Friends and artists-- you know by now that our mission has always been to run a business promoting the values of connectivity, creativity, sustainability and growth. You also know that the current global situation forces us all, for better or worse, to become masterful at adapting. In the hopes that we can evolve from this situation into a better business, better serving the needs of our community, neighbors, and you-- our friends-- we are changing our business model. While we understand this might put us outside of some of your spheres of interest, we hope to intersect again, very soon.
Without further suspense (hopefully you're just overwhelmed with positive anticipation by now), here are the changes we're making, and an attempt at explaining why:
Change 1: We will emphasize creativity for all, with a large part of our mission dedicated to children's activities.
What this means for you: first of all, bring your kids! However, this does not mean a kids-only venue. Programming for adults will take place in the early-evening hours.
Why: We realize that creativity helps all (big and small) during life's toughest moments. This pandemic has taught us that handling a tumultuous time becomes easier if we allow our creativity to help us through; entertaining us, providing us with innovative problem solving mechanisms and coping skills. We also believe that living a creative lifestyle is not exclusive only to professional artists-- we all can incorporate creativity into our daily routines.
How this is a positive change for you: if you have kids you'll appreciate being able to take them to a place other than your home to make a creative masterpiece/mess. They will have access to a range of supplies needed to create in various mediums and forms. However, we believe in letting children lead when it comes to developing creative thinking. While we can guide with project ideas, young kids will be able to explore outside of rigid class settings. For older children workshops will be available, emphasizing independent creativity. Adults will be able to use our space to create and socialize.
Change 2: Our coworking model will shift to an open studio model. We will provide the space and materials needed.
What this means for you: We will no longer function on a membership model, instead, we will open our studios to all. Payment will be made by the hour and for materials used.
Why: We realized that in changing our model to an open studio model in which those not able to invest so heavily in pursuing a creative practice can still partake in creative activity, even children, we more closely arrive at the definition of "coworking" we've always aimed for. Sharing more completely a space, supplies, and ambiance dedicated to respect for the pursuit of creativity at any stage in life leads to the atmosphere we've always wanted to foster at our location.
How this is a positive change for you: unless you are a creative professional, you probably don't want to invest in a range of supplies and your own private space in which to explore your creativity. You probably don't want to spend your time managing your own space and materials either. Also, you're probably just like us-- and wanting to create in a social environment. So stop by to use our space and supplies, and to meet other people!
Change 3: We will no longer be offering the pop up shop.
What this means for you: our studios will simply be a place for creativity to unfold, not from which to sell products.
Why: We're shifting our outlook, from sustainability as viewed from a commercial standpoint to sustainability viewed from a personal growth standpoint. This is directly related to the reason for which we wanted to include children in our programming: we believe having a passion for creativity, whether professionally pursued or not, will have long-lasting benefits. Throughout a lifetime, creative thinking can lead to economic as well as intrinsic, personal, gains. We want to focus on this broad view of sustainability, encouraging the long-run gains of creative practice.
How this is a positive change for you: not offering the pop up shop was a difficult decision for us to make, however we believe that freeing up that space to be used for creative/making purposes will allow us to reach a greater audience and allow for greater comfort within our building.
We are so excited to start implementing these changes. To those who are reading this, to you, right now, we extend an invitation we hope you'll be able to accept: come visit us and come be creative with us.
Friends and artists-- here's to being forced to change-- in the best possible way.
All the best wishes for your continued success,
Your Art of Work Team