Childers Street Studios Pilot: Understanding the Value of Artists’ Studios

Additional Team Members - Jessica Ferm

The project focuses on one of Acme’s studio buildings, Childers Street, which has been occupied as artists’ studios for the past three decades and offers a rich source of insight. Together with existing knowledge and new primary research carried out in a case study in East London, the study uses this evidence to set out the importance of affordable artists’ studios for both artists and the local community where those are located.

The study responds to this challenge, bringing together a review of previous literature and new primary research involving participant observation and 20 in-depth interviews with artists engaged in day-to-day practice on site, to develop a grounded assessment of value from the artists’ perspective. It aims to (i) provide insight into how long-term, secure and affordable artist studios bring value to artists and their surrounding community; (ii) develop a novel, grounded notion of the various aspects of value, centred on artists’ lived experiences, which can inform a new evaluation methodology or toolkit; and (iii) inform advocacy, policy decisions, and planning.

The report makes a case for greater policy priority, investment and intervention in London’s artists’ studios, arguing that, despite a policy focus on creative and cultural industries, the particular challenges and requirements of artists’ studio providers in ensuring the long-term sustainability of studios in the capital, have not been adequately acknowledged.