September 30, 2016

Sugar Space: An Outlet for Local Artists

Sugar House sugar space utah

The Gallery at Sugar Space located at 616 Wilmington Avenue

Brittany Reese, owner of Sugar House’s Sugar Space calls her business an “incubator” where artists of all kinds can find a venue to see their artistic vision through to reality.

After receiving her BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Brittany realized there was a severe lack of venues where local artists could transition from university students into professional artists. She wanted to provide the community a versatile space which could be rented hourly for events, shows, rehearsals, gallery strolls, or anything that required a creative performing or auditorium space.

One year after returning from New York, Brittany purchased a space at 616 Wilmington Avenue in Sugar House and dubbed it the Sugar Space.

 2,500 square feet of flexible studio space for the community’s benefit.

Brittany had the space transformed into a dance hall complete with sprung dance floor, walls of mirrors, and an integrated sound system. Her funding initially consisted of simply putting everything on a credit card, but Sugar Space held their first ever fundraiser last October. Though it took some time to get momentum going, Brittany found that by incorporating other artists’ visions into her building she could tailor the space to accommodate a variety of performing artists.

When Julianna Hane came to Brittany with the idea to start an aerial group, the ceiling was fitted for the proper anchors to install silks needed to perform aerial moves while dangling from the ceiling. Julianna soon began teaching aerial classes under the name Revolve Aerial Dance (RAD). The popularity of her classes grew until RAD was taking up almost all of the Sugar Space’s rental spots. When Julianna relocated to the east coast she sold RAD to two of her students who now operate out of their own location under the name Aerial Arts of Utah, teaching multiple classes in all different skill levels and also putting on public and private performances around Utah.

Later, a husband and wife team approached Brittany about starting a theater company in Sugar Space. Jared and Tiffany Greathouse began the Hive Theatre Company and offer public performances. Eventually they hope to afford their own theater venue, but until then, Sugar Space has allowed them to incubate their vision.

Sugar Space provides similar opportunities to anyone who has a vision they wish to carry out. Multiple classes are held at the Sugar Space, including yoga, theater, and various forms of dance. Musicians can hold shows there, visual artists can place their work in the gallery space at the front, and authors can hold book signings. Besides these ambitious events, one can also rent the space for a birthday party or business meeting. The Sugar Space is occupied nearly 100% of the time and is booked out for a full year, opening at 7:30 am and sometimes closing as late as 2 am. What is truly amazing about the Sugar Space’s ability to stay open for so long and to offer so many different possibilities for clients is that it is a business essentially run by one person, the only official employee: founder Brittany Reese.
For more information, visit www.thesugarspace.com.