The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities plans to offer shared workspace in downtown New Orleans for professionals in the cultural sector to work together.
It’s the latest offering in a growing number of shared office space arrangements that have cropped up locally in recent years. Unlike other options, such as Launch Pad and the Propeller Incubator, LEH is billing its Culture-Up Incubator as the first of its kind dedicated to cultural innovators.
Potential tenants could include artists, filmmakers or authors who are working on a project focused on Louisiana’s heritage or culture.
The workspace, set up in an open-floor design, is accessible for 12 hours daily at the nonprofit’s historic Turners’ Hall building, 938 Lafayette St.
LEH has two options for renting the space. For $250 per month, membership in the incubator includes one workspace that features a large desk, a lockable storage drawer and a chair. For $450 per month, it includes two large desks, two drawers and two chairs. So far, there’s space for six desks, and a few more may still be added.
Both options also offer use of wireless Internet; a fax and copy machine; a mailing address; and access to common spaces and small conference rooms. Membership also includes access to two conference rooms, a kitchen and overnight storage space.
Shantrell Austin, LEH’s director of operations, said the historic building — designed in 1868 and owned by the nonprofit since 2000 — is located in “what’s now an up-and-coming area of the city,” within walking distance of retail, dining and entertainment options.
LEH will use some unused space near its offices on the building’s third floor for the incubator, which targets professionals who share the nonprofit’s mission of supporting Louisiana’s cultural heritage.
As the nonprofit’s state funding has waned in recent years, it has had less grant money to give out. Now, through the incubator, LEH officials hope to fill that void by partnering “more effectively with people that we used to fund more vigorously,” Austin said.
In addition to the physical amenities, Austin said tenants will have the opportunity to collaborate with LEH staff, who could help them through processes that the nonprofit has experience handling, like planning festivals and events or helping connect tenants with other professionals or resources they may need for their work.
“We will be integrated and available to talk about the work that they’re doing and find out if there are ways in which we can an offer support,” she said.
Both for-profit and nonprofit groups are eligible to apply for membership, as well as individuals in the cultural sector.
For more information, visit www.leh.org.
Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.