Just because technology has made it possible for many of us to pursue our creative interests at home, doesn’t mean home is always the best place to get things done.

With that in mind, three artists from Athens have teamed up to provide a simple option for those looking for a distraction-free work environment.

CreativeSpace, founded by local professionals Jessica Brooks, Eugene Willis and Carlos Jones, hosted a grand opening this month. Located at 2500 W. Broad St. in Suite 606, the multi-purpose room is available for hourly rental and is ready to accommodate everything from meetings and podcasts to art galleries and food tastings.

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Willis, a prominent figure in the Athens hip-hop scene for decades, told the Banner-Herald that his inspiration for starting CreativeSpace came from his experiences in the mid-1990s with Mealtime Brown, a CD duplication service run by by musician Chris Cates, who passed away on February 9, 2021.

Behind the scenes of an episode of "Get real with Mr. White" at CreativeSpace in Athens, Georgia on October 12, 2022.

“Chris provided a safe space for me to record and express my ideas when I was just starting out and didn’t know where to go,” Willis said. “CreativeSpace was created with the less fortunate in mind, as a scaled-down version of Nuçi’s Space.”

One of the projects already using CreativeSpace is Da Elephant In Da Room, a podcast Willis and Jones started before they had a dedicated space to film and record it for distribution on YouTube. Jones, also known as Lo of famous Athens hip-hop duo Lo Down and Duddy, grew up surrounded by music and recording equipment and wants to foster an equally inspiring environment.

Paintings by visual artist Ronnie Almond adorned the walls of CreativeSpace during the company’s official grand opening. Almond, who makes a living from art sales and commissioned portraits, told the Banner-Herald that having a workplace outside of one’s home made it easier to get into the right mode.

jessica "JaiKal" Brooks highlights some of his photographic work that was recently featured in an exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.  Brooks is one of the founders of CreativeSpace, which opened October 9.

For Brooks, a professional photographer who has known Willis since childhood, the lack of affordable studio space is something she says is a very common problem in the Athens area. She, Willis and Jones plan to offer workshops at CreativeSpace that will allow for one-on-one training in their respective areas of expertise.

“I’ve looked at rental spaces in Athens that cost up to $1,200 a month, and I can’t afford that,” Brooks told the Banner-Herald. “I want to give people a way to afford to create, and I also want to give back to the community by teaching.”

To contact CreativeSpace about booking, email [email protected], call (678) 249-9523, or send a direct message to instagram.com/creativespaceath.


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