Project Description

Santa Ana Arts Collective

Address: 1666 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA, 92701
Phone: (714) 294-0000
Year Completed: 2019
Type: Arts Colony | Units: 58
Management: WSH Management
Interest List: (714) 294-0000 or


  • City of Santa Ana
  • California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program

The Santa Ana Arts Collective (SAAC) is Meta Housing’s first working artist community in Orange County. SAAC is the positive result of two City initiatives adopted in 2014. First, at the urging of United Artists of Santa Ana, the City established its first Arts & Culture Commission and shortly thereafter its Arts & Culture Master Plan. Chief among their goals is creating a robust arts infrastructure, giving artists the support (including affordable housing) they need to sustain their work and to remain rooted in their City, and engaging all the city’s residents beyond downtown.

Second, an adaptive reuse ordinance was enacted to allow conversion of the City’s underutilized, historic commercial buildings into housing. SAAC is the first project entitled under the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance. Meta Housing transformed an underutilized, five-story, mid-century, high vacancy commercial building into 43 high quality affordable apartment units for working artists and their families.

SAAC is located on Main St. between The Bowers Museum and Orange County High School of the Arts. In the 1980’s, the area had a vibrant art scene, but this has faded post-recession. Meta helped spark the renewal of that lost artist landscape by providing space for low-income working artists households vis-à-vis permanent, affordable housing, and a free gallery, woodshop, studios, music room, and onsite arts staffing. By placing artists, professional development, and a supportive structure of arts opportunities, and cultural facilities together, a multiplier effect can result. Indeed, SAAC’s proximate location to and partnership with the Bowers Museum, revives the audience leveraging that was thriving in the 1980’s, and may create opportunities for more arts organizations in the immediate area. However, because SAAC is specifically for low-income artists, their housing security is not threatened by economic change.

SAAC’s gallery provides dignified, accessible, and affordable exhibition space for Erica Broussard Gallery. Simply stated, Erica Broussard is dedicated to supporting the creation, exhibition, criticism and documentation of work by historically underrepresented artists. Her gallery at SAAC represents and promotes the work of historically underrepresented artists, while also serving as an artists and curators residency space to encourage the necessary synergy between artists, curators and consequently patrons/collectors.