Artspace eyes Tampa for next project supporting artistsThe Minneapolis-based nonprofit is now in 20 states

Tampa is inching closer to plans by local artists and art lovers to create a significant structure where artists can live, work, and display their creations affordably.

The Tempus Project, a local nonprofit that functions as an art gallery and provides artist residency programs, is leading the effort to bring an Artspace to Tampa. It is in the final phase of the first step to do that and is hosting a public virtual forum Tuesday evening, Sept. 29, to finish off this first step.

Tracy Midulla, founder of Tempus Projects and a fulltime art instructor at Hillsborough Community College, is serving as project coordinator for the Artspace feasibility study.

“What Tempus does is show we support artists in the community, and we act as a conduit between the artist and the community by bringing them the art. We also reach out by bringing in artists from all over the country,” she says of Tempus Projects.

“Artspace is a nonprofit, a very big nonprofit based out of Minneapolis, and is the world’s leading developer of affordable living for artists. They go into cities all over the country and do feasibility studies to see if the city can support an Artspace project. There are a market study and pre-development study after this first step,” Midulla says. “They build multi-million art spaces that are affordable housing for artists and almost always have art hubs in the bottom. They partner with other nonprofits that are art-friendly.”

Artspace structures typically have 40 units.

Midulla said she feels very optimistic that this process will move to the next phase, which is the market study.

“After the market study, there is a pre-development consultation. It is my understanding that after the market study, we will have a very good idea of whether we are getting an Artspace building.

“There are 53 of these projects in the U.S. and they don’t fail, because of the work that goes in to ensure the community will support them. There is so much research that goes into deciding if it is feasible in the community, all of their buildings are still open in over 20 states with a 100% success rate.”

During this first step of the process, Tempus has held meetings with people in the finance world who know what will be needed and how to get it done, Midulla says. There has also been a focus group.

“This forum is for civic leaders, philanthropists, and anyone who has an interest in cultural and economic growth in Tampa.” The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

To register for the forum, go to Eventbrite. Midulla at Tempus Projects requests that those interested register no later than noon on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

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Read more articles by Yvette C. Hammett.

Yvette C. Hammett, a native Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida, has spent much of her career as a professional journalist covering business, the environment, and local features throughout the Tampa Bay Area. She is an avid camper and outdoors person who has also been involved in local events for foster children and the elderly.