recently featured an article
about how cities can foster a thriving creative class, and highlighted local nonprofit real estate developer Artspace
as an ideal example.
The organization's flagship project, the Northern Warehouse in the Lowertown district of St. Paul, has been housing artists for more than 20 years, in a neighborhood that's undergone vast transformation.
This is significant, the article's writer believes: "Today, as widespread civic enthusiasm for 'creative' projects has begun to spawn skepticism, the Northern Warehouse may be one of the clearest case studies of the role of artists in rejuvenating decayed neighborhoods--and sticking around afterward."
Artspace doesn't prove that artists can power the economy of whole cities, the article notes, but it does seem to be providing an effective model for other urban centers that want to maintain a stable, thriving artistic culture.