Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Affordable art space opening in Ypsi

7. February 2005 • Murph
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The A2 News notes the opening of Depot Town Art Studios, which hopes to provide space for the people displaced by the closing of the Ann Arbor Tech Center and the 555 Studio.

Mike Marino and Jacob Casteel are opening the 10,000-square-foot former machine shop under its new name: Depot Town Art Studios.
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“I would like to assist some of these people in creating their dreams,” he said.

To achieve that goal, Marino and Casteel know they have to keep their studio affordable and are working on setting it up as a nonprofit organization.

“We’ve decided, hey, why don’t we just do this thing of the people, for the people? Do it for the right reasons,” Casteel said. “It’s not about making money, it’s about creating culture in Ypsilanti.”

Space is expected to rent for around half of what similar space in Ann Arbor would go for, and with an added cultural benefit:

“A lot of artists have moved to Ypsilanti because it’s much more supportive than Ann Arbor,” said Akasha Fluegge, a local artist involved in painting, photography and dance. “Ann Arbor is a lot more competitive. People guard their secrets, whereas in Ypsilanti they share. I think the working class solidarity of Ypsilanti translates into how the artists behave.”