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Downtown’s ideaXfactory to close

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Last edited 2:19 p.m., May 9, 2019

Downtown’s ideaXfactory, a nearly 7-year-old art installation and exhibition center, is slated to close.

Pam RuBert, co-founder of the volunteer-run venture at 351 Boonville Ave., said the city of Springfield is reclaiming the building it owns. The ideaXfactory has to vacate by June 15.

RuBert said the news was not a surprise. The ideaXfactory was temporarily housed in the building, because the city has plans to demolish the property as it works to daylight Jordan Valley Creek.

“Since we knew from the beginning that the building would eventually be torn down, we always based our concepts on the fact that we were revitalizing urban areas with artists,” she said.

RuBert said it was her understanding the city would use the building for community planning efforts over an 18-month period before tearing it down. City officials said the building would be used for a variety of civic purposes for up to 24 months.

At the ideaXfactory, the community is invited to collaborate on art projects with resources provided by RuBert and others.

It’s known for events such as the recently completed Sculpture X-Games, during which 22 teams and 95 artists had one week to build sculptures.

“Our concept is art is a process, not a product,” RuBert said. “We’ve always tried to do things that involved the public in a way that they could see the artistic process, they could become involved in the artistic process. It’s kind of inspiring.”

RuBert said ideaXfactory, which has been supported by some $230,000 in grants since 2013, may set up at a different location if community members or organizations seek a reopening.

“It’s not like we have a grand master plan written in stone or anything,” she said. “It’s more responding to community, responding to artists.”

Plans to daylight Jordan Valley Creek are part of larger efforts to revitalize downtown via IDEA Commons, a designated area of 88 acres in downtown Springfield. In fall 2018, officials said $50 million in additions to the area were planned.

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