Shunpike: The Business of Art

Home  |  Member Login  |  Board Login  |  Contact

For Property Managers 

How are properties used in the Storefronts program?

The Storefronts program activates empty storefronts, underutilized urban spaces, and blank windows by placing art installations and creative pop-up projects in these spaces; creating vitality, light, and neighborhood engagement in otherwise overlooked areas of our streetscapes.

At the heart of the program is the premise that property owners/managers offer an empty, un-leased space with street frontage, for minimal rent (generally $1/month for tax purposes) on a temporary basis.

The program is temporary, with terms as short as three months for a one-time activation or several years with 4 shows per year. If a property is leased during the period of a Storefronts installation (and this is a good thing!), the artists will vacate in 14 days. During a Storefront activation period, the property remains for lease, with appropriate signage, and can be viewed by prospective tenants at your discretion.

What kind of properties can participate in the Storefronts program?

Shunpike invites interest from a wide variety of property owners and managers who have vacant retail storefronts, display windows or vitrines and who are interested in participating in the Storefronts program. The most basic requirement is functioning electricity.

 What does it cost?

Shunpike uses a variety of financial models (both fee-for-service and subsidized) to support the Storefronts program and property owners and/or managers interested in participating in the program should contact Anne Blackburn, Storefronts Manager to discuss costs.


How do I know my property will be taken care of?

The Storefronts program has been operating since 2010 and we have encountered no damage to property to date. Installation and de-installation for all projects is supervised by Shunpike as the legal tenant, and we often leave the space better than how we found it.

How soon can you get out of the storefront if the property is leased?

We require 21 days notice to vacate the premises if a commercial lease is signed.

What if I want to extend the Storefront installation or enterprise beyond the initial period?

This is generally possible, for an additional cost, depending on the availability of participating artists.

Can I have a say in the artwork installed in my property?

Within the constraints of artist availability, Shunpike always endeavors to program a vacant storefront with work that best suits the character and opportunities inherent in a space.

Property owners and managers are always welcome to discuss the type of work they would like to see in their premises. Shunpike employs a professional curator with extensive experience in curating arts programs to manage the Storefronts program so that property owners and managers don’t have to be responsible for the final selection of artists or artworks.

All artists on the Storefronts rosters have been vetted by a panel made up of professional artists, arts administrators, local business owners, real estate professionals, and community advocates. Proposals are assessed for relevance, viability, community engagement, and creative merit. They must be G-rated and suitable for all audiences, and in accordance with State and local laws.

What about insurance?

Shunpike maintains General Liability insurance ($1M/$3M aggregate) for artists participating in the Installations track of the Storefronts program. Artists participating in the Creative Enterprise track must have their own General liability insurance in addition to the Shunpike General Liability policy.

Shunpike does not maintain insurance for property damage or theft of artworks, or materials and/or equipment owned by the artist. This coverage is the responsibility of the artist.

What about utility costs?

Shunpike pays for reasonable utilities associated with the Installations track of the program. Artists in the Creative Enterprise track are responsible for their own utilities payments.

What help can Shunpike offer me?

Shunpike is always available to serve as a liaison between artists and property owners/managers, troubleshoot any logistical issues, promote the participation of property owners/managers and the artist projects they support, and provide certification of the value of the leased period for tax purposes. Shunpike provides participating property owners/managers with an installation report upon completion of the Storefronts activation.