San Antonio's Artpace Extends WiFi Coverage to Help Erase the Digital Divide

click to enlarge TWITTER / ARTPACE
Twitter / artpace
Although Artpace has closed its doors due to San Antonio's spike in COVID-19 cases, the nonprofit artist residency program has opened up its parking lot.

On Tuesday, Artpace announced on Twitter and Instagram that it extended its WiFi signal across its parking lot, giving the public free access. Anyone wanting to use the network need only park in an assigned Artpace space and enter the guest credentials, which are posted on a sign.

Artpace noted in an Instagram comment that cyclists and pedestrians are also welcome to partake of the free access, but that they "recommend taking care with the heat."

As businesses, schools and social events move online during the pandemic, the digital divide has become more apparent than ever. A third of Texans — mostly in low-income or rural households — have no internet access, according to the Texas Tribune. As the pandemic forces a sudden shift to the digital realm, many find themselves cut off from work, education and community.

"There is a lot of people who are part of the digital divide, there's the people who have it and the people who don't," Artpace Director Riley Robinson told the Current. "If we could be one little, tiny part of the solution, even to motivate other people to do this, I think that would be great."

While closed to the public, Artpace continues to host online events including live-streamed studio visits and online lesson plans. A studio visit with artist Sarah Fox will take place on Instagram live Thursday, July 9.

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