New City Arts – Gallery, Office, & Studio Space
What is New City Arts?
New City Arts Initiative (est. 2009) is a collaborative community that supports artists and facilitates cultural participation in Charlottesville, Virginia. We do this through:
- EDUCATION: We curate a range of educational forums for artists as well as arts enthusiasts and advocates. For an example of this in action, see the New City Arts Forum.
- VOCATION: We provide physical, financial, institutional, and relational resources to help Charlottesville artists learn, work, and make a living. For an example of this in action, see Charlottesville SOUP.
- COMMUNITY: We serve as a supportive network for artists and community members by building bridges between different audiences including university professors and students, service providers and non-profits, churches, businesses, potential patrons, and other local arts organizations. For an example of this in action, see Housing2Home.
- Exhibited the work of over 150 local artists at our partnership gallery.
- Granted more than $6,000 to local artists through SOUP grants.
- Provided studio space for 9 local artists at The Haven.
What Do We Need?
ABOUT THE CONTEXT: In the last two years, Charlottesville has lost many downtown art spaces that once supported local artists. Galleries that were essential to our First Friday art walk have closed. Artists struggle to find affordable studio space. Creative, collaborative groups have recently found it difficult to find event venues for small arts performances.
Working through partnerships — like our gallery at a local radio station and a residency at a downtown day shelter — New City Arts has worked to address these needs in alternative spaces. However, our arts events are packed in ad hoc spaces, preventing us from broadening our audience and serving more artists, due to a lack of physical capacity.
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY: Within the last year, New City Arts began looking for a physical space that would position us to better serve the Charlottesville arts community. We needed it to be:
- Centrally located on the Downtown Pedestrian Mall, so we could provide a new venue for Charlottesville’s First Friday art walk.
- Versatile enough to support our staff offices, a gallery, studio space, and events.
- Affordable, so that we could steward our financial resources well.
A few months ago, 114 3rd Street N.E. — a 1400 sq. ft. downtown, storefront property with a brick exterior and modern interior — became available. Last month (September 2015), we moved in and opened a new art space in this location calledWelcome Gallery.
This new location houses our staff offices, a gallery with monthly exhibit openings and weekly open hours, a short-term residency program for local artists, and a downtown event venue for small arts performances.
ABOUT THE NEED: For the last five years, the New City Arts headquarters was located at The Haven, a community partner whose facilities provided us with tables, a printer, desks, chairs, a copier, lights, heat, air conditioning, filing cabinets, trash cans, event space, event tables, event chairs, a kitchen, phone, and internet.
Our new downtown location (114 3rd St. NE) is an exciting opportunity to provide a much-needed, multi-function space for our community. However, in order to provide artist services and regular community outreach, we need the following:
- Equipment for Public and Community Events ($7,000): folding tables, folding chairs, PA system, projector, outdoor cafe tables and chairs, sandwich board, exterior signage, coat rack, reception service ware, etc.
- Professional Facilities for Artists ($14,000): electrical repairs, improved gallery lighting, studio sink, divider panels for increased wall space, A/C split unit, wall repair, interior signage, etc.
- Necessary Gallery, Office, and Studio Furniture ($3,500): office desks, office chairs, reception desk, studio table, studio chair, filing cabinets, gallery bench, studio wall panels, kitchen dishes, trash can with lid, etc.
- Increased Storage ($3,000): storage columns, shelving, etc.
- Improved Accessibility ($9,500): exterior door renovation, bathroom door renovation.