Theatrical Design, Graphic Design, Photography and More
by Brion Shreffler
“Across everything that we’re doing, there’s the idea of a sharing of resources,” Associate Director Liz Sytsma says. As a nonprofit, CultureWorks acts as a management commons for organizations, projects or individuals working in the arts, heritage or preservation sectors. It handles everything from insurance to bookkeeping, legal support, project management and payroll—aspects of business that artists often shy away from—while offering co-working space. Plans are in place to take the model across the country.
Membership rates: From $20 per day for a shared workspace (no conference room access) to $350 per month for unlimited access
“CultureWorks is full of dynamic artists… They have great events and artwork as well.”
– Lovella Calica, Warrior Writers
2. Gravy Studio & Gallery
Gravy was built by photographers, for photographers, and member Eric Ashleigh says it’s all within the context of vanishing galleries. It puts a collaborative workspace, studio, a recent pop-up shop and—more recently—a dark room at the disposal of budding or seasoned photographers. Aside from providing a physical space to contrast with the digital realm (i.e. Instagram), Gravy partners photographers for projects with local businesses and restaurants on North 2nd Street in Northern Liberties.
Membership rates: Customizable at $100 to $250 per month
3. The Philadelphia Design Center
Situated in the old fellowship hall of a church in Grays Ferry, The Philadelphia Design Center provides critical support for emerging theatrical designers and the wider design community. Expensive hardware—sewing machines, steamers, a custom-made cutting table and more—is on hand in its costume/textile shop. The computer lab offers nascent designers access to much-needed and equally pricey software. A lounge and conference area renders coffee shop meetings a thing of the past.
Membership rates: Month-to-month ranges from $25 to $150; one time only, six-month discount pricing ranges from $60 to $105 per month
“I like being able to have meetings there instead of at a coffee shop or my house.”
– Joshua Schulman, lighting designer