Creative sanctuary: Arts Mission Oak Cliff helps community artists flourish

At the edge of Winnetka Heights, on the corner of West 12th Street and South Windomere Avenue, sits the building that once housed a Congregational church. Two years ago, the church was abandoned, except for a small residence affixed to the back of the building. It faced sudden death via teardown. Today, one can find it carefully restored to its 1920s glory.

But while its last three incarnations housed a church, the building today serves as a different kind of gathering space: the recently opened Arts Mission Oak Cliff, a collaborative and educational center for local artists.

Open to all community members, the former sanctuary stands at the ready. An open stage stretches across the back wall. When there’s no rehearsal, there’s often music floating through the room — someone playing the Harry Potter theme on a baby grand piano; Beyoncé’s “Halo” blasting from the dance studio; gongs resounding during yoga class.

Arts Mission is not a nonprofit organization; founding director Anastasia Muñoz describes it as a privately owned “social enterprise.”