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Artspace study shows demand for creative workspace in Concord

Artists, non-profits and businesses want space to create, collaborate and share resources

CONCORD, NH – Artists, cultural organizations and creative businesses are looking for space to live, work and meet with other creative individuals in the Concord area, a new study by Artspace Projects, Inc., shows.

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and the leaders of its Creative Concord initiative hired Artspace Projects, Inc., the nation’s leading non-profit real estate developer of the arts, to assess the space needs of the growing creative sector in the city. 

The Survey of Creative Individuals’ Space Needs and Preferences was sent to independent artists who work in a variety of media, from painting and fine crafts to music and dance. The Survey of Creative Enterprises and Interested Businesses was sent to businesses and non-profits both large and small that are either actively participating in the arts or are involved in another type of creative enterprise.

The data indicate building creative space in Concord is an opportunity to expand and diversify the city’s economic landscape. These facilities have the potential to bring people into the Concord area to not only work and live, but to hold gallery openings, offer classes, host business development seminars and enrich the overall cultural offerings in Concord while increasing the customer base for existing local businesses.

About one-third of individual artists are interested in moving to a live/work artist facility or renting studio space in Concord. Of those interested in relocating to a live/work space, 61 percent have never lived in the city. Concord artists are looking for space that will allow them to create and share with the public, as well. Of those surveyed who are interested in renting artist workspace, 35 percent live in Concord.

Most of these artists do not have children or have finished their child rearing, indicating freer schedules to participate in activities in the community. More than half are between the ages of 41 and 60, and 21 percent are 30-years-old or younger. These respondents are predominantly female and 83 percent do not live with children. 

The businesses and organizations creative workspaces can bring to Concord are also promising, the study shows. 

Sixty-one percent of businesses and organizations are very or extremely interested in relocating to a new creative facility in the city. They indicated they will use this new creative space to cut costs and collaborate. Sixty-seven percent are interested in networking opportunities, 43 percent are interested in business development workshops and 43 percent are looking for management consulting.

Most of the organizations in the Survey of Creative Enterprises and Interested Businesses have plans to expand in the near future. Thirty-six percent are currently planning to expand or open additional space, 22 percent indicated they want to relocate their organization and 18 percent have plans to launch a new enterprise.

There were 434 respondents who completed the Survey of Creative Individuals’ Space Needs and Preferences, and 87 separate organizations that completed the Survey of Creative Enterprises and Interested Businesses. Forty-nine of the organizations, or 56 percent, completed both surveys.

These two studies have more than 70 pages of data that outline the demand for creative space, what kind of space is needed and who these artists, non-profits and businesses are. The report also compiled data from the respondents who were interested in receiving further information about these kinds of projects. The amount of interest was positive, with a majority of both businesses and individuals saying they wanted to stay informed. This confidential information, held by the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, can be used to keep interest going through the development, design and construction phases of any future projects.

Concord has worked over the years to develop its creative community and the residents have shown they have an appreciation for the arts. The existing creative environment coupled with the results of the Artspace Projects, Inc., studies show that creative workspaces can be viable in the city.

If you are interested in seeing the study or discussing the results further, please contact Jayme Simoes at (603) 224-5566.