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Community Conversations at Artisan’s Asylum: Programming & Audience

DATE:  May 17, 2021     CATEGORIES:  Blog, Community, Events, Friends of Artisans, Get Involved!, News, Outreach, Past Events

As we all know, at the start of 2022, Artisans’ Asylum will open a 52,500 SF studio and fabrication space in Allston-Brighton. As we transition from our current Somerville location to Allston, we’ve been connecting with our local community through a series of virtual community conversations. Our latest series of virtual chats were held on May 6th and focused on the topic of Programming & Audience.

We asked community members how to best connect Artisan’s Asylum (and the vast array of opportunities the Asylum offers) with a wider audience. We investigated new course offerings as well as new partnerships. Our conversations were fun, fascinating, and informative. Some key takeaways from our latest community conversations include the following:

  • MULTILINGUAL OPPORTUNITIES – As we expand our reach, we want to delve deeper into non-English speaking communities. We offer a wide range of lifelong learning opportunities, so let’s make sure they’re available to everyone, regardless of their English-speaking background. Let’s develop translated courses as well as alternative language workshops. 
  • STREAMING – We discussed ways in which we can enhance connectivity between our membership and a greater maker audience. For instance, there is ample opportunity for creatives to share their skills and interests online through various streaming platforms like Twitch, IG Live, and YouTube. Are there ways we can format our new space to make these sharing experiences feasible from within the Asylum? 
  • RE-USE & REVIVE – Let’s offer more opportunities to give broken and unwanted items a new life. Through a range of fix-it and fab-it courses, our experienced creatives can help folks make old, outdated items into refreshed favorites. 
  • FAMILY AND YOUTH – We discussed creating family-friendly programming that invites engagement from parents and kids alike. We will investigate programming that alights creative passions and sparks imaginative, hands-on making for all ages. 
  • MOBILITY – While we develop new partnerships within the community, we recognize that transportation can be a barrier that prevents engagement with Artisan’s Asylum. Therefore, we’re exploring ways to bring the makerspace to folks beyond its walls. We will develop flexible, speedy, and fun programming that can be hosted at facilities outside the Asylum like schools, community centers, and libraries.
  • PARTNERSHIPS – We discussed a wide range of partnership opportunities from youth-based organizations like the Oak Square YMCA to senior organizations such as the Veronica Smith Center in Brighton. Also, throughout our conversations, we considered ways to delve further into partnership opportunities with local businesses. Alongside our existing and upcoming partners, we want to develop dual programming that enriches the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our community. 
  • CELEBRATE ALLSTON-BRIGHTON – Allston-Brighton is a close-knit community that values engagement, diversity, and storytelling. How can we collaborate with local organizations to project unheard voices and tell unknown stories? 

Our upcoming meeting on May 27th will be centered on Community Service and Impact at the Asylum. How can an art and fabrication space like Artisan’s Asylum work to best serve its community? Are there any service organizations or entities that we should connect with? Are there any programs that we should pursue? We want to hear your thoughts! Also, feel free to come to listen to your peers! We welcome all levels of participation! 

Here’s the link to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3bTwoiH

We can’t wait to see you there!

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