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East Side Arts Incubator Feasibility Study, Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Business Improvement District #20, representing businesses and residents on the city’s East Side, were awarded at state grant to determine the feasibility of developing an incubator for artists and arts businesses in a neighborhood where rapidly rising real estate costs are precluding artists from maintaining studios. The project developed with two focuses: a market study and a stakeholder involvement program to determine facility and programming needs.

Bay Ridge Consulting led the study process by:

  • Conducting a market analysis detailing local conditions for artists and art businesses and series of case studies into successful arts incubator programs elsewhere in the country.

  • Developed a large steering committee – comprised of artists, businesspeople, neighbors, institutions and elected officials’ representatives –  to oversee the project and evaluate the results of the market analysis and public participation.

  • Facilitated a focus group of emerging artists and a public open house to generate data and build consensus on the facility and program needs that an incubator could provide.

  • Developed, fielded and analyzed a survey of artists, businesspeople and other stakeholders and completed a basic real estate analysis to determine potential locations for an incubator facility within the boundaries of the Business Improvement District.

By engaging a spectrum of stakeholders with Bay Ridge Consulting helped create a plan for an arts incubator on the East Side of Milwaukee that could garner broad support from the city’s arts community and its neighbors.

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