MINUTES FOR OPEN STUDIOS PLANNING MEETING 2

MARCH 22, 2010, 7PM

NORTE MAAR – 83 WYCKOFF AVE #1B

 Introduction to Arts in Bushwick:

AIB was founded in 2007 around the planning of the first Open Studios. There had been an open studios event in 2005 organized by a different group, who intended to do it again in 2006 but cancelled it. Another group of people banded together in 2006 to put it on at the last minute, and after that about 15 community members / artists / organizers formed AIB in order to plan BOS 07.

AIB is 100% volunteer run. Financially it operates on a break-even basis. The organization is non-hierarchical. Anyone can be involved to whatever extent and in whatever capacity they like.

Apart from BOS, AIB organizes 2 other festivals a year – BETA Spaces in November and SITE Fest in March, and participates in community projects.

BETA Spaces – concentrates on 2 elements that AIB likes about BOS: curated group shows and alternative spaces, in a more accessible geographic area for 1 day.

SITE Fest – 2 day performance spaces, centered around hub spaces in which programming is scheduled by AIB.

Community Projects – community organizing, politics and policy, collaborating with non-profits, i.e. murals, street fairs. AIB connects the creative community with other neighborhood groups, helps to find artists and volunteers for other neighborhood projects.

 

Bushwick Open Studios:

BOS gets bigger every year. In 2009, there were over 250 open studios, shows and events in over 125 venues, with work by between 500 and 1000 individual artists, with over 4000 attendees. AIB channels everything that is happening in Bushwick that weekend into a program and promotes it. We will list anything as long as it falls within the festival borders – the artists don’t have to be Bushwick-based (though they tend to be), but the venue must be within the confines of the program map. The borders are determined by who has registered in the past – it was getting bigger and bigger every year so we had to draw the line somewhere. Last year’s map covered an area over 3 square miles encompassing all of CB4, plus parts of Ridgewood, Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg and Maspeth.

You cannot expect to see everything at BOS, but there is something for everyone for the whole weekend.

Registration will open mid-April and close in early May. A registration costs $35, or 5 hours volunteering, or donation of a work for the benefit. One registration = one listing in the program.

Planning BOS works through email and weekly open meetings (and a google group which has been defunct for a while but we will set up a new one).

Cabaret

The Cabaret is usually held on Saturday night and consists of non-theatrical performance, with a diversity of artists. The first year it was held, it was huge, with over 400 audience members, since then it has been scaled back but has still been a central event of BOS. Artists who want to perform contact the director, who chooses who will perform. It could be curated, but is not censored.

Past Cabarets have been held at Starr Space, which is no longer open, so whoever leads it will have to find a space. Jason Andrew is working with Factory Fresh on a block party and can find out if this could also be a Cabaret venue. Whoever takes on leadership of the Cabaret will get plenty of advice and support from the rest of AIB.

Seeking page

AIB attempts to match artists and spaces through the Seeking page, a bulletin board on the website where artists seeking space and spaces seeking artist can post descriptions of what they are offering or looking for, and can then contact each other directly. AIB does not guarantee that anyone will find a space, but generally it works out pretty well. The Seeking page stays up through registration and beyond it.

Benefit

Tara is organizing the benefit. If anyone wants to help, speak to her (or email sponsorship@artsinbushwick.org). It will be held on May 21 at Lumenhouse, which is 2 weeks before the festival. Artists will be asked in the registration form if they want to donate work for the benefit, and the artist will set a price between $50 and $200. There is a maximum size requirement tbd. The work should be exhibition-ready. Usually 1/2 to 2/3 of the work sells. There is usually a diversity of media.

Usually we start preparing the space on the Monday the week of the benefit (spackling walls, painting etc), then volunteers need to be in the space that week to accept work, make labels, hang the work, and then staff the benefit (bar, cash, door, wrap work, clean up). The benefit is a good opportunity for artists to market themselves, as each donated work will be labeled with the artists name and the number of their open studio/event on the program.

Sponsorship

If anyone has local business contacts, please contact Tara – sponsorship@artsinbushwick.org.

Opening Party

There will be an opening party on Friday night at Beauty Bar, from which AIB gets a portion of the bar profit.

Volunteering (contact volunteer@artsinbushwick.org to get involved:

  1. Press and promotions: supply contacts, write press release, ideas for creative promotion, press sponsorship (donated ad space)
  2. Flyering : To promote registration, benefit and BOS., which should be done about 2 weeks before each event Divided into separate flyer routes along L and JMZ lines, outside each subway entrance, nearby coffee shops/restaurants and arts and music venues, plus any business sponsors. Need at least 6 people/teams for each round of flyering. Each route takes 1-2 hours. If you take on one route for every round, that could be your 5 hour volunteer commitment.
  3. Operations: registration (need help going through registration data), making the program, hub management: Hubs are venues near subway stops that can provide info to attendees. We have several but will need a few more due to some venues closing. They will be staffed with volunteers.
  4. Graphic design : preferably 2 or more people. 1 person for desiging flyers, logos etc, often for a very quick turnaround. 1 person to design program, which last year was a 26 page book with a map in 7 sections. AIB has strong branding which designers can work with, but is also open to change. Laura is meeting with a possible candidate tomorrow.
  5. Website and tech : The website is in the process of being rebuilt. Need someone who knows WordPress, PHP MySQL and CSS to build out website and keep it going. Good portfolio work, AIB can give recommendations and possibly get college credit for interns.
  6. Volunteer coordination: match volunteers to tasks. Send lots of emails. Be friendly. Need to be organized. Fairly large time commitment.

Q&A

Do people open their apartments (that are not loft spaces)?

Yes! People show in every imaginable kind of space. If you don’t have a buzzer, post your phone number on the door with your BOS sign, or try getting a Google voice number that forwards to your phone.

If I can’t come to weekly meetings, how do I stay in the loop?

 Weekly e-blasts (usually on Thursdays) give relevant updates and remind of upcoming meetings. Minutes and notes are posted on the website (and Ali is reinstating the google group – more info to follow).

Should AIB approach the local merchant’s associations for an appeal for sponsorship?

Maybe, Laura B has been told this might not be useful but it may be worth a shot. It is good to have more outreach to diverse members of the community, not only those that already cater to the creative community.

Final note: Everyone Should Promote! To Artists, Volunteers and Audience!

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