Over the past year I have been working with a group of people to set up an umbrella organisation for the promotion of visual arts here in Brisbane. Together we have formed a non profit organisation, Brisbane Visual Arts Community Inc, or BVAC for short, of which I am the Secretary.
Tomorrow will be or first AGM and we will also get the keys to our first premises that we are leasing from the Brisbane City Council. The lease documents are all signed and we are ready to rock and roll. The building was a Scout Den so there is lots of work to do to get it up to scratch, but with plenty of community input I'm sure we will get it into shape.
Upstairs there is a hall with lockable rooms on each side. It is planned to rent the rooms to our member organisations for storage of materials and the main hall area for workshops. One group want to house their library here.
There is a new kitchen, which we need to fit with appliances.
Down stairs at the moment is rather dark but with a little work it will make a great area for those messy arts, like pottery.
The building's neighbours are Weller's Hill State School and a Girl Guides hall. The rest is parkland with lots of parking and no houses close enough for us to annoy. The map still shows a scout den symbol but that will have to be changed. (We will have to come up with a symbol for community arts.) There are 7 different bus routes that pass close by and we are within walking distance of a great coffee shop.
For the future we are looking at a joint venture with a developer in another suburb were we can house a gallery and other retail outlets. Brisbane has a great cultural precinct but nothing for the grass roots. Lots of small organisation all trying to swim on their own. We aim to bring all those small organisations together that feed the elite visual arts activity in our city. Now we have taken the first step.