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Gateshead Open Studios (GOS) - a community walking trail which combines the concepts of 'Open Studios' and 'Open Doors', inviting visitors into various creative and historic venues in Gateshead, many of which are closed to the public. Taking place across the half term weekend in October 2019, GOS would provide a rare opportunity for the public to meet local artists/designers in their studios and discuss their creative processes, as well as exploring design features of historic venues. We want to run free creative workshop activities, welcoming all ages and abilities to take part and offering cross-generational opportunities for skills to be shared. As well as offering an inspiring weekend for visitors, the project provides an opportunity for the creatives involved to gain valuable commercial support via exposure in the lead up to Christmas and the chance to sell their products directly to buyers. A website and hard copy map will be produced detailing what’s on during the weekend.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Via a 1-day pilot we know there is significant demand for this project, based on visitor numbers and collected feedback. By running a weekend long GOS we would bring many different members of the Gateshead community together, uniting them through sharing the creative space, running inter-generational workshops and collectively appreciating the town’s cultural assets. GOS directly impacts on the health of the region’s creative economy by giving artists an opportunity to sell their work directly to the public in the lead up to Christmas - support that they would not necessarily receive from elsewhere. GOS gives members of the public FREE access to explore creative processes and places - an opportunity that is particularly important for specific local demographics (e.g. those living in deprived areas). By giving open access to otherwise closed parts of the locale we feel it is possible to positively impact the way people feel about their town, fostering a sense of ownership and pride.
Steps to get it done:
By running our pilot test (27th Oct 2018) we learnt that there was strong public interest in this project and that we appealed to a range of audiences. Our aim is to harness this enthusiasm within our crowdfunding campaign, clearly illustrating the benefits of the project to the community and showing how their donations will directly affect what we deliver. For example, a pledge of £10 pays for approximately 420 maps to be printed, each map containing vital information for all visitors; £78 pays for a venue banner, which is crucial signage for each location; £100 pays for the subsidy of one public workshop, a key component of the project's aim for free public access to creative activities and an opportunity for community cohesion. In order to support local giving we are also aiming to attract donations from outside the region via a social media promotion offering various donation incentives (e.g. artwork offered by the participating artists in reward for larger pledges).
About the space
Central Gateshead & Bensham
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council