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Letter: Could Hastings use space for artists?

To the editor,

Last week’s Star Gazette included a letter from Benjamin Cherryhomes addressing the importance of attracting younger people to make Hastings their home. In the coming weeks, the Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council will launch a study to measure the interest of artists to live and work in Hastings. The study will be completed by Artspace Inc., a nationally recognized, non-profit developer that has completed similar studies in communities coast to coast.

The Artspace online survey will encompass an area within a 50-mile radius of Hastings. A final report will be due in the fall. If Artspace’s research documents that a significant number of artists would settle in Hastings, HPAAC will advocate living and studio space. The Artspace study is possible because of the financial support of The Saint Paul Foundation and the City of Hastings.

Hastings has a growing creative sector. We have the remarkable Black Dirt Theater Company, the Ponticelli Strings Group, the River Valley Band and Tony Behrens’ gallery on Second Street. Research shows that communities attracting the arts and artists also attract creative businesses and services. And, to Mr. Cherryhome’s point, creates a community attractiveness and liveability that is important to a younger population.

HPAAC is very proud to be a part of this larger community effort. If you are interested in learning more about the Artspace/HPAAC study, visit our website and learn how you can help.