Kudos to @madeinLES – Now Why can’t Black or Brooklyn communities utilize unused spaces for Creative Entrepreneurs

The times they are a-changin’.

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2003 Pop up  Store jazz venue on  smith street“Short-sightedness” is a crime against oneself… I’m not sure where I heard that but this kickstarter project  and article reminded me of that saying. Ok so it may be more accurate to say “some” Brooklyn communities, but I  definitely see this problem in many Black  Brooklyn communities.

When 4w circle of Art and Enterprise closed I tried getting artist together to do this. I was inspired by my experience with one Smith Street group in the late 1990’s as well as my history of these. Why can’t the black community work together.  Why can’t creative get together, use the empty spaces as temporary spaces  for creative  businesses thus stimulating growth. 

It’s teh Challeng I asked my cofounders at Tibiaetech. As we worked out other details we began and soon found found 596 Acres which focused on unused land.  we looked at  Geodisic Domes and old containers all with a view of future use. We sort space to SOURCE, SHOW, SEE, LEARN, TEACH, MAKE, SHOP, SELL EAT & EARN  This morning I learned about MiLES…

miLES opens underused storefronts to new possibilities, with classes, events, co-working, and short-term space rentals. We work with residents, artists, businesses and landlords

In short they’ve organized to facilitate creatives BKSTYLE!  I was so happy to discover them NOW maybe Black  folks will listen.(Yes I said it).

  • In the late 1990’s we opend an unused space in Albe Square mall as a Holiday Pop up  “Continuam”. Miles is collaborating with FABWORKS
  • There is a demands for the pop up  shops we usualy do  in Boutiques and  hair salons and lounges since 1999 they have EVA NY
  • We did a night incubator they have Pushcart utilizing unused coffee space for night classes
  • The Brooklyn Fashion is Known for popup shows and sales at local bars and lounges esp unused/low night  hours at  a bar  for Parkside Lounge for performance and rehearsal space . Strangely these were abandoned by creative seeking the more LES type “boutique” space.

Federal Plaza, brooklyn Musem, madaba’s Outpost … all have seen our footprints. yes We find we lack the press opportunities but we still pull a crowd – The fact is rather than support and share efforts, others soon “copy” there are No boundaries, the press is activist, business person. Hunger has a way of clouding  judgement. Disadvantage communities are Hungry.

MiLES”S modular  furniture kickstarter is cool but for our needs too bulky. Theyre focused on 7 themes (SHOW, PLAY, LEARN, SHARE, MAKE, SHOP & EAT) We looked at multi-use standinng as well as   mobile spaces. Our project is heavily female and we’ve had to  travel and set up ALONE. Instread we create designs for modulars “sets” catering to office, Seating,partition and looked for “Infrasturcture that can be pulled together in  any  contry  using  simple instructions and allowing for easy transport. The MiLES modulars would be usable as

shelving, partitions, tables, seats, stage, as well as infrastructure such as lighting, WIFI, power strips, speakers, projectors, and PA system so you have all the basic ingredients to create your own pop-up

Space is Not the only problem.

Putting those who practice a model with issues isa tough way to create change. I had to,in the meantime focus on developing an entrepreneurial program and plan as well as other aspects that are needed. Our main focus was on a creative entrepreneurial  program and developing change management  services.  We focus on “WHY creatives were not  selling”, but I’ve learned that a creative entrepreneurial curriculae is needed to enhance these space solutions.

True, I have been saying this since 2003/4 to other desigenrs and crafters. Most people I’ve shared it with soon decided they needed to run a “space” or an incubator, focusing on the real estate value and  ignoring the broader issues and viewed RENTAl as their primary income. Thus sending these spaces back into the impractical “unaffordable” realm.

We went to local politicians(ok my late partner Paul dragged me.) It is simply one aspect of a larger solution. It is at the core of The TIBIAETECH solution.  Look I’ve been open with SEVERAl stakeholders… some in Real Estate about using open empty store fronts and building. I even have an strongly developed business plan… But as soon as they consider it and see the numbers. “ownership and control become an  issue. 

I’ll be real in our communities we have other problems…

  • We do not own the properties and those who own properties do not care about long term development.
  • We lack a sense of urgency
  • We’re waiting for others to do it first (which is why  I’m glad to see miLES)
  • We are beseiged with  other issues…
  • We do not want the responsibility…
  • We cop outon great ideas… and wait for someone else to do it first.
  • FEAR
  • We do not take risk
  • To Quote one prominent Brooklyn Politician #Nepotism (and #Croneyism) Rules Brooklyn (Politics)
  • … and lastly cannot forget that Crab in Barrel syndrome… if you do not know this I’ll spare you the details.

the answer self help- Creative interested in solutions for creatives by creative
please rsvp and attend http://making-art-fashion-tech-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

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