A Unique Community Space Dedicated to Making the Arts Accessible to Everyone

Upcoming Events

Until further notice, all events have been postponed due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But we’re still working on our latest project on American Women’s Suffrage! Want to be a part of it? Take our survey. Here are the details:

Made possible by a generous grant from the Women’s Fund of the Wayne County, Indiana, Foundation

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America, DIVA will produce a multimedia, intergenerational, inclusive production that marries art with civic education.

In July of 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood in front of the Seneca Falls Convention and declared, “We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men and women are created equal.” In the Declaration of Sentiments which resulted, it was resolved that “all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place her in a position inferior to that of man, are contrary to the great precept of nature, and therefore of no force or authority.”

As we honor those who fought to gain women the right to vote in America, we will strive to tell the stories of voices that were suppressed. American suffragists sought the vote for their Christian, educated, and white sisters. After all, in their Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, the suffragists complained that “[Man] has withheld from [Woman] her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men – both natives and foreigners.” This project will tell the whole story of women’s suffrage in America.

In an ambitious project led by women but crafted, produced, and experienced by women and men of all ages, races, nationalities, classes, and philosophies, DIVA will celebrate this chapter in American history by developing and performing a production that includes interactive elements of every art form – from painting to music, poetry to dance, spoken word to song. Interactive workshops will be developed for students of all ages. Ultimately, the work will be published and made available for licensing and performance.

We invite you to join us as we explore and honestly assess the women’s suffrage movement in America in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

DIVA provides a flexible open venue for the exhibition and performance of any art form and fosters an inclusive collaborative environment of inspiration and creation. Our unique community space is dedicated to making the arts accessible to everyone.

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An Indiana nonprofit corporation recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

About

We had been dreaming for a few years about establishing a space to provide artists a venue to exhibit and produce art of any kind without the boundaries of financing, name-recognition, intimidation, or access. Being fully committed to service and advocacy, we sought to turn this concept into reality in a way that benefits the Richmond community as a whole. On a whim, we started exploring available real estate downtown.

In the midst of significant road construction, parking limitations, and empty store fronts, we bought a historic 12,000-square-foot building on the 700 block of East Main Street in July of 2017. The building has multiple possible uses: store fronts on the ground floor, office space on the second floor, and a wide open ball room on the third. We intended to move Amy’s law firm from the sleepy west side of town into the second floor space, create a temporary location for the arts venue on the ground floor, and look toward significant renovations for the third floor with the purpose of permanently locating the arts venue up there.

It was then that we formed the Dudas Inspiration Venue for the Arts, Inc., or DIVA, an Indiana nonprofit organization recognized as a 501(c)(3) corporation.

We moved the law firm in October of 2017 after some updates, leaving the west side building vacant and for sale (and paying two sets of commercial building mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and property taxes). After some shuffling, repair work, and patching one leak after another, we transformed the ground floor space at 708 East Main Street into a colorful and fun – if not modest – space to bring this DIVA to life.

We have big plans! First and foremost, we need an elevator. How can we offer a collaborative community space to everyone if it blocks those without the physical ability to climb stairs? Once the third floor is physically accessible, the space needs some major renovations to make it a performance and exhibition venue – HVAC, accessible restrooms, fire code safety upgrades, kitchen addition, bar, light and sound booth, and even a rooftop deck! We need funding for this, and we’re working hard on that.

So what is DIVA, beyond its mission statement? It’s about art for art’s sake. It’s about removing any barriers to the creation and experience of art. It’s about defining art how YOU define art. It’s about doing what brings you joy, even if you’re not great at it. And it’s about breathing new life into Richmond’s downtown, supplementing the already vibrant arts community in Richmond, and being a positive part of the answer to some of our community’s perceived problems.

We look forward to having you join us on this journey of passion and joy.

Warmly,

Andy and Amy Dudas

 

Contact

We would love to hear from you!

Make a Donation

DIVA is an Indiana nonprofit corporation recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS. Your donation may be tax-deductible (always check with your accountant).

Your support will help DIVA provide a flexible open venue for the exhibition and performance of any art form and foster an inclusive collaborative environment of inspiration and creation.

Thanks to your support already, DIVA has been able to buy enough chairs to seat our maximum capacity, build custom accessible staging for small performances, install a small wall hanging system, and get started on a humble lighting system. We’re still working on a sound system, wireless microphones, portable walls, miscellaneous supplies, music licensing, and perhaps one day the payment of our own rent and utilities! We want to pull together everything YOU need to make use of this unique community space.

Donate with a Credit or Debit Card

If you prefer, we are always ready to accept your checks in any amount at the following address:

DIVA
708 East Main Street
Richmond, IN 47374

We appreciate any donation and thank you profusely in advance!