Artspace to celebrate 30 years of work

After 30 years of deliberately maintaining a low profile, Minneapolis-based Artspace will celebrate its work with an event at the Cowles Center on Monday night.

The organization tries to combat the so-called Soho effect, in which artists help revitalize an area but then must move when rents become too expensive. Artspace owns, develops and manages buildings where artists can live and work without fear of being forced out.

The organization's work on three buildings in St. Paul's Lowertown is an example of how such projects can strengthen a neighborhood, said Artspace Vice President Melodie Bahan.

"We have replicated that model throughout the country with 32 properties, so we are really proud of that," she said.

The organization has worked quietly for years, Bahan said, and now "decided it's time to take a breath and really celebrate."

Monday's event will include performances by the Native Pride Dancers and by the StepKids, a band that lives in an Artspace building in Connecticut. The event is free, but tickets must be reserved through the Artspace website or the Cowles box office.

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