Thursday, 30 November 2017

Time Flies...

For over a decade, Flockworks' Art@OddFellows has hosted monthly shows of Art by local Artists--more than 2,500 adults and thousands of local children have been part of these exhibits.  The art along with special events including music, films, fund raisers, auctions, dance performances, poetry and more made OddFellows a "must" for visitors and locals.  We also incubated  The Gallery Mendocino, now on Main street, which features work by over 40 local artists!  Overall, we helped strengthen the "arts identity" of the Mendocino Coast...  

But Change is in the wind... beautiful OddFellows is "on the market", up for sale, asking $1.5 million. Yet, despite the uncertainty, Art@ OddFellows continues and conversations have begun about how to keep this extraordinary space in community hands.  
Did you see us in the 4th of July Parade Float? Created by our
Kids Float Camp @ Flockworks Studio
in partnership with Noyo Center for Marine Science?

What began by asking to "borrow" a space for one show, blossomed. From that initial "Yes!" in 2006, Flockworks became a non-profit framework for creative community initiative.  Art@OddFellows was our most visible project and it enabled us to launch other efforts.  A focus on children has been woven throughout, with large-scale murals, banners, classroom projects, playground art, installation projects, children's art in exhibits, Gallery field trips and much, much more.  Our SAIL Youth Project led by artist  Ariela Marshall targets high risk students of the Fort Bragg Alternative Campus and is a deepening commitment in the future.  Recent support by the Cummings Foundation will help us add other creative Pop-Ups with children and youth. And other new initiatives are focusing on the power of arts to help bridge cultural divides, combine art & science to deepen understanding of our environment and address other community needs. 

Over the years, our collaborative efforts meant creative support for many other community priorities with hands-on arts as well as raising over $50,000 for others.  My favorite is remains "STONE SOUP", which we hope to do again in 2018.  Mendocino Coast Children's Fund, Community Center of Mendocino, Noyo Food Forest, Noyo Center for Marine Science, Ft Bragg-Otsuchi Cultural Exchange, Leadership Mendocino, Mendocino Coast Writer's Conference, MUSE, and Mendocino Film Festival are some of those we've worked.  And our own Noyo Printworks in Ft. Bragg is another lively addition for community arts.

From the beginning, I volunteered my time to lead Flockworks, put the focus on "doing" and accomplished much on a very, very small margin.  We found space & opportunity for creative ventures and people gave time to make things happen. You are likely among them;  "Thank you! as exhibit participant, visitor, collaborator, project volunteer, classroom teacher or contributor in other ways.  My 10 year role as a "Community Artist" combined my passions for creativity and community.  I  learned so much, met so many, and stretched in so many ways, but now change is definitely afoot. 

Flockworks' Board of Directors is looking at the next decade. We are sharpening our focus on creativity with children, youth and "others" out of the main stream of the arts. We are   deepening our commitment to Fort Bragg as a population & cultural center.  We are ready to be innovative in how we bring together talents, interests and resources to strengthen the creativity and resilience of our Mendocino Coast community.  We need your support--financially as well as ideas, talent and time to continue to move forward!  Several celebrations and gathering are in the works: we look forward to seeing you soon.

With Warm Regards, 

Janet Self 
Flockworks Executive Director