In the Wake of the Ghost Ship Fire, Many Efforts Emerge to Save Artists and Arts Spaces


January 24, 2017; San Jose Mercury News

After the multiple fatalities in the wake of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California, NPQ predicted many ripples in the arena of informal work/life spaces where many young artists create art communities and live and work relatively cheaply. For who that manage such places, the cities in which they sit, and the funders who support them, safety has become an immediate concern. For no one is that more true than Elisabeth Setten, executive director of Art Works Downtown in San Rafael, California. The nonprofit is housed in an 1880s-era opera house that houses the nonprofit’s three galleries, 32 artist studios, and 17 low-income apartments. The space allows artists to live cheaply while creating and displaying their art and is the central engine in a revival of the downtown area.

Mix One Nonprofit and an Abandoned Paper Mill…

January 12, 2017; Bangor Daily News

Ownership of the Great Northern Paper Mill building has been transferred for $1 to a small nonprofit made up of local New Hampshire residents intent on building the local economy in a way that’s under the control of the town of Millinocket. The site was previously owned by what is described here as a “controversial New Hampshire based hedge fund.” The mill comes at a cost, of course. There is $1.5 million in tax liability connected to the site. Millinocket, a tiny town with a population that hovers around 5,000, was established as a lumber colony in the early 1900s. If you Google it, the Internet currently pegs the town as a meals, supplies, and lodging hub for those visiting Baxter State Park, which boasts the highest peak in Maine, Mount Katahdin.