Karen MacIntyre bought a modest building on Malone Street 10 years ago. She named it Green Space Arts Collective. Her hope, she said, was to develop an alternative space for the ever-changing and often transient independent performing groups that bloom and fade in Denton.
“There has always been such a need for space for all of these groups,” MacIntyre said. “What I never dreamed was that not only would the space be an alternative venue for rehearsals and performances, but I’ve even had a wedding here. Sundown has been here for six seasons.”
Sundown Collaborative Theatre, an independent performing arts and theater company, is indeed one of the groups MacIntyre counts among her “regulars.”
MacIntyre, a ballet teacher and dance faculty member at the University of North Texas, said she knew she wanted to have a studio to be her teaching base during the day. Though most of her classes are taught on the UNT campus these days, the larger part of the one-story building at 529 Malone St. is her studio — with a small lobby, a modest studio with mirrors on the wall, and a few rooms that double as tiny dressing rooms.
MacIntyre bought the building in 2002.
“I’d known for a long time that I wanted the building,” she said. “When Eleanor Green, a woman who was really important to dance in Denton for years and years and years, died, I thought I should find out if it was available. And it was.”
Green, a dance teacher, had 529 Malone St. constructed as a studio in 1970. MacIntyre named the building for Green and got to work.
Ten years later, business is good, MacIntyre said. And business means renting the space to groups and teachers for affordable rates.
“If I wasn’t careful, the space would be in use day and night,” she said. “I’m careful not to book the place every hour of the business day and every weekend, because I want the place to be available for other groups.”
MacIntyre will open the space on Saturday a bit before noon. From noon to 6:30 p.m., the space will be open for children and adults to try out the classes for free.
At 7 p.m., the companies that teach and rehearse in the space will present a celebratory performance for Green Space’s 10th birthday. After the performance, everyone is welcome to join the after-party, a dance and music jam.
MacIntyre said the birthday gives her a feeling of coming full circle. A Denton native, MacIntyre attended the North Texas Laboratory School that was once on the university campus.
“My graduating class was the last class to attend there, and now I’m literally working right around the corner,” she said.
For the first time since the collective has been running, MacIntyre said she had all of the leaders of the companies that use the building meet. Sure, they clarified some policies and procedures, but MacIntyre said she had a different motive for assembling the artists.
“I wanted everyone to meet everyone else, and really see just how much they all contribute to the success of the building and the collective. And you know what? Everyone seemed really excited to meet everyone else,” she said.
She doesn’t plan to change too much in the future.
“I don’t see myself having a board run the space or the collective,” she said. “I think it’s working well now. I just hope I can continue to keep offering an alternative space — something between the college campuses and the downtown area of Denton — that is affordable.
LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877. Her e-mail address is email@example.com .
GREEN SPACE 10TH BIRTHDAY
• What: Free classes and demonstrations, a performance, and an open music and dance jam
• When: noon to midnight Saturday
• Where: Green Space Arts Collective, 529 Malone St.
• Details: Free. For more information, call 940-595-9219.
• On the Web: www.greenspacearts.com
Noon — Green Space Dance, contemporary ballet for ages 7 to 10
1 p.m. — Simple Sparrow Dance Collective contemporary dance for ages 11 and older
2 p.m. — CholoRock Dance Theatre contemporary dance for ages 11 and older
3 p.m. — Silhouette Dance Company Zumba for ages 11 and older
3:30 p.m. — Silhouette Dance Company jazz and hip-hop dance for ages 11 and older
4 p.m. — Big Rig Dance Collective contemporary dance for ages 11 and older
5 p.m. — Swing dance and Lindy hop class for ages 11 and older
6:30 p.m. — Sundown Collaborative Theatre improvisation class for ages 11 and older
7 p.m. — Open warm-up and rehearsal
8 p.m. — Performance by all groups of the collective
10 p.m. to midnight — Open music and dance jam