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Your Story Made Here: Wunderkammer

December 16th, 2014

News Coverage:

Your Story Made Here: Wunderkammer

By Melissa Long- 21Alive

December 17, 2014 Updated Dec 17, 2014 at 3:02 PM EST

Dan Swartz always wanted to buy a building and create a new use for it and he has done that with Wunderkammer, a not for profit, contemporary Art space.

The old Casa D'Angelo flagship restaurant on Fairfield had been sitting empty after the business moved out, but Dan saw potential in the structure.

Dan says:" "Basically it's meant to be a space for all the arts. So during the day it's a gallery and you see art on the walls. But we also work with musicians. We've done two theatrical performances, we work with dancers, writers."

Armed with experience in Art and Economic Development and a desire to use Art to bridge gaps between socioeconomic classes, Dan is reaching out to his neighborhood in the 46807 zip code in new ways.

Dan says," I'm trying to keep a really fine eye on our mission, which is revitalizing communities through contemporary art so usually our programming has that broken down into two parts, which is working with the arts somehow and working with the community somehow."

Wunderkammer saw 15 thousand people through the door in it's first full year and more than 21 thousand so far this year. Neighbors gathered at an exhibit opening and holiday open house held last Friday.

Andrew Hoffman says, "I really approve of what Dan is trying to do here. Reaching out to the community through the arts and I am here to support him."

Theresa Thompson says:" I think the space is great. It's one of may favorite galleries in town."

In addition to these types of events, Swartz is pushing out into the community with something called the " Creative Census", which is the first large study of our creative economy. An online survey seeks to map the number of people working in creative fields, such as art, advertising, radio, tv, graphic and web design, even computer aided manufacturing. It's a yearlong study.
It's a fact that the arts and a growing economy intersect in very real ways.

Dan says:"Intuitively, if you just look at cities that are growing, they have a large focus on their Arts."

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