Posts Tagged ‘Pop-Up’

Want to host or present a “pop-up” event? ArtWorks new Pop-Up Tool-Kit makes it easy!

Do you or your arts group need a place to show work, perform, hold an event?  Do you have an idea for a creative business and want to test the waters? Do you own a property and want to host an arts event or performance?   Have an empty space that would benefit from new traffic and “buzz”?   A Pop-Up could be your answer and Triangle ArtWorks has created a new Tool-Kit to make them easier!

Triangle ArtWorks is thrilled to announce that its first major program, the Pop-Up Tool-Kit, is live.  A copy can be found on our site here. The Tool Kit brings together tips and tools gained from our research and interviews into an easy-to-use format, which guides both the artists/arts group and the property owner from idea to successful pop-up event.

Regional arts and economic development leaders gather at Spoonflower to kickoff the Pop-Up Tool-Kit project. L-R, Chris Beacham/NC Cultural Resources, Andrea Groder/Durham OEWD, Lindsay Gordon/Durham Arts Council, Brandon Cordrey/Triangle ArtWorks, Annah Lee/Raleigh Arts Commission, Ann Marie Amico/Fuquay-Varina, Meg McGurk/Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, John Hodges/Garner Revitalization, Naomi-Riley/Fuquay-Varina Downtown, Lisa Newhouse/Wake Forest Downtown Revitalization.

What is a Pop-Up?

A Pop-Up is any type of temporary event that occurs in either an empty space or a space primarily used for another purpose.  A group of artists might create a temporary gallery in an empty store building, a music/theater/slam poetry group has a weekend of shows at night in an office lobby or the second floor of a business.  An artist creates an installation in an empty storefront, or maybe an unused strip mall becomes a holiday market for artists and artisans.

Why Pop-Up?

For artists, creative businesses and arts groups, Pop-Ups offer a powerful way to get their work out to the public, especially new audiences, to test new business concepts, and to create “buzz” in the process. Pop-ups are also a dynamic way to create new interest in vacant properties or struggling neighborhoods, and even active businesses, by drawing in new visitors and bringing vibrancy and color.

Plus, this temporary use of space is a great way to increase the number of venues available for arts shows and performances. Triangle ArtWorks repeatedly heard from Triangle artists and arts groups that they needed more venues.  By making it easier to do Pop-Up shows and events, we achieve our goal of creating new spaces for artists and arts businesses to work, while also increasing the vibrancy of our Region. It is this type of ‘big picture” work for the arts, as an industry, that Triangle ArtWorks can do for this region.

How the Tool-Kit helps

Triangle ArtWorks has been working with both artists and economic development groups in developing this project.  The Kit will be a tool which gives both parties to these events a starting point and a guide to work towards a successful event.

Locals stop for a Durham Storefront Project display in an empty downtown window.

Garner Revitalization Association Executive Director John Hodges explains, “Our downtown development organization is working with local artists and creative professionals to grow Garner’s arts economy. We have lots of talented people who want to show and sell their work and vacant properties that are not contributing to the district. The Pop-Up Took Kit will give our volunteers the knowledge and confidence to undertake new arts projects that will contribute to our economic vision for Downtown Garner.”

With two years of experience in placing artists and installations in empty storefronts in downtown Durham under its belt, the Durham Storefront Project is now working on its third effort. Project organizer Jess Moore says, “Storefront art installations are a simple way to showcase local artists and fill empty spaces. When unoccupied, these spaces make a downtown area or neighborhood seem uninhabited and can be easily overlooked. When occupied, there is a noticeable difference in the ambiance of the area because people aren’t just hurrying along past empty space. They pause – engaging with the windows as they walk down the street. In short, storefront installations can add vibrancy to downtown. I’m hopeful that the Tool-Kit will show artists, businesses, and building owners how easy it can be to transform unoccupied space into something new and exciting for the community.”

How was the Pop-Up Tool-Kit created?

Triangle ArtWorks worked with students from University of North Carolina Law School’s Pro Bono program to research how and why people are doing Pop-Up events, as well as the issues involved in their creation.  The students, with Triangle ArtWorks’ guidance, then interviewed property owners and arts groups throughout the Triangle that were experienced with Pop-Ups of all types.  They gained tips for launching a pop-up and identified issues that may come up along the way, then collected this information into an easy to use format.

The Tool Kit has two parts. Part 1 is a Beginner’s Guide for both the artist/arts group and the property owner, to take participants step-by-step through issues to consider before approaching the other party, as well as tips on making the connection.  Part 2  is an Agreement Tips and Tools section which includes a Checklist of important details to for both parties to consider in creating their partnership.

Let us help – keep us informed!

Triangle ArtWorks is working with arts groups and downtown development leaders around the Triangle to support the creation of more Pop-Up shows and events in the Triangle. If you are working on one, let us know, so we can keep a record of the impact of this project.  If you have comments or tips for the Tool-Kit, let us know, so we can make subsequent editions better!  Look forward to hearing your news!





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BEST project transforms empty Raleigh storefronts.

By Jess Moore

BEST is a new initiative in downtown Raleigh that fills unoccupied storefront windows with art. BEST, which stands for Beautifying Emerging Spaces Together, formed late last year with their first installations starting in February 2012.

One of the group’s creative minds is Donna Belt, an interfaith minister, writer, and artist. An advocate for the “transformative value of art in people’s lives,” Belt sees the storefronts as an opportunity to change a negative – empty space – into a positive – a new vehicle for integrating art into daily life.

A goal of BEST is to actively involve the community and include a variety of voices. The first group to hang work in a storefront is ARTHOUSE, a children’s art studio. The window is located at 300 W Hargett St. and includes the children’s work along with quotes from each child speaking about their art. BEST is also creating interactive projects, like constructing a city skyline with sticky notes. The pieces of paper will include quotes from Raleigh citizens describing what they love most about their city.

Many of the people involved in BEST are members of the Downtown Living Advocates, a group of residents interested in the growth of downtown. DLA connects BEST with property owners, most recently helping the group obtain space at 215 S. Wilmington Street.  Formerly the site of the Raleigh Sandwich Shop, the space is now vacant, but the work of artist Patrick Shanahan will soon enliven the windows. He’s creating interior scenes that reflect what the business may have looked like in its prime. His lively paintings, filled with important figures from the past and present, will mask the plywood boards that cover the windows, creating an alternate reality for the historic space.

For more on BEST and information on how to get involved, visit their website.


Jessica Moore is a founder and organizer for the Durham Storefront Project.  Durham Storefront Project organizes installation series in underutilized spaces to highlight the history and architecture of Durham, provide new opportunities for artists and add to the vibrancy of downtown

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