Our Values & Communities
Our guiding principle is that buildings and places are best maintained through active use and we want to enhance communities by reactivating empty buildings with creative and playful solutions for spaces. We take a holistic approach to assessing the value of the buildings we take on; not just in terms of finance, but also in terms of cultural, aesthetic, entrepreneurial, environmental and social impact. We have a clear Code of Conduct that defines our organisational principles, values, standards.
- Responsive: actively looking at community needs for buildings and places, involving stakeholders in placemaking.
- Activist: independent, staying true to our grassroots, embracing do-it-yourself models of delivery
- Flexible: providing space to experiment in the pursuit of innovative art
- Trusted: forming relationships with artists, communities and property owners, developing shared solutions for spaces together
- Enabling: seeing and realise the potential others may not, acting as a catalyst for community development
- Responsible: reliable guardians of spaces, helping to protect and celebrate social and cultural heritage, that may otherwise be lost
- Supportive: fostering resilient environments, aiding communities to take ownership/benefit from regeneration, harnessing local skills and capabilities.
In April 2019, Artspace Lifespace declared a Climate Emergency. Our move to using stainless steel reusable cups at our venue was part of our drive to imagine and model ways that our organisation can work with others to regenerate the planet’s resources. We also invested in an e-cargo bike with the support of a TravelWest grant to use as a pool resource among our staff and artists. In 2020 in response to the Coronavirus and our concern that the pandemic would increase reliance on cars, we added the loan of the bike through our Artspace Resispace residency programme. In 2023, we embarked on our most ambitious project to date, repurposing the former M&S building in Broadmead as an arts and sustainability hub in partnership with the Global Goals Centre.
Artist Support Networks
Artspace Lifespace is a member of The Bristol DIY Arts Network; an independent gathering of arts organisations and arts practitioners, large and small, funded (Arts Council, Bristol City Council) and unfunded, all of whom deliver cultural programmes within the city of Bristol. Bristol DIY Network meet regularly to advocate for the sector and to discuss and inform policy, as well as forming working groups in response to specific issues and to develop shared activity. This thinking feeds directly into the wider cultural conversations happening at a high level in the city through the Culture Board. Together, we are committed to the successful future of our city, and the creativity of both Bristol and Bristolians. From 2017-2019 Artspace Lifespace headed up the DIY Cultural Spaces Work Group (CSWG) which led to the Futur Ville summit. The Cultural Spaces Workgroup is now a shared slack group managed by our friends at Bricks.
Artspace Lifespace also provides support as part of an independent network support for Dance who meets quarterly, a legacy of Bristol Dance Futures.
The Inclusion Project
In 2017 Artspace Lifespace and sister company Invisible Circus received funding from Bristol City Council Imagination Fund to develop a strategy to make our spaces more inclusive and we embarked on The Art Of Inclusion. Two years later Ngaio Aniya with the support of a volunteer Inclusion Team launched the halt harassment campaign – a campaign emphasising that harassment is a societal problem that needs a citywide framework in place to tackle exclusionary behaviour. In Feb 2020 The Inclusion Team shared the draft of the Halt Harassment framework to standardise how incidents are dealt with, so that the process when a complaint is made is clear, and consistent across venues, and ensures that everyone is heard and safe.