Moving Forward Together Consultation Report

What do we have, what do we need, what do we keep, what can you offer? Four questions posed, over 150 thoughts and ideas fed back.

One card stood out:

Affordability – Security – Longevity – Prosperity

As we all know times have been a changing at St Margaret’s House and the Moving Forward Together consultation launched by Edinburgh Palette during Open Doors was timely, offering an opportunity to regroup and to celebrate how relevant the community and Edinburgh Palette is to many individuals and collectives who work at 151 London Road.

The aim of the response cards, beautifully designed by Eduardo Iturralde, was to enable studio holders and collectives consider the value of working in a community and offered the chance to voice their opinions. The display was complemented by eco designer Mona Kastell’s table top model inviting visitors and residents to imagine their ideal eco-community in collaboration with artist and curator Jan Bee Brown’s recycled maps.

So what did we learn to help us move forward together?

Practically, residents value the Belfast sinks, kitchens, high ceilings and natural light of their current studios plus the accessibility of St Margaret’s House. They also appreciate the friendly staff in the offices, the ability to share studio spaces and the range of holistic and complementary therapies and activities on offer with in the building. Affordability was essential and people felt that the chance to meet over coffee and chat in a communal library space led to valued collaborative practice and skill sharing. Keeping and extending the opportunity to exhibit their work and the residency program was
highly recommended.

Suggestions for Moving Forward Together included the idea of a staffed selling space, a peer-mentoring program, a café with music nights, monthly breakfast meetings, regular open days, a studio rep and advice on business start ups.

To summarise the voice of the studio holders expressed a continuing desire for community, for clarity and openness, a fair, non-exclusive plan for a studio complex the supports creativity. This creative consultation will now inform decisions on buildings and locations and will contribute to future funding bids.

Cards are still available for further comment from the office.

Categories: Community News, News

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