It's a busy night at Emergency Arts. Crowds stroll in for its official grand opening party. Galleries open. A jazz ensemble plays, while guests flip through the collection of vinyl records that make up the back half of The Beat coffee shop. Soon there will be movement upstairs in the former medical center.
A small tattoo studio, a one-chair salon and a yoga studio will open in September on the second floor, says Jennifer Cornthwaite, who operates Emergency Arts with husband, Michael.
Open less than three months, it seems the multi-use creative space (which includes the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum) designed to diversify the Entertainment District is actually taking off. It may be awhile before they see any income from Emergency Arts, Jennifer Cornthwaite says, but the 20 spaces downstairs are filled. Because of The Beat, the building is turning into a well-used gathering place for regulars who camp out in the coffee shop and groups, such as the Las Vegas Poets Organization and Neon Reverb, that hold events in the space. Live music might be the next move inside The Beat.
The goal right now, however, is an art cinema. Cornthwaite says that she and Michael are working to get a 30-seat movie theater into the second floor that would show independent and cult films nightly. "It's so great to constantly be around people who are like-minded."