Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Summit and Beyond

For those just tuning in, WindhamARTS hosted a meeting on Friday afternoon, 2/26, to explore the potential of sharing space for arts and cultural organizations in our region. Representatives and members of WindhamARTS, Swiftwater Artistan Cooperative, The Co-op Hub, Wrench in the Works, WAMH, the Young Poets, Artists Open Studios, Artists in the Country, Whispering River Gallery, EastCONN, UCONN Public and Community Engagement, Willimantic Advocates Make it Happen (WAMH), Cafemantic, and individual artists and community members were present, as well as Roger Adams from the Windham Chamber of Commerce and Neal Beets, Windham Town Manager.

We discussed the needs and resources of each group, reviewed what we know about space available, and explored the potential and challenges of sharing a location. Several groups acknowledged a current or upcoming need for retail, gallery, performance, meeting, and/or office space. These groups also expressed interest in further discussion about collaborative space. Each will gather details about their current resources, and the desires and concerns of their constituencies. A second meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th at 6 PM at WindhamARTS. (This will replace the regularly scheduled WAC member meeting for that week and is again open to the community. Feel free to spread the word).

Bottom line: it seems clear that there is real potential for collaboration, and that the group that meets next week will likely work toward a proposal to lease 866 Main Street. Please click "comments" below to read and post questions, additions, ideas, and corrections. Your perspective is valued.

PS. A note from Amy: I had intended to bullet-point a list of important information coming from the meeting, but, to be frank, time is short and I'd rather spend it scheduling meetings in order to move forward with this idea. If there is something you feel is important to share, please post it in the comments section below.

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