What is Alt Space?
Objectively, Alt Space is plan for use of a 3200 square foot stone-clad house in Detroit, Michigan as an incubator for grass-roots level sustainability projects focused on food, the environment and community-building.
Who owns the house?
Lead Artists Reg Flowers holds the deed for the house which was purchased from a foreclosure.
Where in Detroit is it?
The house is on the lower east side, less than a half mile from Belle Isle (Park).
Is Alt Space a not for profit?
Alt Space is a project that invites participants from the grass-roots social justice community and neighborhood residents to work collectively to discover affordable and more sustainable ways to live. The project was conceived by Lead Artists Reg Flowers.
Is Alt Space a corporate entity (sole-proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp, etc.)?
No. Alt Space is a project headed by Lead Artist Reg Flowers who brings his organizer, worker-cooperative developer and 20 years as director of a not-for-profit. Reg is also an award-winning theater artist.
Whose project is it? Who is in charge of the project?
The project operates under the guidance of Reg Flowers with other contributors including The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center for Nurturing Community Leadership and GrapeSeedDetroit.
How is the project funded?
Much of the project expenses have been covered by the owner (financed by personal loans), however there have been several crowdfunding campaigns which collectively have raised approximately $10,000 to date.
What do you mean by “project”? What are some examples?
Currently Alt Space is exploring urban agriculture (including incubating a grape-growers cooperative). The space is also being developed as a cooperatively-run bed and breakfast, a reading room (complete with library) and community gathering space.
How are projects selected for incubation?
Most projects currently under consideration have come through association with the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center for Nurturing Community Leadership (the alternative housing component was originally suggested by Grace Lee Boggs). Lead Artist Reg Flowers is proposing this rubric for future projects.
How do you define social justice?
Social justice is fair access to the resources and relationships that produce and reproduce power. Power is the ability to cause or prevent an action, make things happen with the discretion to act or not act.
How do I get involved?
The best way to get involved with Alt Space is as a volunteer. Please see Getting Involved to learn requirements.
Can people visit Alt Space?
What condition is the house in?
The house has been top to bottom broom-cleaned and all the effected surfaces washed down with TSP (learn about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trisodium_phosphate). The back of the house was most badly burned and had repairs done by a design/build firm. Additional repairs were completed by local professionals. The house is still and active construction zone. Visitors (including volunteers) are ask to sign waivers.
Is the neighborhood safe?
Alt Space is located in a community that has experienced disinvestment for quite some time. Many of the buildings on the street have been demolished and the Alt Space building is one of few that remain standing. The neighborhood can feel very abandoned and security is as much a concern as may be expected in an urban environment. Try doing some research on-line using a site link Trip Adviser or reading news articles like this one by CNN.
Can I invest in Alt Space?
Reg Flowers accepts support for the project (visit our GoFundMe). Contributions can be made through a fiscal conduit if a tax-deduction is required. Otherwise, community members can invest sweat equity through labor after being formally accepted as a partner (visit the contact page to send us your inquiries).
Can I rent Alt Space for my event?
Send your inquiry via the contact page. A private rental would require lessee to have insurance naming the project and agents as additionally insured.
What are the rates?
Unless it proves unsustainable, Alt Space will practice gift economics intending that people will contribute what they can based on the worth of the experience as a gift to the next visitor who will have use of the space based on another’s generosity.
Do I have to be vegan to be part of the project?
Alt Space includes vegan principles as part of the sustainability model. As a vegan space the use of all animal products are discouraged. The consumption, preparation and storage of animal food products are not allowed inside of the main facility, nor should food service items (plates, cups, utensils, etc.) be used for animal products. In special cases and for community gatherings and potlucks, individuals may bring their own food products that do not adhere to these principles provided they bring their own cooking and serving supplies.
What if my question is not answered?
Contact Reg Flowers using the contact page. you can also call (978) 842-1739, although e-mail will likely reach someone faster.