The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative has been a touchstone of the Charlottesville arts community for nearly 18 years. Now with a new location on the downtown mall, the nonprofit has recently reopened with an expanded vision as The Underground: A Center for Creative Collaboration.

Results from a community-wide survey indicated that the local arts community sought access to affordable space, equipment and supplies, and a more interconnected arts community. To meet those needs, The Bridge came up with the idea of The Underground, a membership-based studio system with co-working space, 6 semi-private studios, 2 private studios, and tools ranging from drum kits and computer software to paint and drills.

We spoke with Jay Simple, Executive Director of the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, to discuss the nonprofit’s efforts to foster an all-inclusive openness to what art can be and who can participate in creativity. You can listen at the audio link below and learn how to become a member or support The Bridge here.