Georgia on our minds …

Bauhaus Café CIC were thrilled to realise their dream of a youth exchange to beautiful and little-known Georgia for young creatives, again generously funded by Erasmus+.

The name was ‘Mind My Art, Would You?’ and was aimed at youths aged 18 to 30 from disadvantaged backgrounds to help support them to take their creative talents into employment.

Excited, yet dubious they came together as groups across eight countries; Georgia, Azerbaijan, The Ukraine, Cyprus, Turkey, Armenia, France and of course the UK and many met their participants the first time just before the trip, forging what they didn’t know then, would become some significant and lifelong friendships.

The French and UK team met on the plane and shared a hair-raising bus journey from the airport to Kobuleti. Strong bonds started forming immediately. The two groups arrived in the small hours in darkness to a lovely hotel on The Black Sea (that wasn’t black at all!). Each participant was allocated to a single sex room for three, each from a different country, so the interculturalism started from the outset.

Next morning, the new friends awoke to a miserable wet day but were astounded at the breath-taking views from the roof top dining room of The Black Sea to one side and snow topped mountains to the other. Waiting for the groups from the other countries to trickle in from near and far, the French and the English (later affectionately known as the ‘Frenglish’!) had the opportunity to explore the town, its markets, its multitude of thrift shops and of course the bars and cafes. The Georgian locals were absolutely delighted to come across the Western Europeans in their little town, eagerly taking selfies with them and inviting them for free shots of Cha-cha, the national brandy. Dances and music were even performed to the young people in shops, markets and bars amongst great hilarity and laughter.

In dribs and drabs the other groups arrived at all hours of the day and night and the job in hand was ready to begin. We had lots of icebreakers and energising games and everyone was encouraged to mix with different nationals fully. The lingua franca was English, but some participants struggled with this in the beginning, but as confidence grew and inhibitions dropped, the language barrier broke down. The talent grouped together in that building in tiny Kobuleti in modest Georgia was jaw dropping. There were artists, poets, photographers, musicians, actors, writers and much more. To have them all together in one space, especially as the inhibitions broke down, was truly electrifying.

The sun suddenly came out, the streets dried up, flipflops replaced boots, jetlag was slept off, the mood hit sky high, the sound of laughter, music, pen scratching, lenses clicking, and poetry filled the air and the youth exchange was well underway.

Workshops were diverse, interactive, creative and fun. They were run by different countries and were adapted to the needs and the wishes of the participants. Once everyone had integrated and talked about their fears and expectations, we launched into a wonderful day learning about social inclusion and multiculturalism especially in the creative arts. This was led by the Armenian group and it was fascinating to hear from all the different countries and the different approaches there towards the creative industries. Comradeships were quickly being formed and in between the activities there were regular impromptu trips to the close by beach where the common sounds were of waves crashing, laughter and music.

Every country was expected to put on a ‘cultural night’ where they were to immerse the other groups in their home land’s traditions, beliefs, costumes, history, dance, politics, art, music and of course food and drink. We were not disappointed and indulged all our senses night after night with delights and experiences from Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, The Ukraine, the Frenglish and of course Georgia. Georgia’s night was the climax as host country and we were taken to a local traditional restaurant where different dishes were continually brought to us and we were plied with Georgian wines (one of their major industries) and drinks. There was a toastmaster who led the feast known as a Tamadar and the eating and drinking was very structured by him.  The atmosphere was celebratory and then we were wowed by a young Georgian girl who floated around the dance floor like a swan as a Georgian young man danced around her in what seemed like a seduction ritual. Imagine our surprise when another young man leapt onto the dance floor out of nowhere and competed with the first for the attanetion of the ‘swan’!

Other workshops included how to attract the media, successful social media use, PR and marketing, vlogging, blogging, making vision boards and so much more delivered by Bauhaus Café CIC trainers. Everyone learned a lot from them, but they were not the most valuable of the whole experience, it was the networking and interaction between the different creatives from all cultures and all walks of life. Friendships were made for life, confidences were boosted, resolutions made, and lives were changed.

As young Naomi Houlton, photographer from Ashford said, “I was nervous in the beginning, but we had a few days to bond; we were all there for the same reason albeit from different cultures.  I have grown hugely in self-confidence. When I went back to my day job, they said I was a ‘changed woman!’ “

Bauhaus Café CIC is planning another exchange in the Spring with the same participants called ‘Six Months On.’ Here we will see how everyone has progressed in their chosen creative career following ‘Mind My Art, Would You’ climaxing in an exhibition and concert. Each member is already receiving ongoing support from Bauhaus Café and we know for example that Ashford based Naomi is doing some voluntary photography work, entering competitions and so on; definitely moving towards a paid career in photography. She has also appeared in local media. Boris MVD, from France has set up social media to platform his art and has had a successful exhibition. The success stories are pouring in and we are expecting many more. This exchange really has had a huge positive impact on so many.

If you are interested in getting involved in Bauhaus café and/or youth exchanges, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact us on info@bauhauscafe.co.uk and prepare to change your life!

We are grateful to all photographers present at the project for all the wonderful photos here and on our social media sites.

By Helena Maltby, Project Coodinator

More from Betsy, our CEO, in the next few days.  She will be talking about Georgia and why you may want to consider visiting and how our Georgian visit changed so many lives for all the partners involved.

 

Bauhaus Cafe CIC hosts very first youth exchange

This year in April, Bauhaus Cafe CIC applied for our very first Erasmus + Youth funding and were delighted to be informed we were successful.

From 5th August to 14th August 2018, we hosted a Youth Exchange, My Creativity Matters.  This is what the exchange was about:

“Research shows that creativity in young people results in mental well being and positive achievement in life.

The project aims to explore creativity in young people with mental health issues by allowing them to learn how to design, develop and deliver programmes using arts, crafts and music, meanwhile creating a valuable volunteering experience motivating young people, teaching them skills and developing their sensitivity and understanding of the world around them. The project will raise the aspirations of young people.

The project wants to allow young people to ‘open up’ and ‘verbalise’ their issues through creativity and be enabled to gain the confidence, motivation and skills needed to be able to reason and make decisions whilst learning to communicate their own understanding of mental well being, their own skills and abilities.  The workshops will motivate, inspire and empower them to volunteer, become self employed, set up enterprises or social enterprises to become self sufficient and fully active citizens, agents of change.

1. Increase levels of motivation, confidence and aspirations of young people up to 25 years old from disadvantaged backgrounds
2. Increase the chances of obtaining employment and maintaining it by offering essential knowledge in personal development, self care, self improvement and communication through creating vision boards using arts and crafts
3. Raise awareness on the importance of volunteering and lifelong learningin aimed at improving long term career prospects of the participants
4. Promote healthy and sustainable behaviours among participants trough specific workshops on the subjects of environment, food and personal self care

By its activities, our project meets the specific objectives pursued by the Erasmus+ in the field of youth to improve the level of key competences and skills of young people, and the empowerment of young people, including and especially those with fewer opportunities.
Youngsters in our project will acquire new competences useful for them on a long term in their process of personal development which is strongly connected with their chances of being employed.

Empowering young people means that:
More young people have the support, opportunities, skills and resilience they need for the future
Young people have better relationships with their support networks and communities
Young people have improved health and wellbeing
We would ensure that young people are heavily involved in the design and delivery of the project as taking ownership means that they will value the project and be more keen to make a success of it”

Our group stayed at The Grand Burstin during the exchange.  Management at The Grand Burstin were wonderful and they had gone above and beyond their call of duty to ensure our group has a memorable stay and we are really grateful to them, especially Barry Lane.

We were very impressed with the creative talent of the group which included musicians, artists, politics students and even an odd student of medicine or two, among others.  They produced high quality work and enjoyed doing it too.  Thei created Vision Boards, wrote poetry, played music and even performed at an Open Mic afternoon at Lime Bar Folkestone.  It’s even clearer to us now that creative young people don’t get enough guidance and advice to take their career forward once they leave academic environments.  We were happy to have contributed, and provided enough advice and knowledge they can use to make more informed choices and decisions.

We’d like to thank all the participants for working hard towards the aims of the project and we hope they will continue to be motivated and move forward and make a success of their career.  We’re very proud of you and hope to see you very soon again here is the UK or somewhere in the world.

We’d also like to thank Michal Kaminski (known as Rovaneche), artist, and Dave James Horn, Poet, our volunteer Levi who helped with filming, and Matt for helping to deliver the project, as well as partner group leaders Yiannis, Christos, Marta, Ramin and Emre for their contributions, workshops, energisers and much more.

We’re off the Georgia to deliver our second project and we can’t wait.

Here are some images of some of the participants with their vision boards, you did an amazing job.  There will be a photobook available soon so I hope you’ll be able to get a copy each.

Enjoy

New workshops coming soon

FREE Photo Clinic

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The FREE Photo Clinic with Doug Harman is the place to visit for anyone that has questions about photography.
If you have problems with your camera, you need advice on photography techniques or you have a set of images you’d like Doug to have a look over, assess and advise on, then do pop in for a chat.
Or you might want guidance on purchasing a new camera or lens or camera accessory, Doug will be on hand to help. Or if you simply want to come in, have a chat over all things photography, then we will see you between 10am and 2pm on 20th January 2018.

Just pop into Ashford Volunteer Centre.  Doug will see you on a first come first served basis.

Fore more details please email info@bauhauscafe.co.uk or call 07904 849600

 

Life Drawing Sessions

Every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm, Bauhaus Café CIC hold a life drawing class at Ashford Volunteer Centre.

We provide a professional model and the room; all you have to do is bring your own materials.

We offer refreshments and support to develop your drawing skills.

The workshop is for those who are familiar with drawing.

The cost per session is £10.  Students only pay £7.

Fore more details email info@bauhauscafe.co.uk or call 07904 849600

Taster Art Class

On Monday 5th February, Bauhaus Café CIC is offering a taster art workshop from 2pm to 4pm at Ashford Volunteer Centre.

We will supply all the materials and refreshments, just come and try your hand at drawing, watercolours, and acrylics and have fun.

The cost of the session is £5.

Fore more details email info@bauhauscafe.co.uk or call 07904 849600.

French Conversation Class

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Did you study French at school but have not had the opportunity to practice?  Do you love visiting France but find speaking difficult? Would you want to learn to converse in French and be able to get by when you visit France?

Bauhaus Café CIC is holding a French conversation taster class on Wednesday 31st January from 7pm to 9pm at Ashford Volunteer Centre.

The cost for the class is £5 and refreshments are available.  Just bring a note book and yourself.

For more details please email info@bauhauscafe.co.uk or call 07904 849600.

Photography Workshop with best selling Photographer Doug Harman

Do you want to learn more about photography and how you can improve your camera skills and photo-technique? Yes? Then why not sign up for the one-day photo workshop today for just £55 per person.

Workshop Learning Aims
The aim of the workshop is to help you get to grips with some of the more advanced features on your camera and improve your general photography skills and all are welcome. While the course is aimed at the beginner to intermediate in terms of experience, we cater to those that want to improve their snapping skills on any camera or device, yes, even your smartphone. You’ll have a familiarisation session where you’ll go through the camera settings and which are going to help your photography progress. Then you’ll be shown some tips and tricks that will help you to get better shots too.
Then you’ll go out and do a practical shoot using the tips and techniques discussed earlier on putting into practice the things learned, all the while being expertly guided by best selling photographer, Doug Harman.

After the Shoot
Once the shoot is over, we will return to base and look over your photographs and then do some basic image editing on PC or your smart device and finally, print out your best image. The workshop starts at 09:30 and finishes at 16:30.What is included in the day:• Expert guidance and tuition• Refreshments are included throughout the day.• Printing facilities
What you’ll need to bring:
• A camera or smart device• Your laptop (or suitable tablet or smart device)• A packed lunch (refreshmants such as teas and coffees are included)• Notebook, memory card with plenty of space.
The Workshop Agenda
09:30 – Introduction:1/ Talk over your camera2/ Camera and photo basics3/ Controlling colour and white balance5/ Handling and menus and camera set up
Creative Effects:
• Apertures and Shutter control: Why and what do they do?• Aperture priority for depth of field control• Shutter priority for motion/blur control
Composition:
• Framing – Fill the Frame.• Portrait or landscape format• Composition• Focal length, how it affects the shot and avoiding camera shake.
11:30 – Practical Location shoot:
• Street Photography and Candids
13:30 – Half hour for Lunch (not included)
14:00 – Image Download and Editing with “how to’s” on:
• Sharpen your images• Brighten your images• Convert images to black and white• Filter effects• Printing
15:30 – Picture assessment, Q&A and print a couple of your favourites from the day.
16:00 – Ends.

Buy your tickets here: http://www.dougharmanphotography.com/product/bauhaus-cafe-photography-workshop/

For more details email info@bauhauscafe.co.uk or call 07904 849600

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

 

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

Art & Coffee in a new venue

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Well, it’s been a long while since our last blog and we do apologise for that.  We were busy planning our new venture and moving out of our premises in Park Mall.  We’re now all settled and are open for business.

The gallery in Park Mall, although a wonderful space for art and creation, was never really the right venue for us.  We felt we needed a space that would allow visitors to enjoy tea or coffee, have a bite to eat and be able to take time to view the lovely work by local artists without having to rush to the door.  Well, we believe we’ve achieved just that with our venture, Bauhaus Cafe & Art Gallery.

The Cafe/gallery is situated on the first floor of the old Merchant Chandler’s building in Ashford (2 North Street).  The whole building has gone through a lot of loving care and is looking fabulous.  We are one of a number of tenants in what is now called The Collection Ashford.  The art has moved in with us too and many of our artists are the same but we also have new artists who’ve joined the gallery to display their work.

The Cafe is a CIC (Community Interest Company) and is a hang out for artists, musicians, techies and budding entrepreneurs.  Wi-Fi is free, but Saturdays are our Wi-Fi free days so we leave our phones behind and, instead, make new friends and work on ideas and projects together.

As I am writing this blog, Bisal is playing his bass, and Michael is designing our very first quarterly magazine.  They are both part volunteers. part paid staff.  We’re just had our first live music evening with Dulcie May Moreno in this awesome space. The event is one of many we will be running, and is funded by The National Lottery Celebrate programme.

Here are some pictures of our new space.  We’ll be back soon and tell you more about our evening, our menu, special offers, events and ArtiGras, our May festival.

We look forward to welcoming you here.  The Team