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Support Space for Cuenca Creatives

$3,500 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 16 months
Created September 5, 2017
Cuenca, Ecuador needs a creative center that will provide affordable work space to artists and writers unable to rent a place of their own

Here’s how I came to discover this need.

Nearly a decade ago, I began making art out of materials others might consider trash:  bottle caps and fabric scraps, paper dolls and outdated maps.  I did this because things like acrylic paint and colored pencils were too expensive.  When I needed practical things I also couldn't afford, I improvised.  For example, I found a table on the curb, waiting for the city sanitation department to collect.  It was what I needed, but it was also ugly.  So out of necessity, I transformed it into a piece I could be proud of. 


When others saw what I’d done, friends, family, and even strangers began asking me to teach them what I had taught myself. 


Then, when my spouse and I moved to Cuenca, Ecuador in 2013, these requests continued, so we developed a workshop that would share with others the skills I’d acquired by trial and error. 


As an author who had taught college writing for years, I created a brand that would express my love for both the visual and verbal arts.  Thus, idiomART was born, and other workshops were developed.


I still teach these classes, but recently creative people in town have begun asking me to start a community studio that would provide affordable work space to artists and writers unable to rent their own.   Below are just a few of those artists.


I love their idea.  I’ve found a space.

But we need $3,000 to get started.  That’s where you come in, I hope. 

Below I outline our community's dream and my philosophy for inspiring creativity in others.  I describe the needs the studio will meet and exactly where donated funds will be spent. 

Our Core Beliefs about Community and the Creative Process

The dream to draw or paint or write requires three things of you.

1,  Forget the rules you learned in Kindergarten about neatness and coloring inside the lines.  Painting a sunrise or writing a poem has nothing to do with the grade you earned in middle school art or freshman composition. 

2.  Abandon the myth that you, of all people, can NOT create.  Maybe you say, "I can't make art.  I can't even draw a straight line.  Couldn't if my life depended on it."  Only important, is your willingness to try.  There's no such thing as "failure."

3.  Be part of a supportive community of like-minded people.  This will help you feel free and safe enough to experiment.  We offer a community that will celebrate success with you.  Community can witness your creative process, offer insight, and champion even the little victories.

The Goal

idiomART wants to open a creative space at the corner of Manuel Vega and Juan Jarmillo (in el Centro), where artists and writers can purchase access like they would a gym membership.   The space would provide a large, open studio for the visual arts, quiet writing room, classroom, lounging area, and Wi-Fi. The space is close to 2000 square feet and up a single, double-wide staircase, for easy access.  We also hope to eventually develop a lending library. 

To get started we need to raise $3,000.

Who we will Serve

1.  Retired expats who finally have the time to create but not the space.

2.  Young Ecuadorian artists who can't afford to rent a space of their own.

3.  Tourists who want short-term access to studio space and a place to meet other creative people.

Objectives

1. idiomART will offer an affordable creative space, access to which you can purchase like a gym membership, by the year, by the month or even the week. (No contracts required. See plans below.)

2. idiomART will help you overcome creative insecurities and beliefs that you can’t make art. We all can’t before we can.  During the creative process, unplanned brush strokes or stray pencil marks   can be gifts, nudging us in new directions.

3. idiomART will support both artists and writers.  Artists will be able to experiment with words, and writers can explore images, adding texture to text.

4. idiomART will build community.  It will become a place to meet other creative people, have a cup of coffee, and relax among friends, all of whom want to create, even if they’ve never had the time or place to do so before

5. idiomART will sponsor events such as workshops, art talks, literary readings, book launches, and exhibits. 

Membership Plans and Benefits

Founding Membership: Regularly $500

1.  Founding members will receive one-year/52-week accesss to the studio.

2.  Founding members will be invited to serve on an advisory committee.  

3.  They will have free, quarterly access to our classroom, where they can teach workshops of their own (one day per quarter).  

4.  They will be able to arrange after-hours access to the studio, as scheduling allows.

5.   Founding members will have access to a large, light filled, open studio;  a separate, quiet work space for writing; and a lounge,  where they can socialize and make new friends.

6.  They will be entitled to free coffee and tea, as well as Wi-Fi.

7.  They'll have a place where they can store personal art supplies.  Extra storage can be purchased for an additional fee.

8.  They will have free access to events such as art talks, literary readings, and exhibits. 

9.  The cost of workshops and classes are not included in any membership.

10.  Members will be able to use studio tools such as brushes, straight edges, e-XACTO knives, etc.; but not supplies such as paint, paper. canvas, or colored pencils.

One-year membership: Regularly $400.

1.  One-year members will receive 52 consecutive weeks of studio access.

2.  They will be entitled to free coffee and tea, as well as Wi-Fi.

3.  They'll have a place where they can store personal art supplies.  Extra storage can be purchased for an additional fee.

4.  They will have free access to events such as art talks, literary readings, and exhibits. 

5.  The cost of workshops and classes are not included in any membership.

6.  Members will be able to use studio tools such as brushes, straight edges, e-XACTO knives, etc.; but not supplies such as paint, paper. canvas, or colored pencils.

One-month membership: Regularly $60

1.  One-month members receive four consecutive weeks of studio access.

2.  They will be entitled to free coffee and tea, as well as Wi-Fi.

3.  They'll have a place where they can store personal art supplies.  Extra storage can be purchased for an additional fee.

4.  They will have free access to events such as art talks, literary readings, and exhibits. 

5.  The cost of workshops and classes are not included in any membership.

6.  Members will be able to use studio tools such as brushes, straight edges, e-XACTO knives, etc.; but not supplies such as paint, paper. canvas, or colored pencils.

One-week membership: Regularly $20

1.  One-week members receive 5 consecutive days of studio access.

2.  They will be entitled to free coffee and tea, as well as Wi-Fi.

3.  They'll have a place where they can store personal art supplies.  Extra storage can be purchased for an additional fee.

4.  They will have free access to events such as art talks, literary readings, and exhibits. 

5.  The cost of workshops and classes are not included in any membership.

6.  Members will be able to use studio tools such as brushes, straight edges, e-XACTO knives, etc.; but not supplies such as paint, paper. canvas, or colored pencils.

Hours

Open studio hours will be Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 4 pm.  Weekends will be reserved for special events. 

Support Us

If you're able to donate, we thank you in advance. 

1.  If you can't contribute financially, would you please share our campaigne via social media?  Thank you so much!

2.  If you don't live in Ecuador and can't benefit from membership, we welcome your donation anyway.  Maybe you'll come visit us.

3.  If you do live in Ecuador,  you can become a FOUNDING MEMBER for the discounted rate of $450. (See benefits above.)

4.  You can also donate by pre-purchasing a ONE-YEAR PASS  that would normally cost $400 for $350.

5.  You can pre-purchase a ONE-MONtH PASS  that would cost $60 for $55.

6.  You can pre-purchase ONE-WEEK PRIVLEGES  for $18 instead of $20. 

7.  You can also donate ANY OTHER AMOUNT, either above the $450 category, below the $18 amount, or anything in between.

We need $3000 to cover the costs of deposit, first and second month’s rent, set up of internet and utilities, as well as the purchase of furniture and supplies.

Budget

·         Deposit and first two months' rent: $900

·         Internet installation and modem: $90

·         Internet for two months:  $63

·         Utilities for two months:  $80

·         Basic Kitchen Set-Up (coffee pot, mugs, etc.): $112

·         Twenty chairs for classroom and open studio: $200

·         Two used sofas: $400

·         Five large tables: $200

·         Five sheets of plywood to enlarge tables: $100

·         Furniture delivery: $40

·         Misc. Housekeeping Items (waste baskets, mop,
          broom, etc): $75

·         Three bookshelves: $150

·         Storage for members' personal art supplies: $100

·         Two stools: $30

·         Two side tables for lounge: $30

·         Ingredients to make blackboard paint: $15

·         One five-gallon bucket of white primer: $40

·         Six gallons of paint for accent walls: $60

·         Brushes: $25

·         Other studio tools: $50

·         Floor protection (drop clothes, etc.): $40

·         Paper: $50

·         Used paper cutter: $50

·         Miscellaneous: $100

·         TOTAL:  $3,000

Again, we THANK YOU!!!!  Cuenca's artists and authors appreciate your support.
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Update 9
Posted by Kathryn McCullough
15 months ago
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Sara Coppler and I would like to thank Evelyn for her contribution to idiomART Studio. We appreciate her generosity and want to thank her from the bottom of our hearts!
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Update 8
Posted by Kathryn McCullough
15 months ago
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Exciting news!

idiomART’s new studio is up and running. We’ve hosted an open house, a week-long workshop, and an exhibit—all in the past fourteen days.

The generosity of our supporters has stunned and humbled us. We thank you. Thank you, not only from those of us who run the studio, but also from the creative community that benefits from your kind hearts and giving gestures.

An unexpected example of this generosity happened last week, when someone offered to have lockers built, so members would have a secure place to store their supplies. This is a huge gift and an item we must have to function most effectively.

Even more importantly, we have named our first Cuencana scholarship artist—Marcela A. Orellana Calle (Mazhyx), who will use the studio for the next year, a gift from an anonymous donor in town. Another North American living in Cuenca has donated a half scholarship for another Ecuadorian artist, we have not yet identified.

Given our desire to extend the half year scholarship to an entire twelve months, we are asking someone to match the $250 donation that has already been made to benefit this second Cuencano artist.

We have almost met our campaign’s goal but have decided to extend our efforts to raise funds for the rest of the year. That means that we will continue to offer discounted prices for studio use until January first—a one-year membership for $350, rather than the regular price of $400, a one-month membership for $55 instead of $60, and one-week for $18 instead of $20.

That also means that we have identified additional start-up costs we had not anticipated, and, therefore, we’re raising our fundraising goal from $3,000 to $5,000. Below I outline exactly what those costs are and how those additional dollars will be spent.

Scholarship $250
Track lighting $200
Projector $300
Speaker $140
Microphone $50
Screen $100
Printer $125
Comfortable chair $150
Large screen monitor $360
Signage and Promotional Printing $100
Dish drainer $10
Plates and bowls $25
Storage shelves for backroom bodega $80
Wi-Fi repeater $60
Door installation $50

Finally, we’d like to announce our workshop and event calendar for the coming seven months. We are filling up, so if you’d like to use the studio to teach, host a book launch, exhibit, or anything else, please let us know.

Schedule to-date:

October 20th, Friday: Gala Décor-Making Party with Franny Hogg
October 28th, Saturday: Photography Workshop with John Keeble
October 30th, Monday: Photography Workshop with John Keeble
November 11th, Saturday: Exhibit of Santiago Sutton
November 13th, 20th, 27th, December 4th, 11th, 18th, Monday: Drawing Classes with Santiago Sutton
December 1st, Friday: Ornament-Making Workshop with Kathryn McCullough
December 8th, Friday: Gift-Wrapping from Trash Workshop with Kathryn McCullough
January 15-20th, Monday-Friday: Furniture-Art Workshop with Kathryn McCullough
January 26th-27th, Friday-Saturday: HOME: Art and Soul Exhibit
February 5th, Monday: Valentine’s Day Card-Making Workshop with Kathryn McCullough
March 13th, Tuesday: Open House with a full day of workshops
May 7-11th, Monday-Friday: Furniture-Art Workshop with Kathryn McCullough

Thanks to everyone who has supported the work of idiomART Studio—all who have donated time, labor, and in-kind items, all who have contributed financially, all who have attended our events and workshops, and all who will support us in the future. Your generosity is priceless. We’re grateful for this opportunity to strengthen the creative community in Cuenca.

You all are making that happen! Community is the heart of who we are and why we exist. Thanks for being an important member of our creative community.
Ceramic artist Eduardo Segovia visited
Start of the Furniture-ART workshop
Great turn-out for our first exhibit
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Update 7
Posted by Kathryn McCullough
15 months ago
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It’s been an exciting week at idiomART Studio! And that might be a bit of an understatement. Big, big thanks to all of you who helped make that happen!!!!

Last Thursday the studio hosted its first open house, offering free workshops by premier artists and writers in the area. We deeply appreciate the time and expertise donated by Kimberley Wood, Amelia Earl, Magy Peña, Franny Hogg, Magdalena Herreshoff, and Jeanne McCafferty. Without them the event could not have happened.

But we’d also like to thank the many, many artists and writers in town who came out in large numbers to take their classes. You were the soul of this event. You moved hourly from one workshop to the next, taking your enthusiasm with you and spreading it to some who had never before created anything and might have felt reticent without your encouragement and cheerleading. Even famed ceramicist Eduardo Segovia dropped by to endorse our efforts.

Cuenca Highlife covered the event in an article that was published the following day. Thank you to John Keeble and David Morrell for making that happen.

This week we are also nearing our campaign’s goal, as two people, Terri Drake and Deana Culp, donated significant amounts of money to move us in that direction. We’d like to thank them for their generosity and good will. Thank you for supporting the work of artists and writers in town!

This week launches the next session of idiomART’s Furniture Workshop. idiomART will host fifteen enthusiastic women, among them, artists and anthropologists, young mothers and musicians, some of whom like to remind us how unskilled they are. We intend to prove them wrong.

We thank each of you, from the bottom of our creative hearts, for supporting our vision and believing in our future. Without community, without YOU, we are nothing but empty rooms with lots of nice light. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Update 6
Posted by Kathryn McCullough
16 months ago
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idiomART wants to thank the wonderful Susan L Moore and her husband Frank for an amazingly generous donation. Your support of the creative community in Cuenca is priceless. In fact, on behalf of writers and visual artists in town, we offer our deepest appreciation. Thanks to you both! Thank you. Thank you.
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Read a Previous Update

$3,500 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 16 months
Created September 5, 2017
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SE
$350
steve ekholm
14 months ago
JT
$100
Joseph Thompson
14 months ago
EJ
$100
Evelyn Johnson
15 months ago
$350
Anonymous
15 months ago (Offline Donation)
DC
$100
Deana Culp
15 months ago
TD
$500
Teresa Drake
16 months ago
SM
$500
Susan Moore
16 months ago (Offline Donation)
MA
$30
Manya Arond-Thomas
16 months ago
MH
$30
Magdalena Herreshoff
16 months ago
$500
Anonymous
16 months ago (Offline Donation)
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