GUILDit envisions a future of an art village at the multi-industry Plexpod Wesport Coworking Building. The development will serve 1,281 art entrepreneurs, plus 63,350 students and audience members with coworking, studios, a theatre, and a gallery.
To make it happen, investors are invited to rebuild Kansas City’s culture. The total cost for 3 years is $155,715, with only $5,000 needed to launch. Help is needed, for the Kansas City’s Chamber reported in 2020, of 24 industries, the arts have had ‘the greatest downturn and will have the longest recovery’.
Susana Bruhn, the Executive Director of GUILDit Art/Biz Nonprofit, sees the partnership between nonprofits and businesses as a model to strengthen the city’s economy. These cultural events bring visitors to Kansas City, attract new business and their employees to the area, as well as the theaters and galleries becoming a destination for residents again.
“The arts have had great growth in Kansas City, and we can do it again. In just a few years, with a few key moves, artists can take off again.” Bruhn said.
The plans will incorporate the already existing Plexpod theatre, dance studios, and co-working spaces. They will add visual art studios, and a gallery. Plus, for the first 3 years to make it affordable for artists and art nonprofits, fellowships and sponsorships will be offered.
The need is great. A national survey from 2020 and 2021 by Kansas City’s Artist Inc showed the economic severity:
- Almost half of artists lost 51% or more of their incomes in 2020 and in 2021
- In 2021, 8 in 10 anticipate future income loss
City in Motion Dance (CIM), a 35-year-old Kansas City nonprofit, is a prime example. By mid-2020 CIM Dance lost all its revenue, laying off all 30 employees.
These dance artists and instructors are just one of the groups involved in the project. They have recently moved back into their Plexpod studios and the project offers them more sponsorship, so they can stay in the studios.
Also involved in the project is Black Art Black Space. They will be helping recruit artists for the fellowships and doing coaching. The Kansas City Artists Coalition will be lending expertise on gallery operations and assist with outreach.
This project offers artists prime workspace locations, coaching, reduce rates, income opportunities, more of a portion of their sales, expanding their businesses, and recognition within the community.
The Plexpod offers a multitude of support to the arts. Their Westport building, once Westport High School, will be a multi-disciplinary art community that already houses a theater company, filmmakers, dance studios, historic theatre, shared photo studio, and shared podcast booth. They offer many business amenities studio buildings can’t, such as meeting rooms, printing services, free covered parking, food service, fitness and gaming rooms, plus gardening.
In the last few years, Kansas City, Missouri has been recognized for its vibrant arts and cultural community—landing on several “best cities” lists as a premier travel destination. The Kansas City arts community needs rebuilding, and GUILDit’s program at the Plexpod is designed to do that. Investors can provide an example to our nation and internationally of how the arts can thrive again. >>> KC_Art_Workspaces_Sponsor_2