Welcome 2018

Comment

Welcome 2018

It is that time of year when in the aftermath of Christmas it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the year just past and the year ahead.  2017 has been a very positive year for The Old Print Works.  We have seen many of the organisations based in The Old Print Works thrive.

The GAP Arts Project moved in early in the year and, together with a really active Ort Gallery, they have excelled in arts provision and community engagement. Moseley Yoga, again new to OPW in 2017 has gone from strength to strength with a wide range of yoga courses on regularly throughout the week, with some fabulous deals to make yoga affordable for all. Hidden away at the back of the building, and standing firm in the face of waning provision in Birmingham, is Sundragon Pottery.  A membership-based makerspace since 2014, they started putting on regular pottery courses in 2017 which have proved a real success.

There are many individual businesses and artists who have used OPW as a base and who continue to grow and others who have recently relocated to us. To name a few, Jamie makes fabulous bespoke pieces at Seed Furniture, Hermon from Erokaworld is a maker of unusual clocks and tables, Jon is a restorer of heritage buildings, which you can see here, and Jonnie is using OPW as a base for his PhD work.

Many of you will have seen the new sign that was a long time in coming as we toyed with different designs that tied in with our old logo.  In the end, we decided to go for a full rebrand, and were much happier with an all new design based around a new logo. Manufacturing and implementation constraints delayed us further, but we partnered with one of OPW's skilled makers to finish it just before Christmas and we love it! Let us know what you think.  We are sad to see that Clifton Steel, who cut the aluminium for us, are closing down.

We have invested, with the support of a grant from Birmingham City Council, in super cycle parking facilities in front of Ort Cafe and The GAP and also in the courtyard, which includes lighting and a repair station. A grant from the Positive Futures Fund will help us to expand The GAP's arts space.

We had two performances from The Rep, as part of their Barry Jackson tours, and also Cucumber Writers put on an evening of short plays about The Old Print Works. We hope to develop more of this activity in 2018, already having The Rep booked in again.

P1020239.JPG

Birmingham Rep's production of 

 

'I Knew You.'

We have had many people use our spaces as backdrops for filming. This great film by Koala TV promoting dance was filmed largely at OPW.

We have had growth in attendances at Daily Thread, our community textiles sessions, and have opened up some new times with the help of a couple of great volunteers. We also have seen The Transfer co-working space become a favourite location for many local freelancers and people who previously worked from home. 

So in 2018 we hope this growth continues. 18 months ago we were close to closure but we took a collective risk, which has slowly paid off. In revenue terms, Make It Sustainable, the charity that runs OPW, is now stable and getting better. We have made significant progress in trying to purchase the building. We were offered a loan from the Arts Impact Fund (AIF - a fund supported by NESTA and the Arts Council). This has lapsed as we ran out of time piecing together the other funds we needed but we are still very hopeful of financing the purchase in 2018 as we are still in contact with AIF, and also with the Local Enterprise Partnership and a number of other potential funders. So the prospects are good.

We are undertaking the development of a 5-year strategy as we know we still have a long way to travel. Our ambitious vision is outlined below, and we will be looking in the early months of 2018 in more detail with the board, our unit partners and associates at how we can work together to make it happen. If you have views that you want to put across do email them to us on info@oldprintworks.org. 

What should be the characteristics of The Old Print Works in 5 years' time?

  • A versatile building that works & welcomes
  • An inspiring & confident image
  • Part of a thriving local cultural offer (adding economically to the area)
  • A happy & successful internal community (both community facing and business oriented partners)
  • A centre for making, having an social impact in the local area
  • A proud heritage building demonstrating a sustainable footprint

Wishing you a very happy New Year.

 

 

Comment

A couple of great photographers

Comment

A couple of great photographers

We had two photographers, Peter Bradbury and Reuben Penny focus on OPW over the summer. They have produced some lovely images of the people in OPW as well as the building and its various spaces and artefacts.  Take a look at some of their work below and contact them if you need talent.

 

Images by Peter Bradbury.      hello@peterbradburyphotography.co.uk

 

Images by Reuben Penny.        trapezefilm@gmail.com

Comment

Local entrepreneur?  Get FREE co-working with mentoring thrown in

Comment

Local entrepreneur? Get FREE co-working with mentoring thrown in

Local makers and successful business Bennett & Dunn are partnering with us to sponsor a free membership in The Transfer co-working space at The Old Print Works.  If you are interested in working in a productive, inspiring and collaborative environment, please read on!

Rupert from Bennett & Dunn met us as we occupied neighbouring stalls at the Moseley Farmers' Market.  He was interested in supporting other creative and 'making' businesses to grow and thrive.  His company grows and presses rapeseed to make delicious and nutritious oils and dressings.  His business has grown from £0 to £80,000 turnover in three years.

Bennett & Dunn now make a donation to The Old Print Works of 1p per litre of oil sold.  This will be used to help sponsor a desk in The Transfer co-working space for a local start-up or emerging business.  Working at The Transfer is already a low-cost way for start-ups, small businesses, social enterprises and self-employed people to have a productive, inspiring and collaborative working environment. Bennett & Dunn’s support will help us provide free membership to one lucky person, and Rupert has also offered business mentoring to accompany this sponsorship.

If you would like to access Rupert’s mentoring, and full-time co-working at The Transfer for free for 6 months, please contact us (info@oldprintworks.org) telling us:

  • what your emerging business or start-up idea is
  • how do you fit with The Old Print Works' aims of supporting making, creativity, eco-sustainability, education, heritage and collaboration
  • why you and your business would benefit from a sponsored membership and from The Transfer’s co-working environment
  • how your presence could benefit fellow co-workers in The Transfer
  • what areas of your business could benefit from Rupert's business mentoring
  • your postcode and how you plan to travel to The Transfer (it is a bonus the more local and the more sustainable you are)

We will be keen for you to be showcased on our website and social media channels during your 6 months, detailing different aspects of how the sponsorship has helped your business.

We do not expect applications to be longer than about one side of A4.  The deadline for applications is midday on Friday 24th November, with a view to membership starting 1st December.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Read more about Bennett & Dunn's sponsorship here.  

Comment

Come on a Cycle Ride with us on Saturday July 8th

Comment

Come on a Cycle Ride with us on Saturday July 8th

LAUNCH OF THE OLD PRINT WORKS CYCLING FACILITIES SATURDAY JULY 8TH

The Old Print Works is delighted to be hosting the formal launch of our wonderful new cycling facilities on Saturday July 8th from 2.00pm. All are welcome to attend. These great new facilities include cycle parking in front of our building, outside Ort Café and GAP Arts, with additional parking in the courtyard of The Old Print Works. In addition, we have a repair station, which includes a a cycle pump and bike work stand with a range of tools, so useful if you would benefit from the bike being off the floor for the repair, or if you dont have all the tools yourself.   We have also had new super-bright lighting installed in the courtyard for your safety and your bike’s security.

A huge thank you to Birmingham City Council (Birmingham Cycle Revolution) for their grant that supported these works. The Old Print Works is run by a charity and these facilities are helping us and those who come to The Old Print Works to be much more sustainable.

THE PROGRAMME

1.00pm -  45 minutes of free yoga in the courtyard (weather permitting - inside if not) from Moseley Yoga. Book  here.

2.00pm – The facilities will be opened by Councillor Tony Kennedy at 2pm with a short speech.

2.30pm – ‘Stand and Deliver’.  John Newson from Balsall Heath is our Planet (BHIOP) will then lead a guided cycle ride around Balsall Heath. This will take a maximum of an hour and will look at your ideas for how cycle facilities could be improved in Balsall Heath. This will be on-road and is suitable for confident cyclist supervision. Bring your own bikes! Views will be fed back to the Council.

3.30pm – We will return to The Old Print Works where you will be able to

  • Visit Ort Gallery/The Gap. This will be the last chance to see the great members exhibition in Ort Gallery and why not pop in to The Gap and see a photographic exhibition entitled 'My Place..?' by a young refugee documenting his experiences of living in Birmingham.
  • Take a look at the Moseley Yoga studio and their range of classes.
  • Come and celebrate historic Myrtle Cottage’s new gardens, wonderfully created by Jeremy, including the Bee Garden at the front with the support of BHIOP. Refreshments and poetry are planned.
Myrtle Cottage's Bee Garden

Myrtle Cottage's Bee Garden

 

Hope to see you then! Any queries - email info@oldprintworks.org.

Comment

Local Photographers: Can you give us the right image?

Comment

Local Photographers: Can you give us the right image?

We are in the midst of a re-branding process but really feel the need for some new images of our lovely gem of a building. We want someone who can really pick up on the character of The Old Print Works and its unique essence.

We are looking for a local photographer who will come and take photos of The Old Print Works some time in the next couple of weeks - a mixture of spaces, hidden gems, outdoor gardens, galleries, studios, workshops etc. It would also be great to get photos of some of the people who are based here, and whatever other hidden treasures someone has the eye to find.

It’s probably a day or a couple of afternoons' (depending on lighting / weather) worth of shooting and editing as you like, but we would ideally like the photos by mid to late May.

We are offering the person who we work with 3 months of membership over the summer in our laid back co-working space - The Transfer, from mid May to Mid August. You can find out more details of The Transfer here: http://www.thetransfer.org. We’ll also of course credit the photographer on our social media platforms, link through from our website, and wherever else is appropriate on other marketing material.

If you’re familiar with The Old Print Works, or want to take a look through some photos of our space online  or on social media, then please fire us a couple of shots of yours that you think will be the right vibe for us, and a few words to go with them on why you are right for us and we should have an answer for you in the next week or so.

Interested? Well thanks! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Just drop us an email on info@oldprintworks.org.

We will be making a decision on Wednesday 17th May - so get your submissions in before then.

Comment

1 Comment

Would you like to curate our Upper Gallery?

We are keen to get more arts events happening in the Old Print Works so as part of this we are inviting expressions of interest to run the Old Print Works Upper Gallery. This wonderful first floor space is ideal for arts exhibitions given its natural lighting via north lights and offers a real opportunity for an imaginative individual or organisation to think how best to use such an inspiring and flexible space and work in partnership with The Old Print Works for mutual benefit.

The space is approximately 1000 sq ft.

We would be looking for a partnership where we achieve a range of outcomes including more artistic outputs and some increased revenue from your use of the space and in return we would allow the successful person/organisation to programme in events as they saw fit within broad guidelines to be jointly agreed.

Scope

  • Initially we would suggest a pilot of 6 months
  • Access would need to be maintained through the gallery and to the units off the gallery at all times
  • Music events will be possible but shouldn’t be the main use.  The organisers would need to be clear when Temporary Events Notices are needed and organise appropriately. Advice will be given.
  • References will be needed together with evidence of appropriate skills and/or experience.
  • This call for expressions of interest will be open until Monday May 15th at midnight. Please contact us if you want to arrange to visit the gallery and/ or want to discuss its potential and possible financial approaches.

Email us on info@oldprintworks.org with your proposal for use, curation and marketing of the space, along with proposed approach and projections re payment for the space.

1 Comment

Comment

Change is happening at OPW

From the dark days of last June when we thought we might have to close we have made significant progress. Slowly but surely we are improving The Old Print Works.

We .recently won a grant from Birmingham City Council and Sustrans of over £9000 to improve our cycling facilities. So we now have lots of bike parking - both in front outside Ort Cafe and in the court yard to the rear. We also have a bike repair station, a pump and lighting to encourage evening use. We want you to cycle when you visit us!

We hope as well with the monies to produce a local cycling map working with GAP Arts, one of our new tenants and the Bike Foundry in Stirchley.  

If any organisations want to use our bike repair facilities for training purposes please contact us as we have two portable repair stands as well with some tools.

Our brand new bike repair stand in the court yard.

Our brand new bike repair stand in the court yard.

Hal, one of our co-workers pumping his tyres up.

Hal, one of our co-workers pumping his tyres up.

If any organisations want to use our bike repair facilities for training purposes please contact us as we have two portable repair stands as well with some tools.

Already it is noticeable that more people are cycling in and thinking about it especially as the weather is getting warmer.  

We have a little jewel of a co-working space called The Transfer and many of the co-workers now come in more regularly by bike as they now have somewhere to park. 

We will be launching the facilities with a celebratory cycle ride around Balsall Heath. Details to be finalised soon. Big thanks to Birmingham City Council and Sustrans for their support in this project

 

The bike racks have been an instant success.

The bike racks have been an instant success.

The new lighting is already having an impact as this crowded scene attests to on a recent Muzikstan and Daily Thread evening. 

The new lighting is already having an impact as this crowded scene attests to on a recent Muzikstan and Daily Thread evening. 

Comment

Art, film & design with MAK! (CZ) at the Old Print Works

Comment

Art, film & design with MAK! (CZ) at the Old Print Works

If you haven’t yet explored the Old Print Works, we are an eclectic and growing bunch of makers, doers, designers, artists, musicians, teachers, dreamers, builders and thinkers, sharing our skills and art and creations with the community in an even more eclectic and exciting space. The Old Print Works is full of studios, galleries, spaces and surprises - both indoors and out - and last weekend was testament to just how eclectic and exciting things can be around here! 

A few weeks ago we were approached by MAK!, architects from the Czech Republic, who had a UK design & build tour planned, and were looking for a Birmingham location to park up, pop-up and make some magic. The timing was tight,  but we had a weekend available, and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, so we said we’d give it a go! We weren’t able to spread the word quite as far and wide as we would have liked (sorry to anyone who didn't hear about it in time to make it!), but on Saturday MAK! and their crew partnered up with the Czech Centre London and brought a whole new cultural experience to our buzzing little industrial community space last week.

MAK! built pop-up cinemas and two new bars with reclaimed wood (one upstairs, one down) and transformed the OPW space into a one-day mini film and arts festival. Not bad for a couple of weeks' work! Saturday was colourful, creative, insightful and delicious, with traditional Czech pastries being cooked fresh in one of the cinemas, and our very own #OPWPopUpCafé serving local snacks and cakes from one of the new bars. There were films about street-art, Czech culture, sci-fi and girl-power, plus some classic Pat & Mat stop-motion animations, and even a bit of Charlie Chaplin.

A live pianist accompanied silent films, full traditional Czech costume was on parade and kids (and grown-ups) were able to try their hand at making and doing in the Upper Gallery. Throw in a bee-keeper DJ and you have yourself an Open Day at the Old Print Works. 

Thanks to the wonderful MAK! team, Tereza Buskova, the Czech Centre London, Czech Club Birmingham, Birmingham Wire, all the artists and film-makers involved, and the wider OPW crew for pulling together to make things happen! 

The weird and wonderful things that take place here surprise and delight us every day - if you'd like to get involved and maybe rent a studio, hire a space, exhibit your art, celebrate your culture, start a conversation or share your skills - or maybe even join us at The Transfer, our warm and welcoming co-working space - please find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, drop us a line, or pop in and say hello!

Comment