Supporting community-led projects to help your local area recover from the COVID-19 crisis
We are a group of creatives looking to make use of an empty shop in the heart of Church Street market, creating a makerspace, a gallery and a studio where we can run free creative community workshops and a Visual Arts festival. Our mission is to contribute to the regeneration of the Church Street area, to break down barriers to accessing arts and culture career opportunities and to create a thriving entrepreneurial creative hub. For the members of the collective; we will be able to use the studio and to collaborate, encourage and produce work together, gaining business experience as well as displaying and promoting our work. The funding would subsidise the set up and studio running cost in the first year, giving this project a space to operate from. Following the successful model of “A House for Artists” in Barking and Dagenham (patron Grayson Perry), each artist would commit set days per month to running free community art, culture and creative wellbeing workshops.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our eventual aim is to be self sustaining, but in order to kickstart it now and to get the space ready to test run ideas with the community, we need financial support. Once workshops have been run and we have logged our attendance numbers we could then hope to prove our business model works, attracting other funding as well as creating a viable art creation business, enabling us to keep the project going. We want to make arts and culture freely accessible to as wide a possible an audience; irrespective of age, religion, ethnicity, education, financial standing, language or health. We want to support all types of arts – from the rapper at the busstop, to the bedroom youtuber, to a knitting class or a book club. Through giving people a space to be brave, we hope to support emerging local artists along the first steps of their careers. We would hope that the 1 year initial tenancy will have such an impact that we would be asked to stay on, involving more of the local businesses.
Steps to get it done:
Our ideas chalk board will be placed directly outside the shop to encourage constant community feedback – we want locals to be able to ask for something and for us to deliver it in as short a turn around time as possible – whether that’s a life drawing class, an art history talk, a graffiti lettering workshop or a visit from an industry leader to give advice about breaking into the film business. Seeing suggestions taken seriously and followed up on will create a huge sense of pride and a renewed sense of community and belonging to the area. By offering the workshops for free, we want to encourage diversity, reach a wider audience, and to break down social and financial barriers to accessing arts and culture, and where we can we will also share our talks (especially important during this time of COVID) online for those self-isolating or shielding. Most studios spaces are in the outskirts of London, tucked away in old warehouses, so being able to have a high street space is an incredib
About the space
City of Westminster