Although it may not be everyone’s dream to own their own business, it is (almost) safe to say that everyone wants to be part of something important. The prospect of opening a new art space, however, is a horse of a different color.
Once there is a decision to step off the well-trodden paths, then vision does indeed come into play, and risk becomes more and more of a factor in making decisions. Any artistic venture is, by its nature, a risky business, and one that needs an equal measure of vision and organizational skill in order to really take off and make a palpable difference in the local cultural scene. New clubs, performance spaces, and art galleries are opening all the time, but they are also closing all the time. It becomes important, then, to approach anything creative with balance. It is important to have a sense of fearlessness about a new venture, but it’s also just as important to enter into it with a healthy pessimism in case things don’t quite work out the way one had originally planned.
It might be self-evident that one needs to have a fairly good idea of the basic layout of the chosen city. Knowing about the kinds of work that attracts crowds can certainly help, but a deeper understanding of the culture at large can help hone the vision of the new space toward something that might push the audiences in new directions. It is also very helpful to know something about the local market. An idea of the availability of commercial rentals is not only valuable for determining the potential of a new space, but also helps in budgeting.
Most new ventures do have a tendency to fail, and with risky ventures, this is even more of a danger. There are success stories that tip the scale in another direction entirely, but they are by far the anomaly. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that this failure is often the result of a lack of planning, so even a little bit of business acumen can help tilt the balance. In the end, it still does come back to vision. Mission statements are everything when it comes to these kinds of ventures, and the final measure of success really comes from having tried to do it in the first place. Keeping things straight in terms of vision and organization will help the success of a new space. Having the time and headspace available to look at a TransGlobe property in the chosen city, or even working with other artists in other parts of the world, is rewarding in its own right, and it’s nice when planning makes room for that kind of dreaming.
Image Description: Another empty room |Source=Own work by uploader |Author=International-critics