Alison Ward Heinemeier
Founded in 2011 by Shane and Alison Heinemeier, Habitable Spaces is a Texas based 501c(3) community arts and agricultural project whose purpose is to create an integrated, mutually beneficial environment where artists and the rural community can take classes, learn and share ideas. We offer workshops and classes on sustainable farming, experimental building techniques, traditional craft, and fine art. In 2016 we began our first official artist-in-residence program.
Our Program & Kingsbury
Most opportunities for artists lie in urban areas, creating an exodus of artists from small towns and rural landscapes. By creating an artist residency program in the tiny town of Kingsbury, Texas, Habitable Spaces integrates contemporary artists into a rural community. Both artists and the local community are given the opportunity to participate in a dialogue that emphasizes engagement with art concepts in the rural community and landscape itself, asking artists to consider problems of drought, climate change and urban expansion in their proposed projects.
Our regular programming began with our annual Fall Harvest Festival in 2011. This festival now includes The Trading Post project, and the event was adopted as an official city festival of Kingsbury in 2015. We also have an annual Summer Solstice Film Festival that receives similar support from the local community.
Kingsbury is a recently incorporated city, and was formed in an effort to preserve our rural traditions from the urban expansion of nearby cities. It has a real need for events that will bring economic benefit to the area, as well as generate local revenue and attract visitors and investment. Our goal in all of the festivals, residencies, classes and workshops that we offer is to bring contemporary art forms to Kingsbury that will challenge traditional notions of art and create cultural tourism that will help local businesses, and generate new economic opportunity for our residents. Through its outreach and programming, Habitable Spaces has been strengthening the social, physical, and economic fabric of our community through arts and culture.