Arts in Sacred Places is Partners’ celebrated shared-space program that pairs small to mid size arts organizations and independent artists seeking rehearsal and performance space with congregations who have extra space to offer and are seeking a productive cultural partnership. Research we have done in early 2011 shows that overall, there is enormous potential for sustainable, robust partnerships between the arts/creative industries and sacred places. Struggling congregations gain new revenue from arts groups, and arts groups gain stable homes, permitting them to focus more time and energy on their artistic endeavors. Significantly, this approach helps the arts gain back priceless amounts of creative time previously lost in the constant hunt for venues.
Partners is now developing and offering the following services to arts and faith leaders:
- A substantive training program that helps leaders discover their mission compatibility, understand and manage the adaptive reuse of space, and develop space in a way that advances community development. The training includes a Manual of Best Practices for the creation of arts and sacred places partnerships.
- Facilitation and negotiation/management of partnerships between congregations and arts groups. Partners has already had its first success with the Off-Broad Theatre Consortium and First Baptist Church, and is now working with a consortium of dance groups and historic Shiloh Baptist Church. The development of a database of available sacred places for reuse, as well arts organizations with a need for space.
- The establishment of small start-up capital and discovery grants to support the development of new partnerships.