A new coworking and community space for artists is coming to the Kansas City area.
Scheduled to open June 15 in Overland Park, the nearly 10,000 square-foot InterUrban ArtHouse is revamping a post office to become a shared space for 20 to 40 artists.
The nonprofit is piggybacking on a popular trend in the metro that’s bringing more than 300,000 square feet of coworking space in the next two years. But unlike traditional coworking spaces full of desks and pods, the ArtHouse’s 12 studio spaces will accommodate artists’ needs while also providing them a community in which to learn and grow.
InterUrban ArtHouse founder Nicole Emanuel said the ArtHouse will also feature a coffee shop as well as a large space for programming and the exhibition of artwork.
An artist of more than 30 years, Emanuel believes the space will yield valuable interactions for the artists.
“The synchronicity of people working in proximity creates more opportunities,” Emanuel said. “When you’re isolated, and you’re trying to concentrate, it’s weirdly helpful to be around other people that are being industrious. … Working together is motivating and reminds you of why you’re doing what you’re doing.”
Whether you’re a painter, sculptor or writer — you need to think entrepreneurially in order to get food on the table. But unlike a typical tech startup, artists don’t have many incubator options.
That’s why the ArtHouse will host regular programming to help artists improve their business, marketing and social media skills. Additionally, a business planner will be onsite on a regular basis offering free consultations to artists.
The ArtHouse plans bring in lawyers, insurance agents, accountants and business planners to assist artists’ small business needs. The large programming space will be open for community use, and Emanuel plans to tap other organizations to bring in “Business 101” programming.
“Artists are entrepreneurs and we are small business people,” Emanuel said. “Kansas does not fund the aesthetic arts, only the entrepreneurial arts for the most part. If you’re in the arts, you have to have your small business act together because that’s a survival mechanism.”
Emanuel founded the nonprofit organization in 2011 with the mission to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of the arts community. A local artist herself, Emanuel has spent several years living and working in Midtown Kansas City and saw the need for affordable spaces in which artists come together.
“There just wasn’t a creative hub,” Emanuel said. “There was no common, grassroots community space that was providing not only a place for artists to create near each other but with programming space for the community.”
The ArtHouse is now accepting applicants for its studios. Applicants must commit to actively use the studio space, develop their practice and participate in the community, Emanuel said. they are also looking for artists who are willing to use their expertise to mentor and facilitate programs.