It is with great sadness that we announce that OYAP Trust are unable to resume our regular activities for young people in the autumn term, and that we will be leaving Studi02, which has been our home for the past five years, at the end of 2023.
In common with many small scale and community arts organisations we are faced with a number of factors as a result of the current climate
- The rapid rises in the cost of energy and increased price of other basic services make it no longer sustainable to run Studi02 as a vibrant, welcoming and creative space for the community.
- We passionately believe that the arts are for everyone, and always offer free or pay what you can afford options, but with increasing numbers unable to pay we are faced with not covering the costs of our projects.
- We want to pay our dedicated team and artists fairly to develop and manage our programme and projects, but have no capacity to raise salaries in line with our sector and inflation.
- Funders are, quite understandably, focusing their attention on the direct impacts of social pressures in communities, but this has created such competition that we face an ever smaller income to cover ever rising costs.
- Our fundraising efforts take more of our time for less return, and mean we are making less impact delivering the creative work which is the heart of what we do.
In combination these have become a great a challenge for our modest funds, and have led to the need to think unemotionally about how we work. We believe this is the only financially and ethically responsible action.
From a history of exciting, innovative work with young people across the county, we have, over the last 25 years, evolved to focus on our local community. Over the last 5 of those years we have worked to build a vibrant community arts centre for Bicester, and are pleased to have had the opportunity to work from a space we could call our own. We are hugely grateful for the support with this venture from both the community and our funders, and it is with a heavy heart that we close the door on this vision.
We are working with our partners towards creating continuity for projects which will offer ongoing provision for young people and take some of our ambitions forward.
Creative Minds will continue its support for young people in Bicester. We will be transferring resources to Bumble Creatives, a new community interest company formed by Nicolette Glashan, who has been our Community Arts and Wellbeing Coordinator. The group will continue to meet at Studi02 over the transitional period. There will be further opportunities as this venture develops.
We will continue to operate Studi02 until the end of 2023 to allow us to deliver all of our venue based commitments and to support the arts organisations and community groups who use the building. We are hugely grateful for the support of Value Retail and Bicester Town Council who have helped make this possible.
Our final programme of activities at Studi02 will include
- Hosting a final term of adult creative classes in partnership with Activate Learning
- Our collaboration with The Mill to bring Wild Boor Ideas to Bicester including Wonderful Witches (a story and puppet making workshop in half term), and Winnie and Wilbur A Christmas Adventure (a fun family show for Christmas).
- An exhibition to celebrate all that we have achieved both as OYAP and with our creative collaborators and studio artists.
Further details of this programme will also be posted on our social media channels.
Our best wishes to everyone on their future creative journeys.