We empathize with the challenge in finding affordable space. It's a huge part of why Fractured Atlas maintains SpaceFinder as a subsidized service. It is also why we work with venues and encourage them to be transparent about their rates on SpaceFinder so you can search based on your hourly, weekly or monthly space budget. Above and beyond searching by rate, here are some savvy ways to reduce your costs:
Tips specific to finding affordable space using SpaceFinder:
1. Search by Square Footage or Capacity
Venues who choose NOT add their rates to their listings don't show up in your search results by rate. However most intimate spaces are often also the most affordable. If you search for space by 'Square Footage' or 'Capacity' this can be a good way to find more affordable spaces.
2. Use Keyword Search to find Alternative Spaces
All the world is a stage and Fractured Atlas is purposely inclusive of all sorts of spaces in SpaceFinder. Theatres, concert halls, museums, and dance studios are listed along with churches, libraries, cafes, rooftops, retail stores, comedy clubs, historic homes, community centers, and other places open to creative activity happening in their space. Sometimes being open to alternative spaces can save you money, sometimes not - but worth a look at what is out there. Using keyword search is a good way to quickly explore alternative spaces.
3. Search by Alternative Payment (Barter, Work Study, FREE)
You can discover spaces willing to exchange something other than money for use of their space by using the SpaceFinder search filters for Barter, Work Study and FREE.
Tips for finding affordable space beyond SpaceFinder
1. Qualify for Non-Profit Rates
Many venues offer a lower rental rate to non-profits. Did you know fiscally sponsored projects are also eligible for non-profit rates? Venues are often willing to extend non-profit rates as long as you provide a letter from your fiscal sponsor confirming you are a charitable project.
If you are fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, we are happy to write venue letters so you can qualify for non-profit rental rates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are fiscally sponsored by an organization other than Fractured Atlas, see if they offer the same service, they likely do and it doesn't hurt to ask.
2. Ask venue about subsidized rates
The cost to run a space is often higher than what artists can pay to use it. Certain funders have recognized this problem and stepped up with resources so a more affordable rate can be charged to artists. This is often referred to as a "subsidized" rental rate. Qualifications vary by venue - in some cases an application is required, and in others all that is required is your use of the space fall within certain parameters. Venues often have a limited number of subsidized hours each year, so be an informed consumer: inquire if a venue offers subsidized rates and how you can participate.
3. Offer Venue a Longer Commitment
Many venues are willing to consider a lower rate if a space will be rented consistently over a longer period of time. It never hurts to ask or negotiate.
4. Offer to Pay Venue Up Front
Sometimes being willing to pay up front helps a venue with cashflow in a way that is worth coming down on the rate a bit.
5. Don't Overpay on Event Insurance
Some venues require "proof of liability insurance" in order for you to rent their space. If you get insurance from a company that doesn't really understand the risks of a creative project, you could be overpaying.
Here's to securing space that fits your projects budget!