Michael Bushnell

The Arts Asylum, originally housed in the old Calvary Baptist Church at 9th and Harrison in the Paseo West neighborhood, has recently launched a Northeast Arts Survey as a way for residents to “influence public arts activities, programs and investments in their neighborhoods”.

The Arts Asylum was founded in 2011 to create studio space and assist artists in all mediums. During the decade Arts Asylum was at the over century old church facility, the organization housed over ninety artists in their studio program and hosted hundreds of arts events prior to its move to the A to Z Theatrical Campus at 824 E. Meyer Boulevard in 2021.

The Northeast Arts Survey was created largely by local artists in the Historic Northeast community, in collaboration with the Arts Asylum, to take stock of current public art projects in Northeast, and act as a guide for neighborhood organizations and community stakeholders in the funding of future projects and art investments.

The whole purpose of the survey, according to Evie Craig, Executive Director of The Arts Asylum, is to engage with residents that don’t necessarily identify with a specific neighborhood organization. “Neighborhood Associations sometimes don’t speak for the larger community,” Craig said. “Those are the voices we want to hear on this survey.”

Organizers have taken surveys in both English and Spanish but they also want to hear from stakeholders and residents from the refugee community, those from Somalia, Burma or Sudan, populations that often are seen as non-participatory. “Those communities deserve a voice in the decision too,” Craig added. “They live here too and many times they’re members of the business community but they don’t think they have a voice. We’d like to make sure they’re heard as part of this project,” Craig stated

Craig sat down with Northeast News Managing Editor Abby Hoover for a podcast interview back in May and laid much of the groundwork for the survey. The actual “boots on the ground” part of the initiative is happening now and continues through April. After that, results will be tabulated and reviewed by a panel of community stakeholders who will work with the community at large on what kind of art installation the community wants. 

The impact area in terms of the grant funding is roughly the same area as the Paseo Gateway Project that is bounded roughly by 23rd street on the south, Cliff Drive on the north, Troost Ave on the west and Belmont Blvd on the east.

To listen to last year’s podcast, visit: https://northeastnews.net/pages/291-northeast-public-art-survey/.

 The survey is available online at: http://www.theartsasylum.org/ne-arts-survey. Survey responses are anonymous.

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