The Bard’s Town

I just realized that The Bard’s Town is probably my inspirational model for my cupcakery.  It is mainly a restaurant, but because it is devoted to offering live music, theatre, and who knows what else to its patrons, it has become a lively place to eat and a sanctuary for small theatre and music groups in Louisville.  Their model for charging artists has just been updated in the link above and it looks like sometimes they give 100% ticket sales back to the artist!  That is ah-MAZING!  I will look closer at their model before deciding on how the cupcakery will operate, but I have great hope that this place is for profit and thriving!

This is like craigslist for artists.  You can buy, sell, exchange, collaborate, etc. through its interface.  I know it has been set up for over a year and there are still only 5 cities included.  I think there may have been a skipped step in the build out process to find out what cities would latch on well and how to expand from there because I would think the site needs more growth to be sustainable.  We’ll see!

11th Street Bridge Park

I know I am behind the times as a newcomer to the city so I just learned about this project last week.  I am a big fan of the High Line in NYC, so I have high hopes for the 11th Street Bridge Park.  This effort, headed up by THEARC, to turn a currently unused area into a place for the whole community is backed by their efforts to take community input before construction starts.  The design contest for the bridge just went out and they were just looking for a Marketing and Development person so the plan must be moving forward pretty rapidly with some big capital behind it.  I can’t wait to see its development in action in the next few years!

Punchdrunk Theatre Company- Sleep No More

This is kind of a twofold post- the first interesting venture being the theatre company Punchdrunk.  They are a British theatre company focusing on site specific work, which they curate for themselves.  In 2011, they took over three warehouses in NYC and turned them into The McKittrick Hotel, where they produce a theatre experience called Sleep No More. A wildly interactive show, the audience silently follows one or more characters of their choosing for a silent performance of Macbeth throughout the hotel and 2.5 hours.  The interesting part to me is that Punchdrunk is funded by Arts Council England and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, but they do work all over the globe.  There is also a ‘support us’ page on their site, so I’m wondering how that works.  Also, how did they build the capital for the McKittrick Hotel?

Write a House

Write a house is a new take on a writers’ residency as a means for community revitalization.  The project is developing in Detroit and offers writers from all over the nation a place to live and produce work.  One unique thing about the project is that it was started by writers and they are putting in the sweat equity to renovate the houses to prepare them for residence.

Alchemy NFK

Alchemy NFK is a grassroots effort to anchor the Norfolk, VA cultural district.  It was started for a pop-up installation included in a Team Better Block event almost a year ago.  Intended to be a pop-up creative space in a recently vacated property, Alchemy was such a hit that it never left.  About a month later, the co-founders scraped together a down payment and artists agreed to pay rent to fulfill the mortgage payments.  Now Alchemy is looking toward a long-term plan and is nearing the end of a Kickstarter campaign to re-vamp the building into more suitable space.  What is most interesting to me is both its similarities and differences to Red Dirt Studios and also how effective community need played a role in its success.

Maker Village KC

Similar to other artist collectives with shared space, Maker Village KC is a place for “makers” of all sorts to share equipment, time, and space.  This project is in its very early stages of iteration having just bought the building and begun renovations.  Their goal is to encourage prototyping and small batch production with the space through some sort of membership.  This may mean that no one maker has a set space at all times, but all members share in a more fluid way.

I.D.E.A.S. 40203

I just learned about this super cool idea firm of sorts from my hometown.  Their mission  is to find the NEW WAYS  that artists, creatives and business entrepreneurs work together to effect positive civic and economic change in Louisville, Kentucky.  They coordinate events, activities, and initiatives while partnering with many organizations and associations around town.  The most interesting thing to me is that they make money by offering their services to businesses and artists, as well as facilitating an artist in corporate residence program.  Check it out!

The Studios Inc.

The Studios, Inc. are similar to Red Dirt Studios, but in Kansas City.  There is a charge for artist space and the goal is to provide artists with a space for bigger works and a full network of makers and buyers.  Two interesting things that separate it from Red Dirt is that they focus on mid-career artists instead of blossoming/new ones and they have a funding model called patron partners where an individual can support a single artist by making a donation in the amount of their entire year’s studio rental (which from what I can tell starts at $5,000).

The Space Upstairs

Another awesome multi-use but thoughtfully themed venue is The Space Upstairs in Pittsburgh.  They call it a “warehouse gallery-loft” and center events based on jazz.  That includes jazz music, jazz dance, and spoken jazz.  One interesting part to me is that most of their events are based on a monthly schedule (ex: second saturdays or third thursdays) which creates a subscription type relationship with their patrons.  I also love how they combine art forms as well as offer classes and workshops periodically.