Friday, April 27, 2012

A co-op can dream, can't they?

This month has been full of exciting conversations with lots of creative dreamers.

I met with one of the leaders of the Austin Creative Re-use. ACR is basically the same sort of program as the Austin Scenic Co-p but its for visual artists. I also had a conversation with a few film industry folks discussing ways and interest in creating a film centric re-use center. The conversations all sort of melded into lots of big dreams about creating a giant creative re-use facility with storage space as well as shop space, studio space, and classroom space. In the next few months I am planning on coordinating a large meeting with the visual arts, theater, and film communities about how we can start to work together to make Austin a greener city with an emphasis on the arts and arts education. Lots of day dreaming and scheming...

The other energizing conversation that we had this month was with the theater companies that currently use the Co-op. We had a meeting to talk about implementing a membership and what that would mean, what it would cost, what the benefits would be, and if people would be willing to pay a membership. The consensus was that people would be willing to pay a membership if our services expanded. People really need shop space and storage space. They want a place for their extra set pieces and they want a place where they can paint and build. The plan as it stands now is to continue with a piece by piece rental structure, and then hopefully implement a membership in the fall, recognizing that most folks will not want to be members until we have additional space to meet their other needs.

With all of this dreaming and scheming the main thing that we have learned is that we need more space. We need a larger shop, we need more storage, we need studio space. There is not enough room at SVTs facilities alone to create the Co-op we want and the community needs... so the next steps are taking a long hard look at what steps we need to take as a community to creating this kind of giant re-use complex that we are all dreaming about...

Jenny Larson
Austin Scenic Co-op
Salvage Vanguard Theater

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