This process has been amazing. From a little idea and a small blog, people have come en masse - weilding paint brushes, floor sanders, light fittings, bin bags, white spirit and art work. There is, it would seem, a huge desire for a open, grass roots art space in this city. I'm damn pleased that this pub landed in our laps and we can help fill that hole a little.
I had expected a few known faces - people who I know who work all the time to make things happen and create in and with a community. But I have met so many people. People have turned up to help who I have never seen before, having been told to come and help by someone else who I equally have never met. Word is spreading and it's just lovely. You are wonderful folks.
Last weekend nearly 30 people came down to help transform the spaces. It's slow going and hard work, but the good chat, the meeting new people, the rolling up of sleeves and getting our hands dirty makes the time and work fly. It's such a pleasure. It bodes for a brilliant 6 months.
So what's next?
Well, the floor is nearly done and the walls are done and some graffiti artists are coming in and the pool table is arriving. So now we need stuff - lots of people have said they have the odd chair, or light, or table. We'd love to have them. We want to make a cafe and bar, a performance and rehearsal space, a shared open office space and an art studio. So the more stuff, the better. Lights, sound, instruments, tea sets - all very welcome. Let's think of it as a reverse jumble sale*.
We will be in The Fleeting Arms working away over the weekend. If you want to bring anything down, then that's your time. Specifically (and I'm saying this based in my availability, so I can guarantee the building will be open, but I'm sure it will be open more than these times) let's say Sunday 1st 2-6pm and Monday 2nd 12-6pm. If those times don't work for you, then drop us an email and we'll sort a better one.
There's still lots to do and hopefully lots of people to meet, so please do pop in and say hi or get in touch.
Our opening party will be in the 6th March. More on that soon.
*All furniture etc has to comply with fire regs, so if you have sofas or armchairs or anything that you want to reverse jumble, then check they have the right labels or we won't be allowed to use them. Thanks.