Over 30 studio groups and individuals representing some 800 artists took part in the Property Matters workshop on 22 March 2012 in London at the NFASP offices.
The workshop, run in partnership with Ethical Property Foundation, started off with the basics and reasons for forming a group and how best to allocate the roles of each member – remembering that one may be good with a hammer, the other with a phone!
The pros and cons of becoming a charity were also discussed along with other types of constituted structures that are all contained in the newly edited Finding the Right Premises produced by NFASP with contribution from the Ethical Property Foundation.
Advice and information were given on finding the right premises and negotiating leases, before participants took part in role play, forming groups and taking the part of landlord or artist's group, to negotiate a deal which gave insight into the important things to remember when securing a property.
Collective Studios, a group set up by St Martin’s college graduates Charlie Day and Mark Nadar, talked about forming a group and becoming guinea pigs for an ACAVA supported project to set up in temporary space in Wandsworth. They have become a local fixture at the yearly Wandsworth shimmy and have made firm friends with the local council who are keen to make sure they can stay in the Borough in their new premises, found by the council on the site of the former Ram Brewery. They emphasise their community work - running creative workshops for the local community - as sending the right signals to the local authority, demonstrating the value of having artists groups in the borough.
After lunch Duncan Smith, chair of NFASP and veteran of 30 years running the studio provider ACAVA from north west London, talked on how to make the most of your space and get things working: how to partition, how to heat, how to regulate the electricity and most importantly how to make sure you use all the space productively.
The afternoon continued with advice on property maintenance, including wise words on fire safety. The workshop finished with information on the pros and cons of asset transfer and a role play based on a case study to identify the key points in taking on your own asset transfer project.
All information and further reading can be found in Finding the Right Premises.