Bridge PAI is moving to the Downtown Mall

A nonprofit group that for nearly 20 years has sought to create a better community through creativity and dialog will be moving from space in Belmont to a new location. The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative was founded in 2004. 

“With a mission and vision that pushes us into action, we are building The Underground: A Center for Creative Collaboration,” reads an email that was sent out to supporters Tuesday. “Opening in April 2023, this 4,300 square foot creative center is located on Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall.” 

The Bridge PAI is currently closed but used to be located on Monticello Road near the Belmont Bridge. The property it shared with Lampo Pizza sold for $800,000 last April to Lightning Properties, whose registered agent appears to be the owner and chef at Lampo. 

The Bridge unveiled a new website yesterday as well and mentions they’ve spent the last eight months strengthening their mission, vision, and path. The new space is part of that effort, and the new creative center is intended to have a co-working space, private studios, a computer lab, and more. 

“It is a space where artists can work in community with other creatives as they engage in painting, sculpture, digital art-making and everything in between,” the email continues. 

They’re also fundraising to help keep the space free for anyone who needs it. To learn more, visit the organization’s website at

Last August, the Albemarle Economic Development Authority made a $5,000 match for a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Bridge PAI for a project called Unsettling Grounds that will examine the Broadway Corridor.  

The new Underground is to be located at 306 East Main Street (Credit: The Bridge PAI)

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