It’s also the toughest place for them to find studios because of the expensive, aggressive real-estate market, where never-ending condo developments eat cheap space.
Now the city’s politicians and staff say they think they’ve found a solution: Give artists free rein to set up studios on industrial land, where they can add jobs and activity without sparking any land speculation.
“The industrial land base is ideal,” councillor Heather Deal said, endorsing a staff report that recommends the city consider amending its zoning to allow all kinds of artists’ studios to operate on industrial land, not just those using materials or equipment not allowed in commercial zones.
But the city’s arts community says that wouldn’t be necessary if the city could just stop its staff from kicking artists out of the spaces where they’re already working.
“The city doesn’t have to do anything to create more spaces,” said Jim Carrico, who managed a thriving artists’ space in the Downtown Eastside until the city ordered everyone out last month. “They can just stop attacking us.”