Herts Open Studios 2016

As you may remember, Linda Warminger confirmed, after six years’ successful management, that 2015 would be the last (seventh) Open Studios she would run, and we put in train a search to find someone to take over a revised version of the role. Without someone in that position, it is very difficult to commit to undertaking Open Studios.

I am very pleased to announce that Georgina (Georgie) Stewart has agreed to take on the role of Open Studios Project Manager. Georgie has a background in administration, client liaison and events and project management, with law firms, the Groucho Club and a concierge and lifestyle management company. Georgie will be contracted for 250 hours across the whole Open Studios project.

This means that we will be looking for volunteers to help with some aspects of the project locally, in small chunks, or we may have to cut a few corners here and there.

But the really good news is that with Georgie in place we can now get on with planning Open Studios 2016, knowing it will go ahead. This has been my prime concern as Chair since Linda gave us very good warning of her intentions. But, as many of you will be aware, we have been getting an independent view of HVA generally and Open Studios in particular by researching the views of members. I would like to thank all those of you who took part in our on-line survey.

Carol Stokes, who undertook the work, is a very experienced consultant, with experience including researching user attitudes in service environments. She was originally referred to us by two of our members in relation to the Open Studios role, but when it was clear that she could not give this much time, kindly volunteered 10 days of her consultancy time. It is particularly good to get this sort of input from someone NOT directly involved, who can be completely objective.

Carol will be feeding back the results of her work to the Organising Group at our meeting on the evening of January 19th. We will be publicising the results as soon after that as we can, and will present key findings to the membership at the AGM , but, if any member would like to attend the Organising Group meeting, which will be held at Stanta Business Centre in St Albans, please contact me through chair@hvaf.org.uk . We do not have a lot of room there but we can make a few places available on a first come basis. I look forward to finding out what the research can tell us.

Chair, Herts Visual Arts