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City looking to grow arts district in downtown Wichita

City looking to grow arts district in downtown Wichita

By George Lawson. CREATED Oct 25, 2013

The City of Wichita is looking for ways to grow an arts district in an area on the south edge of downtown.  

The Wichita City Council received the results of a study by the Minneapolis consulting firm Artspace Projects. The study focuses on Commerce Street between Waterman and Kellogg. 

The study says Commerce Street is different from the other arts districts of Delano, Old Town and the Douglas Design District. Some arts-related businesses and galleries have already located there, giving it the feel of an arts district even though it hasn't been formally designated as one.  

City Arts Director John D'Angelo says Commerce Street is grittier, less commercial and less dependent on bars, restaurants or gift shops. He says the area is looking to appeal to a sophisticated art audience that is not put off by its rough edges.  

The city council is looking for more information on possible incentives and development policies that would encourage the growth of more arts-related businesses along Commerce Street.

D'Angelo is also recommending the city invite Artspace Projects back for preliminary work to look at the feasibility of a mixed-use artist housing project in Wichita.