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Group use of a large studio

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:35 am
by FusedLightStudio
I have “inherited” a well-equipped 2,000 sq foot glass studio in Decatur, GA. It’s a bit complicated (explained below), but, I’m wondering if anyone has experience with running a studio for group use - a guild, a collective, a membership structure?

In the short time that I’ve offered it for open studio time, I see these disadvantages:
-It has to be staffed, or else you have to have deep trust in the other users.
-Scheduling is complicated. People seem to have trouble using shared calendars.
-Users want to fragment everything - “can I just use the sandblaster for an hour?” “Can I pay a flat rate for the kiln even though I’m firing it for three days?” “Can I buy one stringer?” Etc.
-It’s hard to find users willing to pay a monthly subscription fee. So income is not consistent.
-It was designed for a single user. There are plenty of work spaces, but for the time being limited storage space, which makes it hard to keep the common areas clear.
-The studio is in a perfectly safe location, but people who aren’t familiar with that area of Atlanta are concerned about security.

Background: I had the great good fortune of knowing and being mentored by Charlie Holden, who some of you may remember. I’ve been renting his studio on a day rate for the past year. Sadly, he passed away last week. His family is willing to let me continue using the studio in the hopes that I can turn it into something that benefits the glass art community here in Atlanta. I have some financial support but only committed for three to six months.

Re: Group use of a large studio

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:58 am
by Don Burt
I can't give any advice from experience but I do want to offer encouragement and hope it works out well for you. It could be a cool thing if you figure out how to make it work. Maybe if you structure it correctly and declare a community focused service mission you could get some public arts funding.