Happy New Year

Dear friends,

We would like to wish you all a happy New Year filled with love, happiness and health.

This year has been a difficult one on so many levels.  We’ve had to move yet again and leave so much behind us, say goodbye to so many of our lovely artists and makers, and start again, but we have taken so many great memories with us.  Here are some of the moments we cherished.

Throughout the years, we have worked with so many talented local people.  We hope we have helped many of you and that you have taken some good memories with you too, as we have.  We’ve seen so many of you go on to do extraordinary things with your life, and we’re proud to have been part of that journey.  We’ve also grown and learnt a lot from you all so thank you.

We’ve made new friends, we’ve travelled and have grand plans for the year to come.  We will be planning more arts and photography classes, we’ll be involved in many more youth exchange projects abroad, and we will be working with wonderful people here at Ashford Volunteer Centre with some amazing new projects planned.

We’re still here and are always happy to help if you need support and advice with your creative projects and businesses.  Just because we’re tucked away in an office doesn’t mean we’ve left the town. This town is as much part of us as we are are part of it.  Help and support each other as much as you can.  After all, no one can do it alone.  Be mindful as people are going through things you may not be able to understand.  Everyone has a story, be kind to each other.

Love and blessings to you all.  The Team at Bauhaus Cafe CIC

 

Cyprus here we are

Georgina and I were in Larnaca for ten days taking part in a Youth Exchange project with @stressballCY #improveyourself, and we couldn’t contain our excitement. Cyprus was beautiful and we enjoyed warm weather. Our accommodation was on the sea front, we were really lucky. The Flamingo Hotel and Resort was a great place to be spending time learning and enjoying Larnaca.

The project idea was to share cultural skills, knowledge and attitudes in order to have a rich common experience.  A number of volunteers from the UK and other European countries were there with us.  We were keen to share our experiences and knowledge and learn from other participants what makes a valuable volunteering journey. We met participants from Roumania, Spain, Macedonia, Estonia, Georgia and Cyprus. The group’s youngest was 16 years old.

We shared our days together participating in structured exercises that promoted reflection, creation and sharing of ideas and knowledge which helped with development and growth. Evenings were set aside for outings and enjoyment. The town of Larnaca had many bars and restaurants to enjoy a night out. Frozen yoghurt seemed to be pretty popular, it would be interesting to find out why?

As luck would have it, we were invited to meet the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace where he took time to speak to representatives from a number of NGOs in Cyprus.  We were then treated to a presidential buffet and had the opportunity to migle and speak to very interesting NGO representatives.  We had the pleasure of seeing some very interesting works of art at the Palace too.

We took part in exercises for first days to learn more about each other and our cultures.  The project aimed to address youth employment and mobility by teaching communication, entrepreneurship, life and basic skills, digital and social competence, communication skills and cultural skills to motivate young people and help them become more employable. Our research showed that only one other organisation that we could locate in Kent participates in Youth Exchange projects, and Georgina and I aim to change this. Although the future of funding for the UK after Brexit is uncertain, we are keen on developing and participating in as many Youth Exchange projects as we can, and encourage Kentish youth to take part. We’re particularly keen on finding out how NGO’s abroad tackle youth unemployment. Youth unemployment in Cyprus is among the highest in Europe along with Spain, France, Italy and Turkey.

We were amazed at the amount of creativity that we saw and learnt a lot about how youth in different countries perceive and express themselves in everyday life, what their dreams and aspirations are, and how they go about learning skills. We hope to be able to do a comparative study of Youth Exchange take up between the UK and other countries in Europe (showing how participants experience the exchange, what they feel they have gained and how it helps them with education and careers) and create a number of  creative Youth Exchange projects, predominantly using music, arts and creativity,  inviting youth from around Europe to visit and learn in Kent. After all Kent has so much to offer in that respect, and is only an hour away from London, which could be very appealing to creative young people from abroad.

It’s been really wonderful to hear different languages and experience other cultures, learn new words, find out about some truly extraordinary careers and work that people around the word do (I met a young lady who is at university studying for a Masters in crypto currency law/regulation, how interesting).

We would like to thanks Yiannis Kanaris of Stressball CY for hosting the project and making our trip a very enjoyable and educational one and we hope to participate in future projects in Cyprus.

We left buzzing with ideas of projects we would like to deliver here in the UK and abroad and we are now working on a number of them.  If you’re interested in helping, or in traveling and learning new skills, please contact us to find out how HERE.

More about our projects and plans later.  For now, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and ask you to spare a thought for those who will be out in the cold or alone this time of year.  Love and blessings. Betsy and Georgina.

Youth in Action Ashford

The Bauhaus Cafe CIC is now working on a number of youth exchage projects, working to encourage transnational volunteering by young people whilst helping to build confidence, motivation, knowledge of how to actively get involved in organising and funding travel abroad by UK youth and travel to the UK by European youth.

Georgina Cooper has been actively involved in setting up projects, fundraising and developing Youth in Action Ashford and has set up a workshop so that you can learn more about the project and how you can contribute.  This is what she has to say:

So what is it about?

Youth in Action Ashford aims to inspire youngsters, focusing on their skills and interest so that they can pursue projects under Erasmus. These projects will encourage young people to boost the local development of Ashford, as well as travel abroad and gain cultural awareness of other places. It is aimed at 18-30 year olds who wish participant in Erasmus activities and also provide knowledge about the youth exchange bid application process.

Youth Exchanges allow young people to: develop competences; become aware of socially relevant topics/thematic areas; discover new cultures, habits and life-styles, mainly through peer-learning; strengthen values like solidarity, democracy, friendship, etc.
Youth Exchanges are based on a transnational cooperation between two or more participating organisations from different countries within and outside the European Union.

Every day, youth in action projects are being set up all over Europe and further afield, for participants to get involved in. These projects can be a stand for preserving a certain style of dance, or it could be health and food safety; testing out many different styles of cooking. There are projects out there worth getting involved in, if they haven’t been made yet, then it should be.

If you’ve ever fancied running non-formal education workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, simulations, outdoor activities that relate to your field of interest or you had an idea that could have a quantifiable result, then getting involved in an Erasmus project could be your next step.

For more information and to start your steps to setting up a youth exchange, please come to our next workshop on the 7th of November and Berwick road conference room.
We will be exploring:

-How to participate in a youth exchange
-Good examples of youth exchanges.
-How to create a youth exchange

We would be delighted if you could join us then and find out more about the projects, and see how you may be able to contribute.

 

Art Workshops in Ashford

Bauhaus Cafe CIC Pop Up art workshops are coming back from Monday 4th September.

Every Monday afternoon from 1pm to 4pm, David Ridgway artists and art teacher, will teach you to draw and paint in your preferred medium at Ashford Volunteer Centre, Berwich House, 8 Elwick Road, Ashford TN23 1PF.  The cost per session is £15 but we are looking for funding to offer part-funded places to those who can’t afford the full fee.  We will keep you informed as and when.

On Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm, Dave is offering life drawing classes.  Every Thursday, we provide a professional model, and refreshments so all you have to do is bring your pads, pencils or charcoal and join in.  The sessions are £7 and they are extremely popular.

From September onwards, we will be hosting some more of our photography workshops and FREE photo clinics with Doug Harman, best selling photographer.  We’ll keep you informed when these are available.

Our space is now fully accessible with a ramp and a lift, and open to learners and artists of all ages.  We do have resident young artists and art for sale too, and we offer commissioned art but we are here by appointment only so please do email us at info@bauhauscafe.co.uk if you are interested in any of our services.

Hope to meet you here soon.  The Team

 

World in a Tent Festival

Dear friends,

We’re pleased to announce that we will be part of this amazing festival on Saturday 8th July with a stall, selling local art by young Ashford artists.  A young artist will be at hand to talk to you and will have everything you need to try your hand at drawing or painting so come and join us there.

For more details of who will be there visit the page HERE.

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Bauhaus Cafe going pop up

Well friends, after a few years of us working in Ashford town centre, we have decided to go pop up.

As difficult as it may be to let go, it’s sometimes necessary to make some tough decisions. When the Cafe took a space in the old Merchant Chadler’s building, we believed that local businesses and small traders will be taking up space with us and we were very excited to be able to work with them to make the space really successful by offering live music events, teas, coffees, cakes, snacks and sandwiches and a number of local artists a space to exhibit their work.  Sadly, this was not to happen.  Despite all of our hard work, we were unable to continue delivering the projects that we had planned due to restrictions, our inability to obtain a license to serve alcohol independently of the building, and the difficulty in co-existing with what was on offer here.

In the seven months that we traded here, we delivered very successful weekly music events that, more often than not, were very well attended;  a number of exhibitions and sold a large number of pieces of local art; ran a number of creative writing and other workshops (including photography, arts classes and life drawing sessions); raised awareness of local issues; worked with a number of independent businesses and schools; hosted a number of school and university students on work placement; worked with 10 volunteers using the space to gain motivation and work experience for future careers and created an even larger creative community in Ashford by making introductions and holding networking events.  Here are pictures of some of them:

 

The Cafe will now continue as a pop up and we will be holding exhibitions, events, worskshops and courses.  We are teaming up with Ashford Volunteer Centre on Elwick Road and we’ll be using the meeting room to hold the workshops and courses.  So we’re not going away, just working in a different way.

We’ve also made the decision not to run ArtiGras Festival this year and have booked the weekend of 19th and 20th May 2018 to deliver an even bigger and better festival for the town centre so watch this space.  The theme for the festival will be ‘One Big Circus’.

For now, we’ll be out and about working in the community so watch out for Francesca Baker, Anthony Stiffell and the rest of team as they go about organising creative workshops, and music events alongside other spaces and organisations.  Subscribe to our newsletters or blogs to find out more and to know where we will be next.

We’ll be back with more news soon.  For now, our gratitude goes to those who have supported the project in any way, for the kind words and all the messages of support.

The Team, Bauhaus Cafe CIC

 

 

March & April at the Cafe

Spring is nearly back and the Cafe is getting busier with events, exhibitions and Thursday evening Live Music Sessions.

We start the week with ‘Double Identity’ an exhibition in the Back Room of Bauhaus Cafe & Art Gallery, 2 North Street, Ashford (what used to be the Merchant Chandler’s Building) by local artist Dee Taylor.  The exhibition runs from the 1st March to 11th March, with a Private Viewing, live music, wine and nibbles on Thursday 9th March from 6pm to 8pm. Dee comments:

‘I have drawn and painted prolifically all my life. I spent my early career in the commercial art business. However I have realised a lifelong and compelling ambition to be a successful Fine Artist. My specialty is painting and through this medium I strive to express and evoke a mood of dark and foreboding isolation. Vast and empty land and urban scapes offer the emotions I search for, as do looming structures under dark cloud masses and night skies. These elements and their dystopic scenarios and melancholic lighting within the darkness inspire me and offer the opportunity to comment on contemporary culture. Nevertheless I have a startling tendency to shift my genres and jolt my palette. This I do when I feel the need to refresh myself. However, even with the change of subject matter and genre, my need to comment on contemporary culture remains unchanged’.

Here are some of Dee’s beautiful pieces.  To see more, and find out more about Dee, please visit the Back Room at the Cafe.

Thursday night, 2nd March from 6pm to 8pm, Bauhaus Blues will perform some traditional and modern blues and rock for our Live Music Session so come and join us for an evening of music, have a drink or a cake,  and support this wonderful community Cafe & At Gallery.   To find out more about Bauhaus Blues click HERE.

The Doodle Man Valentine’s Doodle is still here for you all to see and take pictures of so bring the kids in, they will even get their own doodle to take home and colour.

And of course, don’t forget our art classes and workshops.  Details can be found on our calendar.  Remember, this is your space, the only cultural space in the town centre, and can only stay if it is used and appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you here.  The Team