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A new chapter

After 20 years in downtown warehouse, DiverseWorks plans move to historic Midtown building

DiverseWorks, Midtown, Cleburne Cafeteria
A current photo of the former Cleburne Cafeteria building which DiverseWorks plans to make its new home Photo by Joel Luks
News_DiverseWorks_exterior_night
After 20 years of offering alternative visual and performance arts programming in its just north-of-downtown loft-like warehouse, DiverseWorks ArtSpace is preparing to move on. Courtesy of GravityWasEverywhereBackThen
News_Elizabeth Dunbar_DiverseWorks_executive director
Elizabeth Dunbar, executive director. Photo by Celesta Danger

After 20 years of offering alternative visual and performance arts programming in its just north-of-downtown loft-like warehouse, DiverseWorks ArtSpace is preparing to move on.

On Sept. 7, DiverseWorks will open a new chapter in its growth when it moves to what used to be the original Cleburne Cafeteria at the corner of Fannin and Cleburne Streets in Midtown. The leased 5,500-square foot space boasts gallery space suitable for visual art exhibitions and a multi-purpose area for performances, films, workshops and special events.

The organization's lease at its current location is set to expire at the end of October. DiverseWorks is one of the founding members of the Independent Arts Collaborative, a new arts complex near the Ensemble/ECC METRORail stop in Midtown that's in its very early planning stage. Officials felt they wanted to "contribute to the growing creative and economic vitality" of their future neighborhood, according to a press release.

A DiverseWorks representative was not immediately available for comment about the move.

The works of Israeli artist Keren Cytter will christen the walls as the inaugural show in its fresh gallery. Cytter's works will be also on display concurrently at old DiverseWorks, and will be on view until the farewell party, set for Oct. 20. The downtown location will close its doors on Oct. 31.

Among other significant changes the nonprofit has experienced this year are Elizabeth Dunbar's appointment as executive director and the hiring of Rachel Cook as assistant curator. Moreover, two new programs are slated to begin this fall, including more interactive activities as part of DiverseWorks on Wednesdays, and artist lectures as part of Diverse Discourse.

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