Artopia: New Plans for Moving Ahead
Greetings Prospective Artopians:
After several informative gatherings last year, Artopia went on a bit of a hiatus for several months, while I pondered options for moving ahead in a more effective manner. I’ve decided to partner with our Cohousing Coaches, East Bay Cohousing co-organizers Raines and Betsy, who will facilitate or co-facilitate our meetings in the next stages of development.
Together we will get serious with action-oriented planning, taking field trips to nearby artist communities and virtual tours of ones farther afield, doing interviews with members and creators, funders and fans, visiting potential sites, talking with partners and government officials, and learning together in the process of making it real.
The basic concept of Artopia is an intentional community for artists of any type, whether “professional” (paid) or not. If you consider yourself a writer, dancer, musician, artist, actor, etc., that is all that is necessary. This community will acquire a single building or a group of buildings or other facility that will accommodate about 20-25 households, and include a mini-theater, art gallery and teaching space. We do want to accommodate and be multi-everything, including income levels, but we also will need at least a core group of people who can help fund the initial purchase. What number of units/households could be set aside for renters will depend on many factors, but I hope that there will be at least a few.
Our next meetings will have “schmooze” time built in at the end of the meeting, as well as “get up to speed time” at the beginning of each meeting for any newcomers, so we can move forward, rather than taking meeting time to review. I will also keep up the Artopia Facebook page after each meeting so folks can keep current.
Look forward to seeing you all in 2016.
Debora Gordon, Artopia founder and visionary
P.S. We're charging to cover rent for the meeting space and to support EBCOHO's MeetUp and planning time; EBCOHO Supporting Members and Artopia pioneers (who contributed towards the first year's meetings) get half off, and payments can be credited towards a supporting membership or Artopia series subscription. EBCOHO accepts BayBucks complementary currency and Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) time bank hours, but only by advance arrangement.
Here's our co-facilitator Raines, hanging out with St. Francis:
Here's the original invitation from events a year ago, in case you missed it or forgot:
You're invited to a planning meeting for EBCOHO's newest Supporting Group: Artopia, a live/work/ teaching/ community space for artists (broadly interpreted from visual art to writing to graphic design, and anyone else who works creatively):
Artopia does not yet exist. But I would like it to come to fruition in about 12-18 months, or perhaps a bit longer.
Here's the basic idea:
Perhaps 15-20 households (household can be any number/ combination of people) in which at least one member of each household is an artist, writer, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, film/videographer/ something in the arts, buy a loft/warehouse type building together and working with an entity such as the Northern California Land Trust, and with assistance from EBCoho form an artists' cooperative.
I am thinking that hopefully each household can contribute about $100,000- $150,000 (or more, perhaps) and create this live/work space. I envision that on the ground floor would be an art gallery, small theater/performance space/concert hall, dance studio, and classrooms for teaching the arts for those who wish to teach (like me!). Upstairs would be spacious live-work spaces. Possibly we could also have a rooftop community garden and other amenities, depending on finances, skills of the residents, etc.
This cooperative would be run democratically, and decisions would be made as much as possible by consensus, hopefully synthesizing the best collective wisdom of the group. The only "requirement" I see would be that each household is home to at least one person involved in the arts. I myself am a writer and visual artist.
The above is only meant to be a sketch, and I am very open to hearing other people's ideas and visions.