February 2021 – New Project
Welcoming communities, nurturing creativity and inspiring new futures.
Dear Ekopia Supporters
Ekopia and the trustees of the Moray Art Centre are delighted to announce that we will purchase the Moray Art Centre building, so that the Moray Art Centre trustees can continue to run their gallery and classrooms as tenants, whilst Ekopia manages the art studios and converts the rest of the building into a fun and welcoming community arts café with an outdoor, sheltered space.
Local community artists will run lively workshops and events, nurturing the arts in Moray for people of all ages.The purchase will allow the Moray Art Centre to pay off its current debts and focus on the activities which they do so well, whilst allowing the community to retain an asset and the cultural heritage which goes with it.
We aim to make the MAC accessible to all, and to balance the wonderful facilities already available at Findhorn Park, with a focus on families and the space for indoor and outdoor artistic activities.
Warm wishes from the Ekopia team
A Local Community Enterprise
Ekopia raises funds mainly through community shares, which allow individuals to buy shares in an enterprise that serves their community. Community shares have been key to raising the finance to save or establish important community services and assets across the UK.
The minimum investment amount is £500 and the minimum investment period is five years. These shares attract variable interest up to a maximum of 4%. All investments include voting membership of Ekopia.
As a community benefit cooperative, we are empowered to raise funds from our supporters for community projects, but please note that investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Our organisation is asset locked, which prevents the assets of a company being used for private gain, rather than the stated purpose of the organisation. We have a highly skilled management team, with extensive experience of supporting and managing community development projects.
Why this project is desperately needed
The need for strong community infrastructure and supportive social networks has become all the more apparent in light of the coronavirus crisis and plays a vital role in helping communities withstand and adapt to shocks.
A key aim of the project is to make the new Community Arts Centre accessible and welcoming to a wide range of people. Those benefitting will include elders, families with children, young people and all those living in the community, while residents from the wider Findhorn area will be encouraged to make use of the new centre.
Findhorn Ecovillage receives thousands of visitors every year from all over the world and the hope is that when the current Covid-19 situation ends, these visitors will also visit the centre.
Tackling loneliness and isolation.
Mutual Support Networks
The new Community Arts Centre will provide an important and invaluable safety net for the most vulnerable in the community, greatly needed in the current challenging climate.
Through a range of initiatives, such as art and craft classes, workshops and exhibitions, outdoor activities for families and children, and a café, the centre will provide a place where young and old can come together and participate in activities that might otherwise not take place.
This new amenity will foster a sense of community involvement and pride, both in the place itself and in what it achieves, creating a sense of ‘belonging’ for those who use it.
Purchase of the building & renting the spaces to existing tenants including Moray Art Centre.
If you’d like to support this project and invest, please contact us.
|Capital Expenditures||* COST £|
|Building Purchase Price||£325,000|
|Legal Fees and Other Costs||£8,250|
|Less Current Investments Secured||£138,000|
|New Investments Required||£200,000|
Development of the back garden and café. This will include the build of a new conservatory, conversion of the kitchen and renovation of existing building.
The development costs will be covered via Donations and Grants.
|Item ** Estimated Costs||* COST £|
|Conservatory Design and Build||£80,000|
|Conversion of Kitchen||£35,000|
|General Renovation of Existing Building||£7,000|
|Furniture (External & Internal)||£5,000|
Vision For The Garden Cafe
- A community Hub which nurtures local creativity at all levels.
- A meeting point for creative collaboration between generations, between art forms and between trainee, emerging and professional artists.
- A supportive environment to connect, explore and create for the local community and artists to develop new skills, new artwork and events.
- An incubator for local creativity, socially engaged art and environmentally aware art and design.
- A pioneer for sustainable creative practice in rural communities. Prioritising the sustainability and wellbeing of the artist, the participants, audiences and the production of the artworks.
The project will provide valuable local economic benefits through the provision of a range of activities and services, including an outdoor weather-proof café, all of which can be used by both community members and visitors. The café will be rented out to, and run by a local entrepreneur with experience in catering. In addition, local community organisations and individuals will be able to rent spaces within the building to run events, classes and workshops on a regular or one-off basis, generating income for themselves, as well as for the MAC, who will then re-invest this back into future community initiatives. Visitors to the new centre are likely to use the Phoenix Café & Store, a wellrespected community enterprise within the ecovillage, generating much needed income locally.
The re-developed MAC will enhance learning and recreation opportunities for local people. The positive association between participation in community-based activities and health and wellbeing is well documented.
This project will offer an opportunity for people of all ages to socialise in a safe way and encourage residents to maintain and build new relationships and support networks, in contrast to the isolation that many have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The centre will act as a hub for valuable community information, and the new covered areas we plan to build will not only provide more open and ventilated spaces, necessary in the current climate, but will also expose those using the facilities to new activities in a safe and inspiring outdoor environment.
An ecologically built space, the current Moray Arts Centre is designed to be a model of energy sustainability and is a low environmental impact building.
It was built with the capacity and flexibility for future low impact sustainable regeneration, which will allow Ekopia to redevelop the building while preserving a valuable environmentally sustainable community asset.
The Findhorn Ecovillage has been designated as a UNHabitat Best Practice model and incorporated into the UN Habitat database of initiatives that are making outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life in cities and communities around the world (UN Habitat, 2017).
The redevelopment of the MAC will enhance a building that contributes to the local themes of environmental sustainability and an ecological, respectfully-built environment. Moreover, it will enable Ekopia to play an important role in the UN-Habitat’s mission to support partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities.
What’s on at Moray Arts Centre
Creative activity which is inclusive, engaging and sustainable.
Regular events to showcase new work, ignite new collaborations and celebrate creative communities.
Local professional artists who will support the development of emerging artists, students and communities.
Craft Cafe & Garden Cafe
A relaxed and welcoming space where different generations can come together for a cuppa and some cake.
A space for Artists and communities to create, connect, inspire and excite.
10:00 AM – 12.30 PM: Forest Families
Parent and under 5’s drop in
Outdoor creative arts, sensory, music and movement activities for parents and children under 5. Using the natural environment as the canvas, stage, source and inspiration for fun and engaging sensory activities.
Saturday Arts is a welcoming space for families to come and connect through engaging art activities.
The workshops are catered to support parents and children of all ages to develop soft skills (wellbeing, aspirations, communication and compassion) as well as hard skills (drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textile arts, drama, dance and music.)
Workshops will have a multicultural emphasis, exploring creative cultures and practices from across the globe. The workshops will build towards quarterly creative show case events and festivals where children and families will be supported to perform and exhibit alongside Morays emerging and established creative community.
Studios 1 + 2
10:00 AM – 12.30 PM: Forest Families
10 children per class
Creative and performance arts, break for snack.
Class 1 = 5yrs – 8yrs
Class 2 = 9yrs – 12yrs
Sunday Craft café
Adults and Families Drop In
Craft café is a relaxed and welcoming space where different generations can come together, share skills, get to know each other, support reuse, creative carbon reduction and share a cuppa and some cake. Participation can be for personal enjoyment or to contribute crafts to a quarterly craft market, which will give community members a chance to sell crafts and raise money for local charities or initiatives.
Connecting generations to weave bright new futures.
Studio 1: Make Do & Mend
Skilled local crafters assist and advise with mending projects. Tools, advice and practical support will be available to assist in the repair of clothes, furnishing, electrical and mechanical household items.
Studio 2: Creative Upcycling
Using materials from the Boutique, Family Boutique, households or Charity shops – upcycling artists invite participation in upcycling projects. Projects will be designed in response to the materials available and the needs of the community. Projects may include creating cushions or curtains for community spaces, reusable shopping bags, children’s toys and clothes and more.
Sunday Garden Crafts
Adults and Families Drop in
Intergenerational workshop using seasonal natural materials, and upcycling to create modern crafts with traditional skills.
Weaving, sewing, crochet, macrame and tapestry skills will be reimagined with natural and upcycled materials. Projects may include, basket making, planters, wreathes, table pieces and decorations.
Festivals & Entertainment
A space for Artists and communities to create & connect.
Evenings: Bar & Studio 1 + 2
Drop in events, adult or family friendly
- Sketchy Beats: Life Drawing sessions with dancers and D.J.
- Spoken Word: Poetry slams where emerging and established poets and performers can share new work, experiment and connect with new audiences.
- Open Mic: Emerging artists and professionals can share developing music, inspire new collaborations and connect with new audiences.
- Community Cinema: Relaxed and sociable screenings of arthouse, film, animation and documentary. Beanbags, popcorn and beer. Family friendly screenings included.
Film shorts by local artists as well as archive film.
Festivals & Caberet
Quarterly seasonal festivals which will bring the community together with local emerging and professional artists to exhibit, perform, eat, drink, dance and delight Tickets for day, evening or weekends.
High-end evening cabaret showcasing local talent and developing art and performance. Multicultural themed events where audiences experience immersive art, music and performance while being wined and dined.
Local crafters can sell work alongside established makers in the area. Bringing zero waste sustainable crafts to the Park, supporting local makers and raising funds for local charities and events. Crafters pay for a table and keep all takings; audience pays on entry.
- Supporting artistic connections
- Inspiring collaborations
- Nurturing a vibrant creative community
Moray Artistic Community will be focalised by a collective of local professional artists working in versatile and exciting media.
They will deliver cutting edge socially engaged workshops, projects and events with members of the local community. The artist collective will collaborate with and support each other in the development of new work, consulting with and engaging the community in their creative development.
New work by professional artists will emerge from the community, engaging local people in the process and creating pathways for personal and professional engagement in the arts.
- Kate MacKay MA Fine Art: www.eminate.art
Kate is a visual artist with over 20 years’ experience in socially engaged art practice. She uses sustainable materials and creative processes to connect communities, develop potential and transform environments.
- Rachel Macintyre: www.jabutitheatre.com
Rachel is a theatre director, performer and puppeteer. She uses physical theatre, ariel and puppetry to create socially engaged performances, workshops and events for children and adults.
- Heather Fulton: www.frozencharlotte.com
Heather is a theatre director who creates immersive theatre, plays and films particularly engaging children and young people experiencing barriers to inclusion and access to the arts. She supports emerging artists and performers to develop new work and access pathways to a career in performing arts.
- Ruaraidh Milne BSc Hons MSc: flyagaric.webs.com/aboutus.htm
Qualified as a wildlife biologist, Ruaraidh has expanded his repertoire into the arena of Circus skills, training in Capoeira around the world, and in other performance arts, predominantly in Scotland, with various groups. He has been teaching bushcraft and environmental education for ten years, and training up leaders in for Woodland and Coastal Activity Leader Trainings (WALT and CALT) accredited qualifications for 3 years.