Officials in Titusville are taking first steps towards creating a downtown arts-and-crafts incubator.
Deb Eckelberger of the Titusville Community Development Agencies (TCDA) describes the project as “a win-win…a way to fill a vacant downtown location and to showcase the wealth of talent in this area.”
A wide array of artists, crafters and artisans — jewelry makers, photographers, alpaca wool providers, spinners of yarn, handmade soap providers, wood crafters, maple syrup makers, bead and glass artists and more — have expressed interest in taking space at the former Angeli Winery Store.
The approximately 3,000 square foot space would house microbusinesses, giving the vendors a year-round retail presence, and freeing them from reliance on holiday and craft show sales. The incubator could also leverage the reuse of an adjacent, one-time restaurant.
“The two locations could work well together,” says Eckelberger.
Establishing the incubator is a true team effort. Titusville Redevelopment Authority (TRA), TCDA’s economic development arm, owns the building.
“We are uniquely positioned to work together with the artisans and crafters, the City of Titusville, local community organizations — Titusville Industrial Fund Inc., Titusville Council on the Arts, Titusville Chamber of Commerce and Titusville Renaissance Inc. — and with our Northwest Partnership for Regional Economic Performance partners,” explains Eckelberger.
In addition, TCDA is working with the Gannon Small Business Development Center to provide business support services to the vendors.
Source: Deb Eckelberger, TCDA
Writer: Elise Vider