December 11, 2012 by Sarah M
// By Michelle Bruch //
What happens when a filmmaker plays a round of table tennis with a tech consultant every Tuesday? Or an artist shares a coffee pot with a social media guru every morning?
ArtsHub recently completed its inaugural year at 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., co-locating creative businesses and watching collaborations grow out of mere proximity.
One ArtsHub filmmaker recruited another member to shoot a public service announcement in Montana. An artist-in-residence asked another tenant to create a video for his new project. Another tenant provides workshops for ArtsHub members.
Workers can rent desks by the day, week, month or more. Semi-permanent “think tank” members stake out groups of desks, while other people come and go, grabbing a desk for $15 a day. Office perks are designed to take the edge away from a coffeehouse workspace: bottomless coffee and tea, a summer garden, a conference room housed inside a gallery space, monthly happy hours, free parking, and a funky lobby with a flat-screen.
“We have more benefits than just working out of your home,” said Office Coordinator Alisunn Curtin.
In addition, Springboard for the Arts is hosting free workshops and even a health clinic for ArtsHub members. A legal expert recently visited the office to discuss issues like copyright law.
Line Break Media, a two-year-old company that produces multimedia spots focused on social justice, came to ArtsHub via word-of-mouth. The move was good for business — Line Break helped Independent Indigenous Film and Media, based down the hall, shoot a public service announcement. And they created a film for artist-in-residence Robert Karimi, as part of a 28-day project rooted in the tradition of Día de los Muertos to “celebrate culture, joy and the revolutionary act of eating together.”
One of Line Break Media’s current projects profiles an area of Brazil that is being displaced by the 2014 World Cup. Staff traveled to Brazil to interview Fortaleza residents who might lose their homes to a new light rail train route, moving them away from the local hospital, market, and their neighbors.
Co-founder Nolan Morice has a prime desk near the stairwell, catching plenty of passersby on a regular basis.
“Maybe they are only here for a week, but they’ll see me editing something and say ‘Hey, you can do that,’“ Morice said.
ArtsHub members include the Permaculture Research Institute, which specializes in community-based organic food production; Rock Star Supply Company, a tutoring program; Advantage Labs, a consultant on web projects; and the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, which raises awareness of African American writers.
Council Member Meg Tuthill (10th Ward) said she loves the concept of dropping in to work for a day.
“I think it’s fabulous,” she said, praising the plentiful bike parking, car parking, natural light, and gallery. “I’m very impressed with it.”