Author: Kahn, Mary E.
Publication Year: 1995
Media Type: Periodical (article)
Arts incubators are a new, but growing, phenomena in the world of local arts agencies. They are facilities that create a nurturing environment for small and emerging arts organizations by offering low-cost or subsidized space and services.
Arts incubators are a new, but growing, phenomena in the world of local arts agencies. They are facilities that create a nurturing environment for small and emerging arts organizations by offering low-cost or subsidized space and services. Arts incubators are part of a larger universe of business incubators of which there are more than 500 in North America, according to the National Business Incubator Association.
The oldest arts incubator in this article started eight years ago while the business incubator movement is more than 20 years old. Business incubators have been created to promote the creation of jobs by assisting in the growth and development of new businesses. Candace Campbell, in her study, Change Agents in the New Economy: Business Incubators and Economic Development, notes that business incubators have been developed either in response to declines in manufacturing employment due to plant closures and regional economic crises or in hopes of nurturing a new base of industry or technology. A New Orleans arts incubator has received the majority of its funding from economic development sources. Its community recognizes it as a business incubator for the arts industry. This issue of Monographs highlights six incubators that are concerned with nurturing arts organizations by facilitating their organizational growth and development. Three of the arts incubators discussed have been in operation less than a year, three have been operating for at least three years, with Arts Bridge in Chicago opening eight years ago.
There is great similarity among these arts incubators. They all offer space to arts organizations at low, subsidized rates. They provide shared office equipment - most notably computers, high quality copiers and fax machines. They emphasize organizational development by offering consultation and training. Each, however, is uniquely tailored to meet the needs of the community.
All of the elements involved in arts incubators have long been around, but it is the combination of these aspects - the physical co-location of arts groups focused on organizational development, the shared resources, the intensive technical assistance over a multi-year period, and the emphasis on collaboration - that make the sum more than its parts and herald a new organization that can be recognized as an arts incubator.
This article is meant as an introduction to one model of arts incubator. There are also other models. For example, the Colorado Center for Contemporary Art and Craft in Manitou Springs opened in 1988 to support fledgling artists in the pursuit of art as a career. It seeks to provide artists with the business skills necessary to be successful in the marketplace. The facility contains studio space, retail shops and galleries, and offers educational programs. Canton, Mississippi has a similar facility, Allison's Wells School of Arts and Crafts, which opened in 1991. It is hoped that this article will spark further discussions, articles and studies that will encourage local arts agencies to explore the richness and diversity the arts incubator model offers their community. (p. 1, 2)
The Arts Bridge Incubator Program.
The Multicultural Arts Incubation Program (MAIP).
The Entergy Arts Business Center.
Arts Development Center.
Management Assistance and Organizational Development Enterprise (MODE).
Arts & Intersections:
Categories: Partnerships, Local Arts Agencies, Funding, Financial Management, Cultural Planning, Cultural Facilities
ADDITIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Series Title: Americans for the Arts Monograph
Edition: Volume 3, Number 4
Name: Americans for the Arts
Website URL: https://www.americansforthearts.org