Sugar Space is a different place at different times, depending on who you are. You are just as likely to see dancers rehearsing for a performance as you are to see comedians practice, or a tap dance class, or an innovative visual arts showing. Sugar Space, in its Wilmington location, and now in its new expansion into a second site in the river district (1300 South 800 West), is a home for emerging artists and independent art communities. Almost any discipline of art could potentially find a home at Sugar Space.
The original Sugar House space opened in 2007 and eventually expanded in that location from 1500 to 2500 square feet, and the river district space has added on an additional 9500. The new space is an art gallery, a dance studio, and an event and performance space with resources to nurture a theatrical work from start to finish.
Brittany Reese is the powerful, one-woman engine behind this ‘’mission driven multi-purpose arts and event space.’’ Coming from an impressive dance background, when Reese landed in Salt Lake City, she saw the need for an established space where post-college dancers and small, special-interest artists could develop their craft and launch their careers. She had witnessed the attraction and function of small arts spaces in New York and other cities with vital dance scenes, and had the vision to imagine the artistic life that could be born and nurtured similarly in Sugar House.
The space became a perfect facility for aerial dancers, who seemingly float using long ribbons and acrobatic moves. Elizabeth Stich launched her professional career and now performs throughout the United States. “Personally, I can’t imagine my life for the past six years without Sugar Space as a springboard.”
Ashley Anderson is the founder of loveDANCEmore and understands the landscape and needs of the local independent dance community. When asked what it was that distinguished the Sugar Space locally, she shared, ‘’While Salt Lake audiences are frequent supporters of the arts, there isn’t a large amount of infrastructure that’s available to young and independent practitioners – having a space to self-produce meets the needs of a great cross-section of the community.’’
Sugar Space has found a niche in the Salt Lake arts community, but the qualities that are being grounded here are of value far beyond our mountain-ringed valley. Fernando Maneca of the Brooklyn Arts Exchange believes that a space like Sugar Space is ‘’an entryway for people of various backgrounds’’ and ‘’promotes an ideal that favors the creative spirit, empowers risk-taking and innovation.’’ Various arts disciplines have found commonalities at Sugar Space. Putting so many disciplines under one roof has produced a creative spirit that many artists want to be a part of.
Sugar Space is located at 132 S and 800 W in the River District, and at 616 Wilmington Ave. in Sugar House.