Hey folks, my name is Christy Cooper and I am running for Fired Arts Chairperson. I wanted to post a message outlining my approach and open up for any questions people might have.
I’m a newer member but I knew not long after joining that I wanted to be more than just a user of the DMS, I wanted to be a part of the community. I went to the board meetings to learn about the overall operation of the space, began teaching group classes, did one-on-one help with people I met while doing my own work, volunteered to help maintain/clean the committee area and talked to people. I talked to all sorts of people, with different ideas and approaches to how the Dallas Makerspace works.
What I learned is Fired Arts is awesome. Even better, I think it is an area that can become more awesome.
What I would like to do as chairperson is encourage a stronger sense of us being a committee and bring that committee together to make decisions on how to move forward. What do we need in our limited space, what are our priorities, what can we do to improve, how will we maintain our space?
At the moment, I think the area is very unorganized and difficult to approach for both new and old members. This lack of organization is a part of what makes cleanliness a challenge. We also currently have a culture of not cleaning up after yourself that makes the space more work to use and off-putting. This isn’t an easy fix but I think it is a situation that deserves our attention, not just for our own benefit but because it is something we must do as members of a communal workshop.
We also have tools in our area that are under-utilized. I want to encourage more glass work in Fired Arts. Cleaning the area up is a big step in that direction. I have been talking to people about lampwork classes and I am personally very excited for @Kriskat30 ’s fused glass classes. Tools that are damaged, ineffective or difficult to use should be evaluated, repaired, and upgraded. I would like for all of our tools to have a path to use, but I very much want that to be something that is discussed and developed by the committee. (Yes, this is the individual/small group firing kiln issue and I think there are many perspectives and reasoned arguments on all sides, which is why I would like us to come to a well-thought out consensus of how to proceed as a committee and encourage anyone that has feelings about this to attend the FA meetings.)
One of the most important factors to our operation is regular, organized committee meetings. These have been very irregular recently and I think it is to our detriment. Meetings need to be a place where ideas are welcome to be voiced and volunteerism is encouraged. Not all ideas are good ones and not all help comes exactly as you would like it, but it is a beginning that can be positively developed.
And lastly, I want to encourage more instructors and create an environment where they can teach without an overseer or disruption.
I guess my big take away here is that I love Fired Arts. I want to help continue the good work that is being done there now and move towards making that easier, in a clean environment, with more ownership and more involvement from the membership.
If anyone has any questions for me, please hit me up here on Talk or I’ll be back in FA early on Saturday before Open House doing some last minute neatening up. I will do my best to answer. You can vote by attending the Fired Arts meeting on Tuesday, October 17 at 8pm or by giving your proxy. You can pass those in writing, via email or via Talk to a member that will be attending.