Jackson Flats open for artists and families in NE Mpls

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June 24, 2014
By: Cassie Jones
Cassie Jones

Artspace's Jackson Flats is now open in the Holland neighborhood.

Originally imagined as a condo project for the City of Minneapolis’ Art Action Plan in the 1990s, today Jackson Flats is a 35-unit building of affordable, live/work housing for artists and their families. The building also has two public spaces for residents to curate their own events, performances and exhibits.

“When the housing crisis happened and the market fell apart, that’s when Jackson Flats fell apart, and the principle parties involved came to Artspace and we all worked together to find a way to salvage the project. With a lot of work we put that plan together and […] re-imagined what the project would be,” said Asset Manager of Artspace Greg Foley.

To apply for a unit, artists must income-qualify and not exceed the maximum income level for the apartment they are applying for. There is a range of maximum income levels per each unit that is determined by the applicant’s household size. The maximum income level and the size of the apartment determine the rent for each applicant.

Once applicants have income-qualified they must attend an artist selection interview.

“We have a committee of artists and community members that ask a standard set of questions across all candidates, which allow us to see the work that the artist does without judgment, just to determine a level of commitment and passion that the artist has for their work, and also there’s a second part of questions to that process that also asks about living in an arts community and being community-minded,” Foley said.

“We want a passion for arts, but also a passion for living with a group of people who are engaged and engaging," he added.

Foley said the benefits of living in Jackson Flats are the opportunities to collaborate with neighbors and be exposed to art forms that an artist might not see on a regular basis as well as the opportunity to live in the neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis, where residents can participate in Art-a-Whirl and First Thursday events.

“The residents that have moved in are so dynamic and wonderful and thoughtful and beautiful that it’s just been a blessing and a joy to have all of them move in and living in the building,” Foley said. “It’s really just tremendous to see the level of involvement across the entire group of artists that are living there.”

Foley hopes to continue to do more events and activities in the building to draw more people to the building to meet the artists living there.