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.