Three artists setting up a community arts project in Hastings, East Sussex. We have a centre, with a gallery shop and two workshops. We will run classes, rent space out, sell local artists work, run outside events, whilst trying to involve as much of the community as possible.
loads more happened today. will add tomorrow and some more photos. We all messed about, took some silly photos and are going to try and get in the local paper next week. having an informal open day on friday. the thinking is that people will then be really impressed when we have our proper opening, as the place is in such a state now!
<>we are also having tea and cakes on Thursday for all the other traders on the site. The landlord and lady are so unpredictable that there seems to be safety in numbers! we want to talk to everyone else about how we can work together and promote ourselves and each other.
<>one idea is taking a double page spread in the local paper with a write up and adverts for all the businesses. another area in Hastings does this and apparently it's quite effective.
so, e-mailing everyone we know, on every internet forum going, boring the mailing list to death with updates.
sat 19th Jan-
we've all been at the shop all day. juggled kids etc and all managed to get loads done.
we started this project with a "hey, yes, let's run some workshops!" and the full horror of what we have done is starting to sink in!
So far –
we have had strange negotiations with the owners of the site we are on. They are unorthodox to say the least! They contradict each other and change their mind like the wind. we really had to support each other through many occasions where one or another of us wanted to tell them to poke it!
By trial and error we have found out which one of us can talk to them most effectively (me, unfortunately) at the moment. They do have fads and favourites though, so this may change!
We then had to scrape together some money. We are doing this with a few hundred petty cash! We are looking at funding and have one application in. We have to make this a priority, although after talking to our business advisor, I'm not worried.
Our business advisor – a wise man who rattles out hints, tips, contacts, ideas and opinions like a machine gun. I don't think he was expecting Anna's and my son to be wandering all over the floor during the meeting, throwing raisins around and pulling at his jacket, but he coped very well!
The business advisor is invaluable and I would definitely recommend hooking up with one if yu are trying to do ANYTHING! Ours has gone through aims, business plan. personal objectives, funding, which type of company we will be, training, how to register a company, networking, sustainability – all in two sessions. He is also going to use our place to run some free training on setting up a business. Great for artists and the other businesses in the Enterprise Centre we are located on.
Where to start? That's how my head feels most of the time now!
In November, a friend of mine, who I had planned a couple of projects with, said that she wanted to introduce me to someone who seemed to have the same goals as us.
The short version is that we then decided to try and open the perfect art centre in Hastings, East Sussex!
Drunken nights followed – by the second one we were all smoking, despite two of us apparently having given up! we all had huge plans and tangental ideas – we all talked at the same time and about different things.
Now we are at the stage where we have secured a building, got no money and a shed load of building work to do. I am e-mailing everyone I know and boring my partner to death. I have an 11month old son, my two business partners have 3 more children between them and all is chaos.
I wanted to introduce us – me, lou and anna and what we are trying to do.
I will add more background, our problems, arguments and try and explain exactly what it's iike to take this on. I will try and be funny and sometimes I may shout. Any advice or stern words welcome!