somewhereto_ at Our Leicester Day 2011_

Tina Barton, one of the East Midlands co-ordinators for somewhereto_, gets interviewed by the Community Media Hub for Our Leicester Day on Sunday September 11 2011.

If you’re in the East Midlands (or anywhere around the UK) and need a space to do the things you love, register for a space here.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

think beyond the spaces – and art can change the world says JR_

Can art change the world? Is a canvas the only ‘space’ for art?

Yes to the first, of course not to the second.

Check out this talk by JR, a semi-anonymous French street artist, who uses his camera to print and exhibit massive shots of the human face on the most unconventional of spaces; in turn, showing the world its ‘true face’.

At TED2011, he made his audacious TED Prize wish: to use art to turn the world inside out. Learn more about his work at www.insideoutproject.net – and perhaps we can all start thinking outside the box about the spaces made available to us, and the spaces we can open up to young aspiring artists and people…

Find your perfect art space with somewhereto_ here

Give a space here

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

somewhereto_ save our empty high street stores_

Falkirk Shop Space: available through somewhereto_

An empty high street store in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, available through somewhereto_

According to a recent survey published by the British Retail Consortium, high street shops saw an average 2.6% drop in customer numbers in the past year, peaking at 9% in hardest hit areas in Wales. This loss of business is placing increased pressure on retailers forcing many to close, and it’s not just small independent retailers who’re struggling either. Following the closure of national chains such as Woolworths, Zavvi and Borders, the empty shop is now an all too common sight with more than 1 in 10 (11%) high street stores now vacant.

The situation has not gone unnoticed, earlier this year David Cameron tasked Mary Portas “Queen of Shops” to come up with a plan to save the British high street. She faces a difficult and important task; empty stores and boarded up shop fronts can have a devastating effect on a community, the unloved appearance and atmosphere having a substantial impact on community tension, a disconnection with local society and in turn, anti-social behaviour.

There are a number of potential factors contributing to this trend, the rising cost of living, disposable income that has shrunk or disappeared entirely, online shopping and vast out of town retail parks; however there’s another factor that could potentially lead to a solution.

Falkirk Shop Space: available through somewhereto_

A pop-up gallery or cafe space just waiting for you to use it.

A recent shift in consumer culture is moving many away from the mass consumerism of previous decades towards a model of collaborative consumption. Spurred by environmental concerns, lack of disposable income, and ever easier means of communication online, people are turning to services like Streetcar, Freecycle or Ebay, where people share ownership, redistribute unwanted goods, and buy and sell direct from person to person, bypassing the high street entirely.

Extend this ethos to our empty high street stores though and a potential solution becomes clear. Vacant stores make a high street look unloved and foster community decay, but share that space with the community, allow them to use it collaboratively for creative, social or charitable projects, and it can bring the community together.

This is exactly what somewhereto_ aims to do for young people across the UK. We’re not alone, working alongside and together with other like-minded local and national organisations such as 3Space, the Empty Shops Network, and Emptyshop.org and Wasted Spaces.

So if you have empty stores let us know here and help reinvigorate your community.

Written by Becca Rothwell

For more information on somewhereto_ visit: www.somewhereto.com

You can follow somewhereto_ on Facebook here and on Twitter @somewhereto_

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

somewhereto_ at t4 on the beach 2011_

Having never been to a summer festival, it was great to find out that somewhereto_ would be at one of the most popular in the UK – T4 on the Beach 2011.

Popular for, firstly, being on a beach in Weston-super-Mare and secondly for the amount of chart toppers that perform; from the likes of Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz, Jessie J to Katy B, The Wanted and The Sugababes.

What was great on top of all that, was how through somewhereto_, up and coming singers Natalie May and Cleo Sol were able to perform at T4 on the Beach, which was truly magical to see.

Giving these two talented singers the opportunity to share their songs to an audience that otherwise wouldn’t have heard it (unless they were signed) emphasises the importance of having somewhereto_ practice and encapsulates what the project is about.

As the video above shows – even for established artists to get where they are they had to practice somewhere too… and what better way for it all to come together than on a massive festival stage in front of screaming fans!

And as a lasting memory of our time down there why not check out the pictures we took in our festival photo booth – Facebook.com/somewhereto

Written by Daniel Onyia

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

street summer loving with channel 4 and somewhereto_

What can one do in Westminster Hall? The answer is simple. More than you think…

Crushing the barriers of creative convention, this recently broadcast Channel 4 Street Summer ident illustrates the long-term plan and sky-high vision of somewhereto_; to help any 16-25 year old with a space to do the things they love, be it painting or rapping, writing or dancing, in arenas from a patchy park, to the oldest remaining part of the prestigious Palace of Westminster.

I look back and think it is very fitting that Channel 4’s Street Summer season about the contemporary urban arts scene was dubbed a ‘celebration’. It most definitely was – setting off fireworks with projects from Concrete Circus (bringing together the world’s hottest names in urban sports), to How Hip Hop Changed the World (a hip hop history lesson), and Life of Rhyme (exploring the UK rap and spoken word scene).

For us though, there is an extra celebration at hand – a beat I hope we can all dance to long after this summer is out; in that somewhereto_ worked successfully with Parliament to open up an incredible space which would never normally open its doors to young people to dance in. It was an unprecedented achievement, and we are working to ensure the Westminster Hall special moment is just one of many stories which help young people realise that a space of any kind can be theirs.

The somewhereto_ journey is just getting warmed up. Watch this space as we plan to break some more records of our own before the London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 comes by.

So – for any young onlookers – it’s your turn and your time to think and leap outside the box – take your pick from any one of these spaces: https://www.somewhereto.com/spaces

The race for space is on with somewhereto_.

Space-holders – play your part and give a space here.

Written by Dwain Lucktung

For more information on Channel 4 Street Summer visit: www.channel4.com/streetsummer

For more information on somewhereto_ visit: www.somewhereto.com

You can follow somewhereto_ on Facebook here and on Twitter @somewhereto_

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

somewhereto_ view tube session showcases labels and urban maestro’s success stories_

19 year old Rianna Raymond-Williams reviews a View Tube session where she got a little taster of what somewhereto_ has to offer her London people…

The meeting for a London group of young people involved in the somewhereto_ project took place a few weeks ago at the View Tube, East London – minutes away from the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Young people came together to voice their ideas about what creative spaces they would like as well as the chance to hear from individuals who had already gained spaces, and what they’ve been doing with them since.

“I signed up to somewhereto_ to get venues for my community concerts. This project will be a much needed support and push for my programme,” explained musician and social entrepreneur Mikel Ameen. In such a climate where there are so many up and coming talents he hopes to give his peers a platform as well as network with those in the creative industry.

Labels and Urban Maestro were two collectives that also attended the event and have successfully attained spaces. Labels are a group of female graduate designers who applied and sustained space to hold a fashion show, which will be taking place in mid-August. Whilst Urban Maestro is a trio of musicians that were given the opportunity and space to perform at the somewhereto_ launch event that took place earlier this year.

It was great to see such a variation of people from across the media spectrum whether it be fashion designers, actors, musicians, or writers each with their own vision. In my opinion there aren’t enough opportunities for young people to enter the creative industry. I and others are part of a small representation of the budding entrepreneurs in and around London, so I feel that somewhereto_ is a fantastic way to expand and create that – as well as build a strong network of creative individuals across the country.

To unlock a creative space register here.
To give a space click here.
And you can follow somewhereto_ on Facebook here and on Twitter @somewhereto_

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

pop-ups and supperclubs: the underground food revolution_

Where did you go for your last meal out; a stylist new restaurant, a favourite old haunt, or perhaps a cosy local gastro-pub? How about an unused office space, the top of a multi-story car park, or a complete stranger’s living room?

These are just a few examples of the type of sites housing pop-up restaurants and supper clubs, part of an underground movement that has captured the zeitgeist of the food scene in recent years, and that’s gaining momentum fast. Powered by social media, through blogs, Twitter and Facebook, the world of underground eateries has expanded rapidly. Nationwide, unusual or unused spaces are being reclaiming and repurposed to create a unique dining experience and give home cooks and non-chefs the chance to show off their kitchen prowess.

Street party style pop-up in a disused office space for FoodCycle's A Good Meal

A few weeks ago I volunteered at one such pop-up. Run by food waste charity FoodCycle and held on the floor of an empty office building provided by 3Space, the pop-up was part of A Good Week, a week long celebration of all things “good”. Using surplus food collected from local supermarkets and decked out in reclaimed or recycled furniture, FoodCycle converted the vast space into a temporary restaurant with an ethical message, highlighting the twin issues they tackle; food waste and food poverty.

Elsewhere in London, this week sees the re-opening of Frank’s Café and Campari bar, a summer pop-up on the roof of a disused a multi-storey car park. Now in it’s third year the temporary structure, designed by Practice Architecture, is part of the annual Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project, an installation dedicated to showcasing new work by international artists that occupies the top four floors of the car park.

On a more intimate scale, the past year has seen a dramatic rise in the number of living room restaurants, or supper clubs as they are known. One of the first supper clubs to open in the UK, and one of the most talked about, is The Underground Restaurant founded by Kerstin Rogers (aka Ms Marmitelover) in early 2009. Inspired by her experiences in the paladares of Cuba, Kerstin sought to create a cosier, more communal environment than the traditional restaurant setting, by putting food and cooking back into the hands of ordinary people. She hosts The Underground Restaurant in the living room of her Kilburn flat, where she also now holds The Underground Market a series of farmers’ and craft markets for small, local producers. Others are finding alternative home or nearby spaces to repurpose as a supper club venue; the back garden, a roof space, a local theatre, I’ve even attended a restaurant in a shed!

Kerstin has recently collected her experiences of this underground restaurant scene into a recipe book-cum-how to guide: Supper Club: Recipes and notes from the underground restaurant, in the hopes of encouraging more people to follow her lead and is spearheading a campaign in partnership with Maille to start a supper club revolution. Of course there’s also a financial aspect involved. For the many who’ve found they no longer have the disposable income to eat out in traditional restaurants a supper club can offer an affordable alternative, whilst for those hosting it can sometimes provide an additional source of income (although this is in no way guaranteed). Supper clubs are also a great way to meet new people and make new friends, and from my experience the food served is far from that of amateur.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Would you attend a supper club held in a stranger’s home or host one yourself, or would you be more interested in a pop-up restaurant in an unusual but public space?

If you’re 16-25 and looking for somewhereto_ host a pop-up restaurant or supper club go to somewhereto.com to find the space you need.

Posted in Interesting Use of Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments