23rd November 2013
Well, may I say how nice it is to be part of Unique Wakefield’s organic branching out and how pleased I am to be able to contribute my little blog entry on behalf of Unity Hall. I look forward to seeing more guest blogging here!
As soon as I learned of the Unity project I just knew in my water that this was something to get behind. I already had a strong sense of the strength and breadth of talent and DIY spirit in the city and had no doubts at all that we were witnessing a city on the rise. It was a no-brainer for me to become a shareholder and then, when invited to state any interest in becoming a board member I followed that up too, and here I am, one year on, really feeling that we’re beginning to get stuck in.
Now let me qualify that by saying that some fine people had been already well and truly stuck in for quite some time before I came on board, and professional and clever folks have seen to it that there IS a project to take forward, and money in the bank and all that. We have so much to be thankful for in that area for the tremendous work that’s been done behind the scenes. But now, we have the keys and some of the funding in the bank! The builders are in, the scaffolding’s going up, pigeons have been culled, guano and asbestos removed and there are hi-viz jackets and hard hats all over the place. The original interior is being revealed as later modifications (the more polite word) are ripped away….and NOW it is time to rally the owners, that is, you, the shareholder and supporter, to being more involved.
I am currently working to establish our database of volunteers, with all the various skills on offer. There will be much to do.
The first meeting of volunteers is scheduled for this week and as I write is only a day away….the planned outcome from that initial get-together is to form a work party to ‘tidy up’ the big glass-fronted unit on the corner of Westgate and Smyth Street so that we can put it to temporary use. This unit is not included in the overall development and funding of Unity as it is currently planned to source another leaseholder to develop it into a restaurant/bar in keeping with our brand and ethos, but, in the meantime, it can be our shop front so we can show the world that ‘Unity’ is alive and kicking, even though the building project will not be completed until August 2014.
The hope is that there will be a nice steady stream of pop-up events happening in there. I have already had one or two suggestions put forward and we’re opening up the field to interested parties. Are you looking for a space to mount an exhibition, play a piece of music, perform a piece of drama, mount or stage some community-focused creative activity of any kind? Would you like to run a pop-up mini market, sit in there and knit and natter for a couple of hours, hold an art class????
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
I am excited about what’s happening in Wakefield and thrilled to be a part of it. It’s something organic, with a life of its own. Let’s throw ourselves in and allow the Merrie City to lead us in its cultural regeneration.
Irene Rhodes firstname.lastname@example.org