Art Playground Cheltenham: Business Start Up

The thrills and spills of a social enterprise start up

What is the Art Playground?

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Welcome to Art Playground Cheltenham.

It doesn’t exist yet. I am in the process of setting up a social enterprise- a business with a community benefit, where profits are distributed to support the social aims of the business. In this case, to encourage creativity and curiosity in adults and children, particularly through family learning. (and unofficially, to provide a creative, arty, friendly, vibrant community space in a town with a lot of slick, passive, arms-length experiences.)

In the very very early stages I looked for a blog someone had written whilst setting up a small business and couldn’t find one. So I am starting one and will post things I find out along the way, experiences, ideas etc in the hope that it may be useful to someone else doing the same.

The Art Playground will be a cross between an art gallery and an indoor playground, this is art you can explore, climb on, in and under. It will be for adults as much as children. Art Playground is like exploring a series of small worlds; a magician’s library, a multicoloured forest, underground caverns and painted mazes. I don’t believe that art should be about tip-toeing around empty galleries or that playgrounds, secret tunnels, hidden doors and clambering about and exploring should be off limits to adults (or children).

I am also planning to have a real food cafe with interesting veggie, vegan and gluten free options (there’s currently little to none in Cheltenham) as well as food for normal people. (I’m allowed to say that, I am a vegan, and a wheat-free, tee-total one at that. No wheat, no dairy, no fun.) and would love an outdoor space with re-purposed items as planters.

The whole thing will have a focus on recycled and re-purposed materials, acknowledging my great love for the car boot sale.

I also intend to build up a programme of events and workshops, offer birthday parties, provide a venue to hire and support a range of community and arts groups.

So that’s the plan. We’ll see what happens.

Christina

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