Barrett Arts Center comparison
At the Tuesday meetup someone asked what the difference would be between Squidwrench and the Barrett Arts Center. At the time I didn't know anything about the latter, so I wasn't able to give a very good answer. After a little research, here's what I've come up with.
- The Barrett Arts Center seems to focus exclusively on the visual arts. Specifically it seems that they endorse painting, pottery, and photography. Squidwrench, while welcoming visual artists, does not have the same kind of focus. I am personally interested in computers, electronics, robotics, and music. I don't see any indications that my interests would fit in there.
- They seem to focus on using their space as private studio space or exhibition space. My intention with Squidwrench is to provide a social space. I am more concerned with people having the excuse and opportunity to interact frequently and spontaneously than I am with any individual having a space to be alone and focus on their work.
- I'm not sure what Barrett Arts Center's access policy is like, but I didn't get the impression that showing up a 2:30 on Saturday morning would necessarily be ok. I would like no barriers to member's use of the space just because of the time of day or week. Again, I want to encourage spontaneous interaction.
- Membership to the Barrett Arts Center seems to be more of a subscription donation than an actual membership, and the benefits seem to be mainly small discounts on relatively expensive classes. I would like Squidwrench's membership dues to largely cover the expenses of running the group and not charge members at all for classes, whenever possible. I'm sure there will be exceptions, and we can deal with that when the need arises.
- Membership at Barrett also seems to be open to anyone who pays dues. I believe that for Squidwrench to be the type of space I imagine, we would need to be a bit more selective about our members. I want to be open to a wide variety of people coming to Squidwrench for the interaction, the classes, the infrastructure, but I would also like to know that Squidwrench can maintain a certain strength of direction and purpose. I think that some sort of vote or consensus process should be employed in order to decide if a member-applicant would be an appropriate addition to the group. Like I said, I want to be opening and welcoming, but I do want some protection against looters, loafers, and general purveyors of negativity.
I think that these differences are more than sufficient to warrant a group in addition to the Barrett Arts Center. Depending on the people involved in the center, I see a great potential for mutually beneficial interaction between the groups, but Barrett certainly does not cover what I want or need out of Squidwrench.
Feel free to comment on this post, or possibly start a thread in the forums. Everything I've said is open for discussionm whether it's because I need to clarify my stance on things, because I've forgotten some very important detail, or because you take issue with any one of my points.