SALTQuarters aims to generate a creative hub for artistic endeavors that engage with the Near Westside community. SALTQuarters houses an Artist-in-Residence program which aims to create public artwork within the Near Westside neighborhood as well as a flexible gallery space, host to varied types of events related to the arts.
The Near Westside Initiative and the SALT District
The Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), a 501c3 not for profit organization, was formed in 2006 to combine the power of art, technology and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse, New York’s Near Westside. To do so, the SALT District (Syracuse, Art, Literacy, and Technology) was established as a place where diverse cultures converge and thrive as they partner to revitalize a once thriving neighborhood that has experienced several decades of decline and disinvestment. Today, fueled by interdisciplinary scholarship, international connections, and the seed capital and commitment of Syracuse University and sustained by the residents, businesses, foundations, and the local government of Syracuse, the SALT District is quickly becoming a bourgeoning community, with the arts acting as the main catalyst.
After six years of work, the NWSI has made significant strides in bringing its vision to fruition. The NWSI has leveraged $70 million in new capital investment and attracted 337 full time jobs to a neighborhood that had seen no new investment for decades. In addition 60 homes have been built or rehabilitated and 45 Syracuse University faculty members and 808 students have been engaged in the effort. $3.3 million in green infrastructure has been invested in the neighborhood including some of the first “green” basketball courts in Upstate NY, residential street reconstruction and green roofs. The neighborhood is now home to four LEED Platinum structures including three green homes built as a result of a national design competition and featured in DWELL magazine. The NWSI’s first warehouse renovation, the Lincoln Building, is now home to La Casita, the city’s first Latino Cultural Center and ten, fully occupied artist work/live lofts. ProLiteracy International, the largest literacy organization in the world recently moved their headquarters to a portion of the NWSI’s second warehouse reconstruction project, the 100 year old Case Supply Building. WCNY, the regions public broadcasting station will occupy its new 55,000 square foot, state-of-the-art multi-state broadcast center and education facility in the Case warehouse in May, 2013. A community of artists and innovators are becoming property owners within a cluster of renovated warehouses and new structures centering in-and-around West and Wyoming Streets, creating a link between the Near Westside and downtown Syracuse, New York. The NWSI, through all of this community engagement and economic development, is creating jobs, home ownership opportunities, and beautiful public spaces for the people who live in the neighborhood.