Jo Sharpe's feedback from workshop 4/7/2108

It was well attended and by the right people and it was well run by Devoted and Disgruntled.
I was awake half the night with loads of ideas about getting art classes and workshops across the borough and so obviously inspired!

Artists are visionaries and can inspire whole communities but what I and other artists can lack is skills using the left hand brain. What was great about the meeting there wa a good mix of people and we were all talking, mixing and will hopefully share our skills to get our goal- 'Put the heart back into Sutton.' We appreciate the guidance, wisdom and expertise of all those left hand brainers and I feel Art Network Sutton are on the right path and we need to have them as the umbrella organistion, talking to the right people, gathering and distributing the grants so us artists can inspire communities and show them that having the abilty to express themelves with an art form is fulfilling and powerful! Arts can be good for the soul and educate etc etc.

Needing to help the projects I have happen involves a bit of money but marketing and I hope the ANS website will help us all when it is up and running and we need a good facebook page to go with it (like the CAOS) page. Sutton council needs to help us publicise this so our classes and workshops and all the good things we do become well attended (if not we will all be going to Croydon where it shound like there are lots of exciting projects happening).

I would like the ANS to focus on: leting us know about where to access grants, finding us affordable and available art workshop space to hire, providing business and marketing support. A neutral Arts liason officer would be great, if only part-time?

Also the Sutton Chambre of commerce needs to help us – I would really appreciate an hours 1;1 advice with growing my business and a “how to do social media” workshop perhaps providing a businessperson for 1hr per month to help us. I can forsee my business growing where I can employ and train up apprentices but I need help gaining the skills. As well as being an artist/art teacher, community artist I also am a website builder, accountant, and marketer and manager but I have to do all this by myself and it is so timeconsuming (and upaid). I have asked for support from various sites offering support but have not had replies.

I found Heather Honour very interesting when she spoke in the first workshop and really feel she is a great chairman for ANS. I like the idea of using churches but it would be even better if we worked with one church, where we could make a mess, had good light and parking and reasonable. Researching availabity all takes up time so it will be great if the website coordinates everything from artists/venue space/ useful contacts/

I honestly feel The Charles Cryer Theatre should become a hub for all the Arts and run as that. It could be open and inuse almost 24 hrs a day (if it had a recording studio/media suite) and we should use The Brooks cafe as a model or ask them to be involved? Down at the bottom of Sutton high Street would be a good venue for a centre/outreach project for young people but where youth workers were available a artists could also run workshops. I think there is room for both.

It was good to see councellors at the meeting but the council really must listen to the people who pay their wages and live within the borough.

Jo Sharpe, Artist and Budding Artists founder.