheaper coverage for the artists under its own insurance plan – $2500 for five venues for one year. David Hammond is Executive Director of the district.
Hammond: “It’s win-win for us, the landowners, the artists that have the opportunity to display their work, perhaps sell some of it, get their name out there. What’s the sense of leaving an empty property with a ‘For Rent’ sign on it when the opportunity exists to help a number of causes.”
When the properties are leased, Hammond says the district will find other spaces for the artists, and that the insurance is flexible and transferable. The idea, he says, is to return South Street to the artist hub it once was. The first five artist spaces are set to open to the public on March 15th.