Learning Curves: ArtiPeeps Update

25 Sep

Learning Curve


A real hotch-potch of ArtiPeeps news…

For the last week or so I have been concentrating on trying to shape the first ArtiPeeps 5 year business plan, and I have to say this has been no easy task: amidst the swirl of the first stages of the planning of our  ‘Transformations‘ Exhibition/Poetry Reading in September 2014 and our mini- relaunch ahead in October it’s been tricky to squeeze everything in.  September 2014 It may seem like a long way off but time ticks a way so, and the more preparation and space we have the better the outcome of ‘Transformations’ will be. I’m  hoping this will be a real, tangible springboard for us. 

Heritage Weekend

Last weekend I went to Hanse Houses Heritage day which was part of the town- (King’s Lynn’s)  yearly heritage weekend. The number of people passing through Hanse’s  doors has upped from 400- 600 from last year to this year. This bodes very well for ‘Transformations’ next year. It was a really great day which highlighted notions of collaboration and reconciliation. I felt our project would fit in there perfectly.

Legal Structure for ArtiPeeps

As part of my business planning it has also become apparent that very shortly ArtiPeeps will have to choose an appropriate legal structure if it is to become a professional organisation. I have to say,  I have never quite seen us as a blog in my head anyway (even though we are). I’ve always  wanted ArtiPeeps to be a service and/or a kind of creative, collaborating community. In professional speak, I’ve come to understand, we are  an ‘unincorporated’ organisation. However, with ‘Transformations’ on the horizon and budgets being created how ArtiPeeps deals with its relationship to money has to be addressed. This is particularly important as we plan to facilitate more concrete events in the future. It is also important we know what we are for funding purposes. This has become all too clear.

At the moment I am deliberating over whether we are moving towards becoming a not-for-profit- all -out charity or whether we are going to be a company limited by guarantee and a charitable organisation. One allows us to play with some sort of income the other restricts us to purely charitable pursuits.  Both frameworks also have different implications on the legal structure-  for instance- a company limited by guarantee has a membership, which I think would actually suit ArtiPeeps very well.

At present I am still working through this as each has entirely different implications on how we proceed. I have set myself a goal to have this all squared up by the end of December.


This has all  meant that  I have had to think very carefully through what ArtiPeeps’ intentions are (the business planning has helped me do this). What does ArtiPeeps, in its heart, want to do? This is the  question that matters the most.   I know that a lot of charitable organisations move from charitable status to a company ltd by guarantee as it does allow you mix profit with charitable intent. Indeed, I’ve worked for several organisations that have done so successfully.  Once this issue has been clarified I can then approach either Companies House or the Charities Compassion. 

Business Planning

Deciding what legal structure we are has slowed up the writing of the business plan somewhat as one aspect is dependent on another. Also, as per usual, ArtiPeeps is continually evolving-responding every day to what’s emerging creatively- and to try and fix what we do down, to project clearly into the future;  to know ‘for certain’ in this moment, is hard. I can certainly see now why some new organisations don’t try and write a business plan until later down the line. But then you don’t know where you’re going; there’s no compass to guide you  and things eventually fall apart or grind to a heart-wrenching halt. I’ve worked for organisations like that too. Trying to pin matters down whilst in flow is  a hard one to crack. So I’ve moved a long hugely with it, but the fixing is still a work in progress. However, what our ultimate structure could be has become much more apparent which is exciting.

Marketing Material and ‘Transformations’

I also have had a meeting with what will be the printers and graphic designers for ‘Transformations’ (Minute Man Press). I have been through all the costings of the marketing needed for our project. Just last night I pulled together a budget for our event and I am finalising everything in preparation for a second meeting shortly. The advice I received at Minute Man was invaluable and really made me think things through. It gave me some perspective so I could see how clear and strong my sense of purpose is, and how well I can communicate it if needs be (which was a relief to me). I’m always so insecure about how I communicate even though I communicate well.  My plan is to also secure sponsorship for some of the marketing costs involved in ‘Transformations’. Watch this space… It could well be that there will also be some big changes in terms of our website as well in readiness for next year.

Exhibition Book

I have looked into the costs of  producing a book that will be available alongside the exhibition containing all the artwork and chosen poems. Thanks to one of our transformers James Knight, I am now ‘in the know’ as to how it all works; that feels good too. I’m all set to start fiddling…

Wellcome Trust Grant Bid (Biomedicine)

I am also having a meeting this Friday with poet and academic  Miranda Barnes in relation to a Wellcome Trust bid we are going to work towards together.  I’ve scheduled  this collaborative project to take place in 2016 (not that I’m thinking ahead or anything…).  My aim  from now on is to actively work towards securing  funding in advance for all our major collaborations (one major, large scale one each year and 3-4 mid scale mental health orientated ones per year).  I am pleased to say I have also found several other potential creatives with a science background who  will hopefully feed into this too. The Wellcome Trust funds projects that promote new artworks which nurture public engagement with  bioscience (biology and medicine). This project will eventually feed into our ‘Creatives Making A Difference’ strand.

 ArtiPeeps is having a mini relaunch next week-

with a jam packed programme of new talent and mental health/well-being mid-sized collaborations.  We also have a writer in residence for the month (our visitor peep) the emerging writer and poet  Lydia Allison, which will be brilliant.  We’re so pleased to be featuring her work and creating opportunities for Lydia  to work with other creatives from other disciplines. This mini-relaunch marks the movement of ArtiPeeps away from features to being driven by two strands: individual showcasing opportunities (Spotlight) and multi-form collaborations (both educational and artistic  and mental-health  orientated- ‘Creatives Making A Difference’). This two-strand testing will be running right the way through until the end of December.  Do let me know what you think. There will be a ‘re-launch’ post out on Monday to introduce what will be going on throughout the next three months. It’s going to be great!!

There’s lots afoot at ArtiPeeps at the moment so do support us as we grow and evolve, shape, turn, create and collaborate.

All the very best!


7 Responses to “Learning Curves: ArtiPeeps Update”

  1. Carol Robson September 25, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Hi Nicky

    What you are doing is amazing, bringing together some amazing people for your collaborations and you deserve for it all to be a success.

    However, always take time out for yourself when it is needed 🙂

    Best Wishes

    Carol x

    Carol Robson BMedSci(Hons) http://carolrobson.com/ Poetry and Poetry Performance Tel: 07932 875470 https://twitter.com/Chakracaz


    • ArtiPeep September 26, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Carol, that’s very kind of you to say, and you’ve given me some good advice re taking time out for myself which I shall do my very best take. I tend to be a bit like the ‘little train that doesn’t stop’. However, it is my every intention to take good care of myself through the exciting times we have ahead. Nicky

  2. nordicblackbird September 25, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Brilliant and so exciting times ahead 🙂

    • ArtiPeep September 26, 2013 at 11:30 am #

      Thanks Nat, I appreciate you and your poetry!

  3. nordicblackbird September 25, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Reblogged this on nordicblackbird.com and commented:
    From friend & project curator Nicky Mortlock

  4. Deborah September 26, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Exciting times ahead Nicky! You’re impressively organised 🙂

    • ArtiPeep September 26, 2013 at 11:28 am #


      Thank you so much! I don’t feel particularly organised I have to say, but it’s the only way I know how to do it. It keeps every part of the whole thing moving forward without me going loopy. Nicky

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