Who is eligible to be a member of the North Norfolk Studios?
Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible and to make our events a celebration of the creative output of artists and makers in North Norfolk.
The constitution states that 'membership is only open to visual artists and makers, and those whose studio, practice or residence is within the district of North Norfolk’*. The official NNDC map can be found here (please let me know if the link gets broken). ‘Membership is not conditional on any qualitative assessment of a member’s work’. In practice our boundaries are more fluid so please don't take this as set in stone.
‘Membership of the co-operative is effective from the date of payment of one ordinary share valued at £1 and will continue until the member forfeits the share or the organisation is wound up.’
*see the reply to the question regarding trails for a more nuanced take on this.
What are the criteria for taking part in the Open Studios event?
Obviously we would prefer the event to be precisely that: an opportunity for the public to visit us in our working studios to gain some insight into the processes involved in creative work rather than concentrating solely on the end product. However, partly in response to a recent enquiry and partly in recognition of the fact that not everyone has a space large enough to open to the public, we are widening the remit of the Open Studios to include situations where artists are using public spaces to show their work. The only proviso is that all artists showing in any given space should have paid the Open Studios fee if that location is to be included in the North Norfolk Open Studios publicity. If in doubt, please ask.
(Also take a look at the question below regarding opening requirements).
What do the Open Studios fees cover?
The fees are to cover the costs involved in the production of the brochure, posters, banners and website. This year it is envisaged that we need around 85 participants in order to break even. Currently there are no paid staff in the organisation. Any excess will be carried over and all accounts will be presented at the AGM and will be available for inspection by the membership. It is hoped that the organisation will expand and will be able to put on other events using available finance.
What is the difference between the North Norfolk Studios and the North Norfolk Open Studios and are they different to the Norfolk Open Studios?
The registered title of our umbrella organisation is North Norfolk Studios (NNS) and the open studios is an event organised by the North Norfolk Studios frequently referred to as either the NNOS or the North Norfolk Open Studios.
Norfolk Open Studios is run by Norfolk & Norwich Festival as one of its initiatives. The Festival manages Norfolk Open Studios in partnership with Norfolk artists and makers. It receives funding from the Arts Council and from Norwich City Council in addition to the subscriptions fees paid by the participants.
Our organisation was set up in response to the decision by Norfolk Open Studios to move their event to the autumn. At present* the administrators of Norfolk Open Studios have no intention of changing the dates back again, any future decisions would be dependent upon the analysis of the feedback surveys.
*as at 1st November 2022
Why are we split into trails?
Members are required to either be a member of a local North Norfolk Art Trail or be affiliated to one, for no other reason than to enable a cascade system of administration and support, thereby reducing the time spent in overall administration of the co-operative and (theoretically) releasing more time to drive the co-operative’s aims. If an Art Trail with a geographically contiguous membership contains some members from outside the district of North Norfolk and some from within, then all members of that Trail will still be eligible to join North Norfolk Studios [from the constitution].
This is undergoing some revision.
In practice, many areas have found it very beneficial to have a cohesive identity and have benefited from the way in which the shared effort leads to greater visitor numbers. However, at present, it is up to the individual trails to produce any subsidiary marketing materials such as trail leaflets, websites, banners, etc…
Who is on the steering committee of North Norfolk Studios?
Pia Henderson and Lesley Ash took on the roles of Chair and Treasurer respectively at the last AGM in 2022. Amelia Mills and Nick White are currently offering their services in the construction and maintenance of the website. Tracey Ross will be working alongside Amelia overseeing the social media accounts. The list of trail coordinators has yet to be finalised but once we have set up the members area of the website all these details will be available there. We feel that it is important to be as transparent as possible about the running of the organisation.
The steering committee would welcome more help with the admin. Someone with experience of marketing would be marvellous. We intend to get a lot of coverage through local press and local radio/TV. How are your writing skills? Do you fancy writing some press releases? We would also like to get some advertising in the brochure and other forms of sponsorship. Have you any skills in that department? Can you spare a few hours to help the organisation move forward? Please use the contact form if you want to get in touch.
Who deals with complaints?
Any issues regarding the organisation should be addressed privately in a polite manner to the Chair via the contact form available on the website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Constructive suggestions or grievances solely regarding the website can be addressed to Nick White at email@example.com - preferably politely. Our intentions are solely to help the wheels of the organisation move smoothly and have no wish to upset anyone.
Why do we have to be open for two weekends on the open studios, isn’t that a bit restrictive?
This was the requirement on the previous open studios and we were not aware of it having been raised before, but it can be kept under review and we will see what people think. Nothing is set in stone until the print presses start rolling as it were. The logic behind the decision is most likely that the public should be able to go out either weekend and find the studios open. As we promote the idea of different art trails it will impact upon other artists in the area if some are open and some are shut. Potentially it makes for an argument that the Open Studios should be over one bank holiday weekend only. There will be arguments for and against whatever line we take. You can’t please all of the people etc… So, until then please go with it. We can put it to a vote well before the event and amend people’s dates accordingly if necessary. We will be asking people to let us know what they require in terms of marketing materials through the members site once it is up and running. We can put a voting form on there along with any other issues that people might to raise.
How else might I benefit from being a member of the North Norfolk Studios?
Well, apart from the lovely camaraderie of like-minded folk, you will be able to send us details of any exhibitions you are in and we will advertise them on here. Also if you know of any call-outs from galleries or other commissions that may be of interest to the community then please let us know and we can put them on the noticeboard. Our social media handlers, Amelia Mills and Tracey Ross will also be looking for material to promote you and the North Norfolk Studios so please tag https://www.instagram.com/northnorfolkstudios/ and https://www.facebook.com/northnorfolkstudios in your postings.
What is the situation regarding insurance?
It is the sole responsibility of you, the individual artist to ensure you have public liability insurance cover in place during all North Norfolk Studios events, as well as other exhibition events. Here are two companies that may be able to help:
A-N is a public liability insurance provider offering annual cover. Find them at www.a-n.co.uk
Axis Web also provides artists public liability cover. Contact them at. firstname.lastname@example.org