Saturday, April 3, 2010

Exciting Developments

I've been too busy the last couple weeks to sit down and update all of you, but I've finally got a moment and there is big news to report:

WindhamARTS on Main Street

WAIM accepted the proposal! Which means WindhamARTS is still in the building on Main Street, sharing office space with Swiftwaters Artisans' Cooperative (SWAC), The Cooperative Hub (Coop-Hub), and the Digital Youth Cooperative (DYC). The studios are fully rented, including four new artists (I am one of them - I'll be managing the space in exchange for my studio), and SWAC is moving their shop into the gallery. WAIM will be working with us to create a plan to share use of the Annex with the community at large. The common space on the studio side upstairs is available now to be booked for meetings and classes - contact me for more details.

About the Gallery

Though we will all miss the gallery, it is wonderful that WindhamARTS can support Swiftwaters by offering up this space, as their shop provides a prime opportunity for local artisans to market their works. (You can learn more about how to join SWAC here). And don't forget we still have the Annex, and there is also ArtSpace down the street, which has a very nice gallery open to community use that is nowhere near booked. 

New Kids on the Block

The Coop-Hub and DYC are both new ventures led by individual recipients of Access Agency's "Break Out of Poverty" grants. The Coop-Hub will be a resource center offering mentoring, financing, and other assistance to newly forming Cooperative business ventures. They are planning a festival in the fall to showcase both Cooperatives and the Arts in our region. DYC plans to employ and train young people in order to form a digital media business serving local businesses. Their first project will be web design.

Nuts and Bolts

For the next two months, WindhamARTS will continue to hold the lease while supporting the formation of a new organization representing everyone in the space. This organization will sign a six-month lease agreement for June through November. After that, we should be in good shape to resume making agreements for a year at a time.


Once everyone is moved in and settled, we'll be putting together a grand reopening celebration. You're invited to the party! Stay tuned for the official date and plan. Thanks to WAIM and everyone who worked hard putting this together, it's been hard work but also a lot of fun.

Future Possibilities

Access Agency recently put out a call for proposals for another round of grants. In the spirit of WindhamARTS' mission to support the arts and culture in our region, and in support of the whole gang of us in the building as of April 1st, I submitted my own Letter of Intent outlining my hope to see this space become a permanent center for arts and creative community development in downtown Willimantic. My goal is to maintain and grow this venture as an affordable incubator-style community art and creative business center for the entire region. Do you want to be part of bringing this vision into reality? Have a vision of your own that you'd like to see be part of it? I'd love to hear from you!

No comments:

Post a Comment