Thursday, April 15, 2010

ARTSPACE Visit brings light to Crookston

It started with a tour of one of our most outstanding historic downtown buildings, the Fournet Building which caused oohs and ahhs as Crookston Leaders were allowed to imagine what living must have been like around the large centrum filled with natural light from three large skylights which you could reach through your own screen door or window.  Shared spaces like this is what artists love in their live/work spaces.
Pictured are City Administrator, Aaron Parrish, Chamber Director, Lori Wagner, and custodian, Roger Corbin as they tour this "amazing" downtown historic building, thanks to Lutie Johnson, owner and artist herself.  From there we quickly toured the Union Building and headed to the Crookston Public Library sunroom to meet local and area artists.  Quickly the needs of the artist were made clear:  practicing spaces, smaller performing spaces (200 seats), a place to gather and share ideas, a civic theater, and a civic arts space for community ed, after school,and summer programming for youth.

Wendy Holmes and Roy Close from Artspace, shed more light on how they develop live/work affordable housing for artists.  If the community is willing to do a market survey to determine how many units will be feasible for Crookston, they could pursue developing the right sized project here.  What is unique about their projects is that they own and operate them as well as develop, construct, and rent up the project. With laughter and fun they explained their challenges and success stories.  One thing is for sure, we need to plan a trip to Fergus Falls to visit the Kaddatz Artist Lofts.  Or if you are traveling to Brainerd, Duluth, or the Twin Cities this summer be sure to check out their website,, to visit one or more of their developments.  Watch for more posts on this "amazing" visit to Crookston that was full of fun, serious moments, sparkle and vision.

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1 comment:

  1. Check out the full Crookston Daily Times story at