Ruth Ezell visits Crestwood Court shopping mall in St. Louis County to see how the mall has turned its empty stores into a collection of cultural and art spaces. In 2007 the mall lost Dillard’s department store as a main tenant, and as a result saw a decrease in number of smaller retail shops. To fill this space, Crestwood Court partnered with the Regional Arts Commission to lease the empty stores to artist and other cultural groups at modest rates. Since May 2008, Crestwood ArtSpace has been a home to artists, musicians, theatre companies and dance studios. Crestwood Court is exploring how they can incorporate the art spaces into future development plans, but for now the artists are enjoying having a home in Crestwood ArtSpace.

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