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.ZACK Performing Arts Incubator: Growing Artists and Hosting History

The Historic Cadillac building in St Louis, originally opened in the 1900’s as a car and tire parts store, has now found a new purpose and function. This four-story property at 3224 Locust Street, now houses the “Cadillac” of work and performance spaces, according to its website,

Born out of a passion for the arts and creativity in St. Louis communities, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation has developed the building into a “performance art incubator ” called. ZACK,  which gives artists and organizations the resources it needs to grow and thrive. .ZACK is named for the Kranzberg’s grandchild and is part of a movement toward creating an organic theatre district in Grand Center, according to The Riverfront Times.

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation also manages the Kranzberg Arts Center, The Dark Room at the Grandel, and the Grandel Theater. The Foundation has been striving since 2006 to provide local artist opportunities “to perform and showcase their work” and in doing so the outcome will be a “premier arts and entertainment destination….This building provides an opportunity for artistic conversations and a greater appreciation for the artistic diversity in the city of St. Louis.”

In a recent statement, Ken Kranzberg reflects that “Local artists need professional spaces in which to show their talents and hone their crafts, and these are the things that drive people to live and work in the city.” .ZACK not only provides tools that artists need to flourish and thrive, but the space also provides a unifying opportunity for artists to come together and share in their creative journeys together. .ZACK provides the professional space needed for city patrons to explore their creativity and pay homage to the rich artistic culture of the city.

The 40,000 square-foot building was designed by U-Studious. The space was created as part of the vast vision of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, whose strong belief is that artists and cultural communities “represent the heart and soul of the city,” according to an article by the St. Louis Business Journal.

.ZACK offers an opportunity to not only share artistry and resources but also provides an event and theatre space. What the Performing Arts Incubator offers to its participants is a ready-made facility suitable for administrative use, performance arts, building projects, and special events all in one place. The lobby is equipped with a bar, box office, and elevator access.

The Kranzberg Foundation describes the once “Plush Nightclub” is now home to .ZACK’s theatre–ready to seat an audience of 200, or 130 guests at round tables, equipped with a full lighting kit and state-of-the-art audio equipment. This space can also function as an event space, suitable for wedding ceremonies or small receptions.

The functionality of the space allows for event attendees to embrace the artistic happenings in the city while the available resources provide the performing arts with the canvas and brushes needed for creative expression.

The St. Louis International Film Festival took notice and even hosted portions of their event in this space.

The second and third floors of .ZACK offer space for rent, with the second floor intended for retail business occupants and the third floor intended for commercial office space.  Currently, Sophie’s Artist Lounge and Cocktail Club as well as Music Record Shop call the second-floor their home away from home and the third-floor residents range from Socially Jen and Co., Kelly and Associates LLC, StoryTrack, to the Music Record Shop.

Office space in this large co-op environment comes fully equipped with printing and wi-fi capabilities, bathrooms, desks, a meeting space, and even a kitchenette. Should the business require facilities to build and create, the performing arts incubator at .ZACK has that covered too. A workshop is readily accessible with building and paint rooms, a laundry sink, both a table saw and miter saw, and .ZACK can even do the heavy lifting with an 8’x15’ freight elevator on site.

Trying to find the necessary space to store completed works and newly built sets post-construction is also a hassle-free process. Every business organization participating in the performing arts incubator will be given their own 15’x20’ storage unit exclusively for their creative needs.

The fourth floor of the building, boasting exposed brick and large floor to ceiling windows, will be able to accommodate as many as 300 standing or 200 people seated. This private event space has been dubbed the “Urban Ballroom.” Guests have plenty of space to mingle or dance to live music on the spacious dance floor. This area also features a full bar. Catering options are available on-site courtesy of David Kirkland Catering who also operates the on-site “Turn” restaurant. Capable of seating 60, the restaurant can also be used for a small reception venue or for a time of mingling and appetizers. If delicious food and drinks are unable to relax guests, the fourth floor also boasts its own spa, complete with sauna and rain shower and breathtaking views of the city.

.ZACK presently has thirteen creative arts occupants in its space. The vast majority of the tenants represent nonprofit organizations including Artists for a Cause, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, Ignite Theatre Company, JPEK CreativeWorks Theatre, Insight Theatre Company, R-S Theatrics, Specdrum, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, Tesseract Theatre, Theatre Lab, TLT Productions, St. Lou Fringe and Harvey Lockhart’s “Heal Center for the Arts.” Participating organizations in the .ZACK space contract tenants for one year and then re-evaluate to confirm that the partnership is still mutually constructive.

Ken Kranzberg offered in a statement to St. Louis Business Journal that “Nancy and I have always felt that one of the most important things St. Louis has to offer is its cultural vibrancy.” .ZACK ensures that artists will have a place to grow and nurture their creative places, to bring colorful culture to the city, and to deepen the city’s love for the arts.  For artists and other organizations interested in the arts incubator services offered by .ZACK, they can contact the Director of Communications and Programs, Robert Harris, at (314) 533-0367 ext. 104 or email


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