This is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for artists looking for assistance with renting, buying property, commercial real estate, home ownership or emergency housing issues in Minnesota.
This is not a comprehensive list and is intended for reference only. It is not an endorsement of these services or organizations.
STUDIO AND COMMERCIAL
I need a dedicated studio space. Where should I look?
If you're in the Twin Cities, a good place to begin is our guide to studio spaces and live/work spaces. We update it every few months, so listings should be generally up-to-date. Some of the live-work spaces serve artists earning lower incomes, and many require applications. Some listings, such as makerspaces and co-working spaces, may require memberships.
For better or worse, many artists find spaces through word-of-mouth networks. Start with your fellow artists, friends, neighbors and family to let them know you're actively in the market for space, and to find out what they may know about. Aside from studio buildings, there may also be warehouses, commercial spaces, garages, basements and other off-the-grid options that aren't necessarily available to the general public, but may be available to a referral from a trusted source.
If you have sense for where you'd like a studio, try the neighborhood association. For example, here are links to all 87 Minneapolis neighborhood associations. Often some of the larger neighborhood associations will have a dedicated economic development staff person, but even smaller ones will generally have the best sense for what real estate opportunities are currently in the neighborhood. At the very least, they may have the best sense for parts of the neighborhood you'll be likely to find vacancies by walking or driving block-to-block, or looking on Craigslist. You may find that some neighborhood-focused groups like the Creative Enterprise Zone in St. Paul will even have specific programs for renting or developing creative space in their areas.
What if I need a studio space, but I’d rather split the costs with some other artists?
Please check back!
I’m ready to sign a lease. Is there someone at Springboard I can talk to first?
Yes, we have a number of real estate and business law attorneys through our Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts program who can provide free half-hour phone consultations to get your questions answered. You can request a consultation here.
Please note that attorneys may not be able to write or review leases as part of the free phone consultations. They will be able to answer general questions about your lease, though be aware that the attorney may have to review the document via email or in person, which may involve a fee.
Where can I find liability insurance for my space?
Our insurance guide provides information regarding liability, event, and business insurance for artists. There are countless different coverage plans and insurance types, but this page is a good place to begin the process of researching the unique coverage that you may choose to purchase.
I’m having a dispute with my commercial landlord or tenant. Where can I find assistance?
Mediation may be a solution. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which an impartial third party – the mediator – facilitates negotiation among the parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable settlement, especially in real estate and tenant/landlord situations. Mediation services provided by our partners include mediation for 2 or more parties, or a Conflict Coaching session with one party to prepare for a difficult conversation.
If your dispute is directly related to your arts or creative business (i.e., a studio lease, an eviction from a commercial space, etc.), Springboard may be able to provide mediation services at no charge. Please read more here.
I’m having a dispute with my residential landlord or tenant. Where can I find assistance?
HOME Line is a good first step to get information and resources on tenant rights. They provide free and low-cost legal, organizing, education, and advocacy services so that tenants throughout Minnesota can solve their own rental housing problems. For free assistance, dial 612-728-5767 or toll-free from Greater Minnesota at 866-866-3546.
I’d like to live with another artist as a roommate. Where do I search for something like that?
We're working on this section now. Please check back!
I’m interested in buying a house. Where do I begin?
Springboard for the Arts and the Minnesota Homeownership Center created this 20-page PDF outlining the home-buying process. Downloadable as a PDF. You can see it here.
The Minnesota Homeownership Center also has resources for potential homeowners, homebuyers and communities to make smarter choices through their research of the housing market and resources for professionals and homeowners.
How can I figure out how much I can afford to pay for rent or mortgage?
Please check back!
I’d like to form a cooperative living situation for me and some colleagues. Where can I find resources to help set something like this up?
Please check back!
I need a place to stay tonight and don’t have anywhere to go. Where do I look?
You can consult the Handbook of the Streets, Minneapolis and St. Paul, a comprehensive listing of emergency resources and assistance programs. It's available for free as a PDF by clicking the link. Physical copies of this resource for people experiencing homelessness are available free to people in need. People experiencing homelessness may get a free copy by coming to St. Stephen's Human Services (2309 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis 55404, 8:30AM-4PM Mon-Fri)
Here are some other emergency housing resources:
–Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative: Beacon is an interfaith collaborative of congregations committed to ending homelessness that offers housing and emergency services for families and individuals.
–Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis: Catholic Charities provides shelter, meals, and the opportunity to find a job, secure a stable home and medical care for those who need it through their multiple resource, emergency, and housing centers. For immediate assistance, call 651-291-0211.
–Crisis Housing: MN Housing Partnership offers a flexible pool of money that provides short-term housing assistance to persons with a serious and persistent mental illness whose income is being used to pay for an inpatient psychiatric treatment of 90 days or less.
–United Way 2-1-1: United Way 2-1-1 is free referral line offering information about food, housing, employment, childcare, transportation, health services, senior services and more. United Way 2-1-1 may also have staff available to speak Hmong, Russian, Somali, and Spanish.
Where can I get involved with the fight for housing justice in Minnesota?
Please check back!