Arts Desk

Seek and You Shall Find: DC Space Finder Launches

Yeah, finding space to make and present art in this city can be a bitch. Ahem. Cough. Guh.

DC Space Finder, a Web tool managed by D.C.'s Cultural Development Corporation and coded by the New York nonprofit Fractured Atlas, hopes to give the local itinerant artist a hand. The website launched Monday, and contains a searchable database of arts and performance spaces in the D.C. area that are available to be rented.

Want to stage, say, some experimental theater? You can narrow your search by discipline ("theatre"), purpose ("performances"), geography, venue size, flooring ("nonsprung wood"), physical features, accessibility, and so on. All of which makes the Space Finder a lot more useful than word of mouth or Craigslist.

The database currently contains 59 arts spaces from across the region, which the Cultural Development Corporation sought out individually before the website went online. "We didn’t want to launch it until it was populated," says Anne L. Corbett, the nonprofit's executive director. "Hopefully, now that it’s public the inventory will grow organically, virally." Organizations with available space can join the database for free here.

The project received a $20,000 ArtPlace grant through D.C.'s Office of Planning, which will go toward outreach, marketing, and additional search-engine tools.

Right now, the Space Finder will mostly benefit folks in the performing arts—the interface, as conceived by Fractured Atlas, covers theater, dance, music, and events. But Corbett says that Cultural Development Corporation wants to add workspace—say, for visual artists—as well as resources for filmmakers to the database in the future. There are similar sites using Fractured Atlas' code in at least five other cities.

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