DEARBORN — Artspace, the national arts nonprofit developer, and four partners recently celebrated the development of the City Hall Artspace Lofts in Dearborn. On Nov. 13 they announced a new Arts & Technology Learning Lab inside the Connector building and memorialized a community leader, Russell J. Ebeid.
The William Davidson Foundation, a private family foundation, funded the build out of the Connector building, a bridge between historic City Hall and the west Annex to offer additional office space that will be leased in coming months as artists’ studios and commercial space for creative entrepreneurs and nonprofit arts organizations. The foundation honored Russell J. Ebeid, a trusted partner and long-time professional associate of William Davidson.
The event was a private reception for its partners to celebrate the new lab space and the arts hub growth within the building, including the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority office and the Arab American National Museum’s artist residency unit. The buildout of additional creative commercial spaces within the Connector will continue in coming months and be leased as studios to artists, and as commercial space for creative entrepreneurs and arts nonprofit organizations.
“They unveiled a plaque memorial as they were honoring Russell Ebeid,” said Dana Mattice, a grant writer and communications specialist for Artspace. “There are already two active spaces within the connector. We’re so thrilled and excited.”
The Lab, which is funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Ovation television network and supported by Comcast, will be used by Pockets of Perceptions (POP) student design teams and artists who live and work in the City Hall and West Annex buildings on either side of the Connector.
“The vision for the Connector was always for it to be a space full of artists, arts-related programs for young people, non-profits arts organizations and creative enterprises— kind of a hub,” Mattice said. “So those side buildings are where artists will live and this middle building is a working, entrepreneurial-style space.
“POP does an annual project that brings together about a dozen students from different areas and they collaborate together on a public art project to the benefit of the community that will be installed somewhere in Dearborn,” she added.
Two POP-created works of art are located on the Dearborn Artspace campus.
According to a recent press release by Artspace, the Arts & Technology Learning Lab will be filled with technology equipment such as iPads, computers, software and a smart television to be utilized by City Hall Artspace Lofts artist residents and the Dearborn Community Fund’s POP student design team.
“Opened in 2016, the City Hall Artspace Lofts has already become an anchor arts institution for Dearborn,” said Kathleen Kvern, the senior vice president of national advancement at Artspace. “More than 50 artists and their families reside within the former city government offices, adding so much positive energy and creativity to the community. It is inspiring to see the promise of the Connector space coming to fruition with support from our amazing partners; and as more artists and arts organizations continue to find a place here, we anticipate an even greater impact on the vitality of Dearborn.”