Community Project Seeks New Home
A Bristol-based community project says, ‘Thank you’ to the people of Knowle West and Bedminster as it prepares to close its doors. Now that the Artspace Lifespace College Project is coming to an end at its current location, the project team are looking for new spaces to move its many exciting artist-led community activities to.
Councillor for Windmill Hill, Mark Bailey said about the project, "The Artspace College Project has had a positive impact on the area and has shown the benefits of using empty buildings in this way rather than leaving them boarded up for years." Since February 2011, the College Project has been a self-sustaining community project providing a wide range of benefits to the local area from the old City of Bristol College.
With the generous support of local people, Bristol City Council, and the Homes and Communities Agency, the Artspace College Project has transformed the empty college buildings into a thriving hub for all ages, offering after school clubs, sports and well-being classes, industrial arts and craft workshops, studios, offices, indoor and outdoor gallery spaces, a community kitchen, gardens, and regular community events. "Instead of being an asset, as it has been over the last couple of years, it is almost certain that these buildings would have become a major source of nuisance and anti social behaviour, vandalism and probably arson." Councillor Bailey said in a recent letter thanking the project for all their hard word.
The project is set to end on April 1, 2013, when the old college facilities will be demolished to make way for a housing estate, and Bristol City Council establishes a primary school at the front of the site. The plans for the site are at: www.knowlewest.co.uk/proposed-redevelopment-marksbury-rd-former-college-site/
Project manager of the College Project Alex Harvest said, “It’s been an amazingly positive experience for us and the community as a whole. We really want to thank everyone who has contributed and supported us. At present we have been unable to find a new home for much of the great activity happening on site, we are seeking support from anyone who would be able to help us find a new building so we can continue doing the much needed work we are doing."
As a going away present to the community, the Artspace College Project is hosting a number of special events. A full week of activities and demonstrations are taking place for local youths, ending with an Educational Family Fun Day (March 31) that will encourage the local community to access our facilities one last time. Our artists, craftspeople, gardeners, athletes and teachers will be offering local people a range of free activities for the entire family to enjoy. If you haven't had the chance to experience the arts, crafts and fun of the Artspace College Project, now is the time. This event is free and open to the public.
As the finale, the project is hosting three performances (April 11, 12, and 13) of an original immersive theatre production 'Back To Skool'. Inspired by work done on site, 'Back To Skool' offers an adult audience the chance to go back to school for a night of bizarre teachers, deranged lessons, and ending with a proper disco. For only £5, the project is offering a surreal evening of interactive theatre combining arts, crafts, sports, drama, dance, and more, in a curriculum celebrating the end of our community arts project in one of the UK’s most challenged areas. Tickets for the event are available at www.artspace.eventbrite.co.uk and more details on this exciting spcial event are available ay www.artspacecollege.com.
If you can help us relocate any of our after school clubs, fitness and well-being classes, community gardens, cafe, skate park, sports activities, artist studios, workshops, galleries, photography and filmmaking facilities, and community events and fairs, please get it touch! We’d love to hear from you: www.artspacecollege.com/contact.html