How we came to be.

Founded by Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler, Lost Arts started as a social experiment — testing assumptions related to creative practice and cross-disciplinary work.

The idea was seeded in 2002 when Charles attempted to build a piece of furniture. The piece was meant to hold his turntables, mixer and record collection. There was nothing on the market that satisfied him functionally or aesthetically. In the end, Charles destroyed a beautiful piece of walnut veneered plywood, and it was in that moment of failure that the germ for Lost Arts was born.

With the epic rise of Kickstarter after its launch in 2009, fueling a litany of creative projects, it was clear that raw, idealistic creative work was valuable both culturally and economically. And yet, with all the freedoms given to creative people via the internet, little seems to have changed in the real world. Access to tools, space and mentorship are rare to encounter, and becoming more inaccessible as time passes.

During the month of July, 2015, Lost Arts version 1.0 was launched as a social experiment. Examining the value for creatives working in an open and cross-disciplinary space. A brief, one month pop-up event in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop, Charles built the space he had wished he had back in 2002. The ball started to roll.

Our Intentions
We set out to empower more people with access to more space, tools and a community of driven, clever creatives. Our thesis has been that this loose equation built around transparency would lead to greater economic stability and greater economic potential for each participant.

We aim to:

  • Defend creative freedom
  • Empower creatives and their ambitions
  • Reflect and iterate