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Creating an Arts Hub in Dartmouth, NS

by: Graziella Grbac
City: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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Project Description

Dartmouth's Main Street is currently undergoing a transformation. As the Main Street Business Improvement District, we're looking to turn our district into a town centre - a genuine hub where commerce, people and community are brought together in a collaborative space. In order to realize our sustainable vision, we want to become a hotspot for local artists; to see them grow and create in our community and foster relationships moving forward. We're looking to help start a local Arts Hub space for artists to come in and work. We have had space generously offered and are now looking to redesign it and create a space artists want. We view this hub as an opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas and resources. Artists need a place to work and being surrounded by like-minded individuals creates opportunities for connection and collaboration. We want to make it easy to share and exchange, to create together, to grow together. An arts hub will also help brighten the area and make Main Street a better place to live and work. Creativity spreads and as we look to realize our vision of a complete community, we want as many creative minds as possible. Input from artists will help grow the community and ensure all voices are heard. We want to grow together - an Arts Hub will build the relationship that allows just that. Getting an Arts Hub would have several positive impacts: despite our high walk score and breadth of services, we're looking for greater involvement from the Arts community. We want their involvement as we transform to create a more vibrant and diverse culture within our community. Additionally, as we acquire public space, artist perspectives would give us a fuller understanding on the design and use of the space.

How would $50,000 benefit the project

Funding from this project would be used in three different ways: 1. Helping redesign the existing space to become an Arts Hub. We have partnered with local business owners to secure the entire floor of a building at cost. Our support from the local business community, who are very invested in this project, includes an offer to partially help create the Hub space. Our shared vision exceeds our current funding capacity. Money would be used to redesign the space and turn it into offices and studios for artists. The space will be designed and used by local artists, whose vision and ownership will foster it's growth. 2. Hiring a Dedicated Coordinator. The Arts Hub will serve as a collaborative space but we see the potential for more. Main Street has a breadth of youth, seniors and passionate community members. We're looking to hire a program coordinator who could both run the space and create programming that would bring the community in. We want to bring artists in and bring art to the larger community. A programmer might create dance classes for students, art classes for seniors or pottery classes for all ages. They're the expert we need to make this hub truly inclusive. 3. Increasing Accessibility. At the beginning, local artists may not have the funds needed to pay for space. We want to make it easier and more accessible for local artists to work within the Hub by helping them out as they get projects off the ground. Making our Arts Hub inclusive is a huge feature and allowing artists who share our vision and passion for the craft and the community to work is a key priority. Working with a coordinator to help vulnerable artists in need as a great step to making it accessible to everyone.

About the Community

Dartmouth Main Street is currently undergoing a transformation. We're a one kilometre urban village in the middle of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. We currently have over 40 health and wellness facilities, education institutions of all levels, a diversity of services and transit to the city core. Our vision for our community is to transform into an urban village, a pedestrian friendly community that enriches living for residents, business owners and community members. We imagine a thriving town centre with a vibrant blend of opportunities including affordable housing, multi-modal transit systems and collaborative space. We

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