The Company

A membership-based mixed-use creative space
Writeup by Ivan

As a project we’re working toward, this page details our current and best ideas on how to approach this, but we’re looking for input and interest and help, so if you find this interesting, or know of people who would find this interesting, or have some good resources to point us to, we’d love to hear it. For an extensive background of this idea, see here.

The Company is a concept for a membership-based mixed-use creative space in a city. The primary goal is to provide a third space where people can meet and gather and create, after work and before home. The most basic elements would include a sitting area, a maker space, a performance space, a gallery, and a library (the scale of any which can change as it grows, and may overlap at times). Together with regular programming and events, these elements would help create the kind of atmosphere where community can form through repeated, unplanned interactions with a kindred crowd. Ultimately, the goal is for The Company to become the kind of place that makes someone want to move to or stay in a city or neighborhood; to foster a cherished community.


Participation in the Company could take a few forms. Someone could be a “guest”, popping in for events and classes and a là carte use of the space; someone could be a “regular”, frequenting the space and having greater access to its use; someone could be a “member”, contributing some amount of their creative output toward things that grow or serve the community, or volunteering to organize events, teach classes, or manage particular areas of the organization; and finally, someone could be an “owner” (or “investor”) who participates in the running of the business.

The purpose of this segmentation is to create a semi-permeable community, where people can chose how involved they are, and receive the appropriate benefits. This is also intended to help avoid the tragedy of the commons, as well as a purely customer/business relationship with The Company.

An extension of our personal intent to “create things around community”, membership and ownership in The Company would be based around particular expressions of this intent. Attaching specific expressions can help avoid disagreements about the best way to live out these values, because the community will be formed around the predetermined practices.

Instead of joining “a creative community”, members would be joining “a group of people that helps build community through creative output”. If you’re simply interested in studio space, or access to shared resources, that’s okay! You can be a “regular”.


Because the five basic elements (sitting area, maker space, performance space, gallery, library) are scalable, The Company could begin with a short-term lease of almost any small, commercial, accessible space. If it grows, and is viable, it could move on to a bigger space. Owning a space seems preferable, but might only make sense in the right conditions.

Next Steps

  • Talk to people who resonate with this and get their input
  • Visit analogous spaces in Denver and learn about their business model

    • Examples

      • Art Gym
      • Event Spaces
      • Art Students League
      • InterOcean Studio
      • Denver Athletic Club
      • Rec Centers
      • Matter
  • Talk to the owners / developers of vacant spaces nearby
  • Begin building a list of potential members
  • Restart Moonlight
  • Talk to people at Creative Mornings
  • Look into event space rentals
  • Look into leases
  • Explore charging money for some of our events


  • Non-profit of for-profit? Co-op or not? Why?
  • How should we acquire equipment and media and tools?
  • How would the space be managed?
  • How should membership be structured?
  • How would we make this financially sustainable?
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