Ellicott Street is a hustling and bustling thoroughfare in downtown Buffalo. It's now the home "The Space Between."

"This was the final piece of the puzzle for the Arts Collaboratory was having an experimental arts incubator in the city that could bring people together," Bronwyn Keenan, director for the UB Arts Collaboratory, said. 

The location at 431 Ellicott, has a significant meaning. Keenan, explains why. 

"We are located between the East and West Sides," Keenan said. "Both Aaron and I, our objective is to breakdown that line, eliminate that red line."  

She's referring to Aaron Bartley. He's the owner of Fitz Books. A co-creator of PUSH Buffalo, Bartley has a deep understanding of social and economic issues in Buffalo. His new mission is to educate the Queen City through literature. And The Collaboratory's effort to desegregate Buffalo's artistic community is the perfect fit. 

"Books and art go together when it comes to building conversations around big issues," Bartley said. 

On display right now is Victoria-Idongesit Udondian's piece. Currently, she's a UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar. She's from Nigeria and started her project The Republic of Unknown Territory while going through the Naturalization process. 

"The bureaucratic process of that was very frustrating, one of the ways of dealing with that was channeling it into an artistic project," Udondian explained.  

The piece is a work in progress, with it's final display space in NYC next year. During her time in Buffalo, Udondian has been casting hands of immigrants and first generation Americans, while documenting their stories. 

"There’s a lot of absence in the space even with the install I have behind me. But, that absence also resembles the people who never make it through the journey," Udondian said. 

It's starting a conversation and raising awareness that dates back well beyond the walls of this early 1900's building. The hope is that will make a better future for all of Buffalo and beyond. 

"We're showing process and we are inviting the audience in to engage with the artist and creative people, and the impact of those conversations, that diolgue is so important not only for the audience, but also the artist," Keenan said.