The Artery

Creating a Visual and Performing Arts Center at the old Armory in Downtown Jacksonville.

Why We Need Your Help

We have realized that the key to successful funding of our project and gaining the approval of City Council will be the strength of our Business Plan. While we have put together a sound revenue plan, we haven’t been able to gain as much clarity about the capital cost to refurbish the Armory and convert it into our vision of a Visual and Performing Arts Center.

The nearly $10 million cost estimate the city provided to us is a combination of required maintenance and remodeling of the complete interior of the Armory. Our vision is less drastic. Getting professional architects involved to review the Armory and our conversion plans is the basis of developing a sound estimate of what the real capital costs will be to create the ARTery. This is what our Indiegogo campaign is all about.

Go to our Indiegogo campaign to help.

Having in depth studies of the facility, developing initial plans and providing design drawings will be extremely important for us to both understand accurate financing requirements and help people clearly see our vision.

Also join us at our
ARTery pARTy
August 7th 6-8 PM
Karpeles Manuscript Museum
101 W. 1st ST.
Tickets $10 in advance or at the door

Fund the Future

What are you really passionate about? What makes you get out of bed in the morning? For The ARTery team it is the image of a transformed and reimagined Armory, a historic landmark in downtown Jacksonville that once served as host for Duke Ellington, Janis Joplin, The Allman Brothers, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Dances, boxing matches, basketball games, and a host of community activities filled the space with the sights, sounds, and smells of life. Now padlocks are on the doors, a hole in the roof, mold in the basement, and a general sense of despair. Let’s not dwell on what could have been. Let’s focus on what CAN BE. This building belonged to the community and we are determined to give it back to them, but it will take your support.

Fund the Future

What do JAX2025, One Spark, Cultural Fusion, and similar community initiatives have in common? It’s all about collaboration. Folks, we can’t do this alone. You will make the difference and help us build a new Jacksonville at the corner of North Market and State.  Today we launched an Indiegogo campaign and our goal is $10,000. We have architects who are ready to draw up plans. We have 60 days to reach that goal and fund their work, but we want to reach that goal in 30. Can you help us? Every contribution makes a difference and all contributors will receive special thank you gifts. Lifetime membership. Original art work. Snazzy sticker. Mini djembe. Name on a donor wall. We have something for everyone, and the best part is that you can say that you were part of the history and future of The ARTery.

Share the link. Give. Make a difference. Thank you Jacksonville!

Fund the Future

Future Theater-ARTery JPG

Future theater and gallery at The ARTery

Visit our Facebook site or e-mail jeff@thearteryjax to receive this and other conceptual drawings of The ARTery!

A Great Week for The ARTery

It’s been a really great week. We have made contact with a local architectural firm and AIA (American Institute of Architects) and are working on a design competition for their Emerging Design Professionals to give us their ideas and cost estimates for the conversion of the armory.

We also finally received the cost breakdown study the city did for refurbishing the building. Now we at least know their estimates for each part of the project.

We had a very productive trip to the armory today. We measured and sketched all the rooms on the left wing, so we can complete the plans the city provided us. We also looked at all the space and divided it between the three partners and determined what will be available for use by other arts-centric non-profits.

We also came to the realization a couple of weeks ago during our discussions with LISC, that we’ll need to deal with the flooding issue sooner rather than later. One of the architect firms we talked to did this for the FSCJ building a couple of blocks down the road from the armory, so they have experience and should be able to give us good estimates. Dealing with flooding was the largest cost in the city’s repair estimate. Dealing with the flooding right from the beginning means that we can utilize the rooms that are ready to go as studios in the basement when we open. Later on we can use sweat equity for some of the less developed spaces.

The March Forward After One Spark

First, a huge thank you to all of our supporters who voted for The ARTery (#20145) at One Spark. We came in #4 in the art category and #12 overall with 998 votes, $1,639 raised through crowdfunding, and $80 in contributions (in addition to $150 donated on site) for a total of almost $1,900. See the full list of winners. While we did not reach our $10,000 total we are proud of  our accomplishments and excited about the road ahead. With 250,000 visitors to downtown Jacksonville for One Spark from April 9-13, 2014, the event was a tremendous success. Thanks to the entire One Spark team and over 1,600 volunteers for all of their hard work.

We love our volunteers who contributed many hours to work at 31 W. Adams Street and throughout One Spark including: Performers Academy students and parents, Art League students and instructors, Art Center Cooperative artists, and community volunteers. It was truly a team effort! Thousands of visitors streamed into our venue, joined our drum circles, asked terrific questions, observed our dancers, received a free pot from Josh, and headed home with a postcard, balloon, wrist band, or other piece of ARTery swag.

ARTery dance students

Performers Academy students promoting The ARTery at Ed Spark

Now we are in the process of revising our business plan and preparing to share that updated plan with the community and our City Council. We are very excited about the work of Groundwork Jacksonville and the ongoing support of the SPAR Council. We will need help and ideas from our supporters, artists, and organizations in the community. Please contact if you are interested in learning how you can be a part of the future of The ARTery. Engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. We welcome your feedback and ideas! Connect and collaborate with us! Thank you!

Final Day of One Spark

We’re entering the final stretch of One Spark. Stop by 31 W. Adams St. if you haven’t already to learn more about The ARTery. Thanks to everyone who has supported Project #20145 and helped us get into the top 5 for the art category yesterday. It has been an amazing festival and we have really enjoyed so many people who share our passion for the arts, education, and positive change in Jacksonville. Thanks to Josh; Noise Complaint; The Performers Academy parents, students, and dancers; the terrific volunteers at The Art Center Cooperative; The Art League and their Cosplay students; and the many other volunteers who tirelessly supported our work. Help us finish strong by voting #20145 and encouraging your friends to do the same. Register here if you haven’t already done so!

pottery wheel

Josh working at the pottery wheel.

Sparking Change in Jacksonville

whole crew

It is now Day 4 at One Spark and thousands of visitors from throughout the country and the world continue to gather in downtown Jacksonville to hear pitches from over 600 creators, sample our great food, visit our stores, and support innovation in our city. Some of the highlights of our day 3 included:

*Segment for video contest on First Coast News (Thanks Lew Turner!)

*One Spark’s largest drum circle at our booth

*Over 1,000 visitors to our booth at 31 W. Adams St. and many more picking up literature from our volunteers on the streets of Jacksonville

*Silk scarf making with the talented artists at The Art Center Cooperative

*Votes and contributions continuing to stream in for #20145

Vote #20145 and Tweet your creativity @thearteryjax!



One Spark is Here!

We just finished day two of One Spark. What a truly amazing event! There are so many fantastic creators sharing their ideas and we are very excited about continuing to connect with them and create new partnerships for the future ARTery. Hundreds of visitors streamed into The Art Center to ask terrific questions and share their time. Postcards, wrist bands, balloons, business cards, and lots of other collateral was exchanged.

Many have commented on social media that they wish downtown Jacksonville was like this every day. We say, “Why not?” Why can’t we have thriving nightlife, talented performers, innovators, artists, food trucks, and more throughout the year. Just imagine!

We must build the city we want! Now is the time to help make that happen with The ARTery. If you haven’t voted #20145 then make your way downtown and vote with your iPad, phone, laptop, or simply stop by a voting booth. Join the drum circle!

Drumming 1

Say hello to these guys at 31 W. Adams Street.

3 Guys

Contribute. Connect. Collaborate.

The Jacksonville Art Walk

The Jacksonville Art Walk may cause some confusion for anyone unfamiliar with Jacksonville, seeing as our huge city has the ability to project a very believable small town vibe. Jacksonville, despite being the largest city by area in the United States, is a very close knit city.  Weaving through the Art Walk booths set up downtown you may come to realize that everyone seems to know one another, or if not literally, there is an underlying understanding that is shared by all artists and art lovers alike. This sense of community is further reinforced by the cooperation among the population. You’d be hard pressed to find a store front without a One Spark poster in its window and many businesses have already opened their doors to the festivities allowing artisans to use their space to advertise and the city itself will happily close down streets and multiple blocks for the event.

The ARTery venue for One Spark is The Art Center (31 W. Adams St.) and during Art Walk it was teeming with people who wandered in out of curiosity and found themselves energized by the prospects of this project. A small table covered in handouts sits outside of a large room where people enter with a sense of interest and file out with a sense of purpose and excitement.

artery pic 2

The walls are covered in art created by local artists, and visitors begin to realize how connected they are to this idea; the people benefiting would be their neighbors, friends, or even themselves.  At the back of the room another table is set up covered with more handouts, a TV and a computer, and behind this are the displays. These displays show the vision of The ARTery. There are mock ups of floor plans and images of what the interior will look like upon completion. It is a competent and thorough exhibit providing those who see it with confidence; this is a plan that could work, this could really happen.

artery pic1

The ARTery booth will be open all of One Spark (April 9th-13th) and can be found at the Art Center Cooperative at 31 W. Adams Street. Stop by to ask questions about the project or to make a personal donation. And don’t forget to vote #20145!

Welcome to the ARTery blog!


Where art is inspired.

We’re kicking off our blog at April’s Art Walk in downtown Jacksonville! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the Art Center Cooperative location at 31 W. Adams Street.

What is The ARTery?

What a great question! Three Jacksonville nonprofit organizations have collaborated to turn Jacksonville’s Armory into an arts and performance center, similar to The Torpedo Factory of Alexandria, VA. Providing arts education opportunities, a dance stage and vocal performance space, studio and shared space, as well as rental and art show galleries, while opening its doors to complementary arts-centric non-profits, is the project goal.

This blog will be a place to find updates on the project, as well as art that inspires us! We will be searching Jacksonville for the most creative examples of art and how it affects our community, as well as stories of local artists and how a space like The ARTery might help them to realize their dreams.

Keep checking back for our updates and our upcoming post featuring One Spark and the creative minds we discover there!


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