Is Ziggy going to have a close shave?

2018-07-27_1417A last minute update as we are just a few hours away from our first fundraising gig tonight and our deadline to hit the halfway mark with Ziggy promising to let me shave her head if we do!

We are currently on: £4488.34 so need to raise £511.66 by tonight so that Ziggy can feel cooler!

If you have already helped us with a donation, thank you so much! If you’d like to chip in now to support The Art House, please click here – you can also help by sharing using the buttons below. Remember that small amounts add up – if just 100 people chip in a fiver, we’ll be nearly there!

I’ll be live streaming at the start of our fundraising gig this evening to let you know if we made the target and I can shave Ziggy’s bonce and updating on our page all through the show…. so hopefully by the time we close later Ziggy will have a very cool head and we will have hit that target!

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Posted in Events, Uncategorized, what's on

Fundraising update!

Jani has just done a quick Facebook live video sharing how we are doing with our fundraiser 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Fundraising update and Ziggy is going bald!

We have put together a lovely summer fundraising programme of music, story and even a singing workshop for August, thanks to the generosity of our artist friends who have volunteered their time to come and play for us. I’ve put all the details below – a great summer programme of top notch events, all support The Art House – go take a look!

2018-07-27_1417.pngOur fundraiser now stands at a total of £3515 towards our total target of £10000

Ziggy, who is known for her amazing gravity-defying hair, has promised to shave it all off if we reach the halfway mark of £5000 by our first fundraising event on Saturday 4 August! We’ll be keeping you updated and live streaming the shave if it happens!

If you have helped us with a donation, thank you so much!

If you’d like to chip in this week and help us reach our next milestone of £5000 and a bald (and probably lovely and cool) Ziggy, then please click here – you can also help by sharing using the buttons below.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page this week for more updates and news. Thanks again for your generous support! 

Posted in Uncategorized

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle but most of all: RESIST.

Jani here!

I want to address the notion that we can stop climate change with small, consumer-based collective action.

Now – I do take individual actions and always have, mainly because I’m white, able-bodied, in good health and middle class so have always had the privilege that makes this quite easy to do.

But these days …. most of my energy goes into activism and exploring alternatives to capitalism, because cycling to work and recycling my rubbish isn’t even close to enough to address the looming crisis.

The sad fact is, we can all give up disposable straws and stop using glitter and buy canvas shopping bags and we’re still going to wipe ourselves out.

Green capitalism might kill us a little more slowly, perhaps (I’m not even sure it’ll achieve that), but it’s still going to kill us.

The green movement has made great, visible strides in more sustainable production and sourcing, and yet we are still careering into climate crisis – in fact it is already here.

So. What’s the plan?

There is a *very* good argument, especially for people with limited energy and/or higher levels of marginalisation and oppression, for saving one’s time, vigour and focus for social and financial activism and resisting the current upsurge of fascism, or just bloody existing in a world that says you shouldn’t, rather than spending your limited energy on that extra hour using a bus to get to work.

Personally, I have had the blessing of a background and circumstances that have allowed me to step out of the traditional labour market to carry out the social and financial experiment that is The Art House – using creativity and community and providing a physical space to address some of the bigger issues at a grassroots and personal level.

Every day we’re pushing it further and further away from the ‘status quo’ and yes, we recycle and compost, too, but that’s not our focus.

I’m not saying we’re perfect (we really aren’t) but, within the system we have, we are exploring a new way, we’re listening and learning and we’re sharing it with others who are doing the same. I hope we get to keep doing it – fundraising link in the comments 🙂

This is why we need to relax about people who need straws using disposable plastic straws – it’s hard to dismantle this system when you’re thirsty, folks. A lot of disabled activists are really working at the front lines whilst we ableds lecture them on why they can’t have a bendy straw because it’s ‘bad for the planet’.

For a disabled person, just existing is a powerful act of resistance to the same system that’s going to drive humanity to extinction.

Let that sink in for a second if it’s never occurred to you before.

We need to think bigger!

Rearranging the deckchairs and painting them green (with eco-friendly paint of course) and making sure the wood on the deckchairs is made from ‘sustainably sourced’ wood is just going to make this ship look a little nicer and ‘greener’ when it finally sinks.

And make no mistake – whilst middle class white folk stand around comparing green credentials, this ship is sinking. Fast.

This was never about what kind of things we buy or our personal habits at home. Those things are good, don’t get me wrong, but if they’re all we do …. we’re done for.

I urge everyone to get involved in whatever way you can with any organisation fighting against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism etc – because these inequalities prop up the current system waaaaaaay more than people who use plastic spoons do.

You can also support campaigns against parasitic corporations through organisations like Greenpeace (yes I know they are not perfect) or smaller, grassroots actions.

Resist, don’t just recycle.

The idea is to fight the *system*, not simply adjust our *buying habits* within the system – do you dig me?

Do it whichever way works best for you – but do it. Write about it. Share your discoveries along the way. Connect. Build resilience. Form communities. We’re all learning here. Dive in.

Also, and this is important, do the inner work.

Capitalism lives in your brain! Root that fucker out!

Posted in Behind the scenes, Community news & views, Our philosophy

Summer Fundraising gigs programme

We are currently working towards our summer fundraising target of £10000 and some of our friends have offered to perform here to support us and add to the total!  Throughout August, ending on 1 September, we have a programme of fundraising gigs happening at The Art House.

You can also donate directly to our fundraiser anytime here.

947135_10151386680065933_98849397_nFriday 4 August 
The Colourful Adventures of Merciful Grace (and Bob)

Steampunk creation Merciful Grace the mechanical maid invites you into a secret part of her life. You’ll meet her lifelong companion Bob the ‘not evil’ manbot, and watch as he sets in motion a very cunning plan, all because he wants her to stretch out her visits from 59 seconds exactly. Including a cast of steampunk inspired Bob’s. Sing-a-long ukulele songs and robot humour. No robots will be harmed in the performance, but we can’t vouch for the humans. I hope you like ukeleles.

This performance is child and grandparent-friendly and suitable for anyone from the ages of 7 upward. Book here for the colourful adventures! 

Sunday 5 August
Sunday Soul Session fundraiser

Come take some time out with us for some live soulful music.

We welcome you to spend an afternoon with us enjoying some of the Art house bohemia, in a reflective realm of neo soulful tunes, performed by our local talent.

This event is by donation to The Art House summer fund – please give generously! The cafe will be serving a range of organic vegetarian meals as well as super lovely beverages. For this night we have a special offer on for our fundraiser for pre-booked lunch

Thursday 9 August
Nina Rideout – Classical Guitar by candlelight cafe concert 

An intimate evening of solo guitar from Nina Rideout.  Come and relax, have a drink, or eat, to the sweet sounds of the classical guitar – candlelit, as sunset draws in. For this night we have a special offer on for our fundraiser for pre-booked suppers.

Saturday 11 August23172421_1462810240423457_6187097231474835808_n
Jason Buck – Storytelling fundraiser

Drawing on traditional favourites and introducing new ideas, Jason’s stories are told in the oldest and best ways – as live performances, for modern audiences and he has performed across the UK and mainland Europe, blending traditional and contemporary motifs, vocal sound effects and pure, unadulterated fantasy. Jason has been a performer most of his adult life, including gurning, comedy and sword swallowing, but his passion lies in stories – there’s nothing like getting lost in a story, the pictures in your head are better than film.  He is also unnecessarily tall and has a memorably large moustache.

An evening of fabulous stories for grown ups (and young adults) to raise money for the Art House. All ticket sales go to the Art House. Jason will be telling some of my favourite (own) stories and one that’s never been told before…   Ages 10+

Saturday 18 August 
Carrie Laythorpe – workshop and comedy cabaret

Carrie is a long time Art House regular, the first musician to perform on our trusty piano back in 2008! She has kindly offered to run a singing workshop followed by a comedy cabaret to raise money for our summer fundraiser.

Carrie performs and teaches many different styles of music, with expert knowledge of musical theatre, she teaches music privately and runs the Show Off choir in Chandlers Ford. The cabaret promises to be high energy, entertaining with audience participation!

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Tuesday 21 August 
Chantelle Smith – Folk fundraiser 

While singing has been an ever present element of Chantelle’s life, she is a relative newcomer to the folk world.  Her main area of interest is folk ballads; the telling of a story through the medium of song and it is these that feature strongly in her repertoire.  Chantelle sings a capella, with her shruti box, guitar or with percussion; she’s slowly working on bringing her harp into the set too!  When it comes to ballads, Chantelle focuses on carrying the story across to the audience with instrumentation used to add emphasis and texture.

Tuesday 28 August
Pegasuses

Southampton musicians Dave Miatt (guitar and vocals) and Laura Lamb (vocals) are Pegasuses, playing popular songs and folk songs – they have had a busy summer playing all around Southampton including supporting Band of Skulls at the Joiners earlier this year.

All proceeds raised will be donated to The Art House Fundraiser.

 

 

 

 

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Summer volunteers urgently needed!

As usual at this time of year, some of our crew who are students have gone home for the holidays, and many other people are away, we are short of volunteer crew for the cafe and kitchen and need more helpers!

Volunteering is a great way to get ‘behind the scenes’ here and really feel a part of the work we do.  It’s also a fab way to make new friends, gain confidence, learn new skills and …. well …. just have fun whilst contributing to something you believe in!

Did you know:

* You can volunteer as little as twice a month
* You can choose a regular shift, or ad-hoc to suit your other commitments
* After a qualifying period you get a privilege card which gives you a juicy DISCOUNT
* You can use your work at The Art House to enhance your CV and we even give references to crew who complete the training period
* Our crew are all ages with so many different interests.  You don’t have to be an artist / hippy / vegan – you just have to have an open heart and a willingness to muck in!

We do hope you will consider helping out at this time, when we really do need support!

Find out more and apply here

Tweet out our call for summer crew

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Let’s fool the robbas (again!)

Well, there is never a dull moment at The Art House, that’s for certain.

As you may know, we had a break-in on 8 March with a great deal of damage done by the two men who broke in and were looking for things to steal – they managed to steal very little indeed, but caused a lot of mess including a hole in the wall which we have been having fun with ever since, because silliness and creativity are always the best response to adversity!

On Monday 17 April, we had another break-in (which may well be linked to the first but
appeared to be a different person).

The good news is that the person who broke in this time was caught (hiding behind a manikin in our attic!) due to very rapid police response.  He has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this week.

Here is the policeman who caught the robba!  Of course, we had to get him to pose thru the hole to add to our collection.

As you can imagine, all of the police who arrived here that night (there were a lot of them, and a helicopter – most dramatic!) were grinning ear to ear at having made an arrest, as they seldom manage to get somebody red-handed.

We hope that, having been caught, the robba chooses a better future ahead of him than whatever happened in his past to lead him to carry out such a nasty act.

Although one person who attempted to steal from us has now been caught, the sad truth is that our building needs extra security to keep us safer in future, as all small businesses are very vulnerable to crime and we are no exception.

Insurance covers the basic repairs, but it won’t cover the upgrades we need.  It also does not cover the disruption, extra work arranging repairs and claims, stress and the focus it takes to recover from an event like this.

We are already feeling a major financial impact from these events and, with summer coming up and in these uncertain times, this puts the future of The Art House at very real risk.

There are a few ways you can help us, if you want to!

Donate via PayPal, either as a one-off or, by checking the ‘make this a recurring donation’ box, give us a small amount regularly (so helpful!)

We also urgently need volunteers at the moment!  Easter is a time we lose a lot of our regular student crew and we are short handed on all shifts at the moment.

If you are able to volunteer at least twice a month, either a regular time or ad hoc to fit around your other commitments, in the cafe or kitchen, we would love to hear from you….. and of course, the best thing you can always do is to come in and enjoy lunch, a snack, a drink, supper or some of our famous cake!  We are open 10.30am – 10pm Tuesday – Saturday and 12 – 5pm on Sundays.   Enjoy one of our many events

We also urgently need volunteers at the moment!  Easter is a time we lose a lot of our regular student crew and we are short handed on all shifts at the moment.  Find out more here

If you are able to volunteer at least twice a month, either a regular time or ad hoc to fit around your other commitments, in the cafe or kitchen, we would love to hear from you.

…. and of course, the best thing you can always do is to come in and enjoy lunch, a snack, a drink, supper or some of our famous cake!  We are open 10.30am – 10pm Tuesday – Saturday and 12 – 5pm on Sundays.   Enjoy one of our many events

As always, we rely on the support of our customers, our patrons, our supporters, our volunteers and our community to keep us going.  As long as you are there, we will be here for you to enjoy – and we thank you so much.

Love, peace and cake,

Jani, Bik, Zigz, Graham, Joanne, Duncan, Devin, Alex, Henry, Sam, Dave and Jacqui – The Art House co-ordinators, and all our volunteers

 

Posted in Behind the scenes

Do you ever think about the energy efficiency of your food?

Do you ever think about the energy efficiency of your food? Serving mostly vegan food, we are going to have a go at working out our GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emission savings over the past year, based on the data from our till. – Roughly 150 ‘meals’ per week (takes cake into account.)

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/EI167.1

“..An important albeit often overlooked personal choice of substantial GHG emission consequences is one’s diet. Evaluating the implications of dietary choices to one’s planetary footprint (narrowly defined here as total personal GHG emissions) and comparing those implications to the ones associated with personal transportation choices are the purposes of the current paper.”

“In 2003, U.S. methane emissions from agriculture totaled 182.8 × 106 tonne CO2-eq, of which 172.2 × 106 tonne CO2-eq are directly due to livestock (U.S. Department of Energy 2004b).  With 291 million Americans in 2003, this amounts to 800 kg CO2-eq per capita annually in excess of the emissions associated with a vegan diet.”

“Meat production requires 6 to 17 times as much land as soy. (Reijnders and Soret, 2003)”

“The available evidence suggests that plant-based diets are safe, and are probably nutritionally superior to mixed diets deriving a large fraction of their calories from animals.”

Animal-based burden is 1500kg CO2-eq per person per year, or 4.1kg per day!  Three meals a day, makes this 1.37kg per meal.  We serve about 150 meals per week.  150 x 1.37kg = 205kg per week or 10,000 tonnes of CO2-eq per year!!

The average footprint for a person in the UK was 8.5 tonnes and in the US was 17.5 tonnes in 2008, so we have cancelled out the carbon footprint of 1176 UK and 571 US residents!

(We haven’t taken into account the reduction of CO2 through cooking en-masse as opposed to people staying at home and cooking for themselves, but we reckon that is cancelled out by the transport to get to us.)

[This post has been reproduced from a blog written in 2011]

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URGENT! Summer volunteers needed!

Summer really feels like it is coming and here at The Art House we are gearing up for a season on dairy free sundaes, picnics in the park, gorgeous seasonal salads and of course many, many events!

As usual at this time of year, some of our crew who are students go into exam time and (after that) summer holidays, meaning we need to recruit new volunteers!

Volunteering is a great way to get ‘behind the scenes’ here and really feel a part of the work we do.  It’s also a fab way to make new friends, gain confidence, learn new skills and …. well …. just have fun whilst contributing to something you believe in!

Did you know:

* You can volunteer as little as twice a month
* You can choose a regular shift, or ad-hoc to suit your other commitments
* Our opening hours mean you can volunteer weekdays, evenings or weekends
* After a qualifying period you get a privilege card which gives you a juicy DISCOUNT
* You can use your work at The Art House to enhance your CV and we even give references to crew who complete the training period
* Our crew are all ages with so many different interests.  You don’t have to be an artist / hippy / vegan – you just have to have an open heart and a willingness to muck in!

We do hope you will consider helping out at this time, when we really do need support!

Find out all about volunteering and apply here.

Click to share this with your Facebook friends – even if you are not in position to help, perhaps somebody you know may love to join our crew?

Click here to share this on Twitter

 

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What my Dad finally learned at the end

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Bik’s Dad Keith, was a volunteer for four years and brought in organic produce from his allotment!

So, as many of you will know, the last twelve months have been especially difficult for me, Jani, my Sister and all at The Art House, where my Dad, our oldest volunteer, who worked here once a week, was diagnosed about a year ago, with Pancreatic Cancer. Next week would have been his 84th birthday. At his first consultation, given his age, he was offered no treatment, but with his insistence, some influence from my Sister, Wendy (she is the head of the Human Genetics Unit for the Medical Research Council) and his obvious general good health, he was put on a fairly radical regime of chemotherapy. Although there was a vanishingly small chance of any long-term recovery, he was rewarded with one more summer on his beloved organic allotment and in his award-winning wildlife garden, that he almost certainly wouldn’t have had, otherwise. We miss his surplus organic produce on our menu.

He was a stubborn old bird, and refused the help of the local hospice until it was too late, feigning independence until, in the end, when he finally couldn’t get out of bed one morning, and with the help of two brilliant paramedics, we were finally able to get him into a side-room at St Richards in Chichester, where we stayed with him round-the-clock, in shifts for nine unnecessary days of distress as he slowly vanished. He finally asked for help. But it wasn’t the kind we were able to give him, though the team their were, eventually, able to make him ‘comfortable’. It was the last thing he said. My support for assisted dying is now firmly cemented.

We can’t thank the amazing nurses and doctors enough – there were two, in particular, that we shall be forever grateful to. We had a privileged vantage point, walking the corridors of the Emergency Floor day and night, of observing all the medical staff and just how hard they work (and how tired they looked.) That is why, today, The Art House is supporting the Junior Doctor’s strike just outside in The Guildhall Square with free teas and coffee.. it’s the very least we could do.

We have some other heroes to thank – our Patrons. While we supported my Dad, they supported us with a monthly donation to The Art House. Without this regular income, it is not over-dramatic to say, we would have had to fold the business and The Art House would be no more. In brief, we have *always* been short by about 7%, which we would normally have plugged with a funded project, but that takes time – time we didn’t have. It was nerve-wracking for us. So we did what my Dad finally learnt to do. Ask. 150 of you came forward to donate as much as as £50 each a month, and most have continued with their donations.

Of course, we could have cut corners to make up the 7%. We could have decided not to buy Fair Trade, organic, local produce. We could have decided not to keep pushing toward our staff having a proper living wage. We could have gone for easy-to-market cover bands at our gigs, instead of genre-changing artists digging deep for their art. We could have decided not to make just vegan and vegetarian food and start doing bacon butties, so that fewer people would walk away from our menu board outside without coming in. (Actually, we couldn’t have done this in practice, if we had wanted to, because we wrote it into our constitution that we would always be a vegan & vegetarian establishment.) We could have decided not to take volunteers with mental health conditions and learning disabilities under our wings, or pay to have all our recycling processed and send it to landfill instead or not buy planet-friendly cleaning products. We could have sought corporate sponsorship, like the Tate does from BP. But then, we just wouldn’t be the Art House, so we may as well have closed, anyway.

Things haven’t been easy, mind. We did only get 150 out of the 300 patrons we needed, but thanks to a large loan from my Sister, we just about made it. Just. So, if you want to continue helping us close the gap, whilst sticking to the principles that make us different from just about anywhere else, please consider making a monthly donation. Seriously, any amount is amazing. Most donations are £5 a month. As it costs about £1.25 a minute, roughly, to keep our doors open, you will be paying for a whole 4 minutes a month, or nearly 3/4 of a hour a year! We can do a lot in 45 minutes! YOUR 45 minutes!

So, if you want to keep us afloat and to keep growing and keep those artists paid and those bills covered, then please consider joining us as a Patron. You’ll find a link and more information here: https://thearthousesouthampton.org/patrons-needed/

We have decided that, although thanks aren’t necessary for most of them, that we would start inviting Patrons-only to some of our events. (Tonight we have a Patrons-only art exhibition opening, a great opportunity for those Patrons who live nearby, to come and say hello and meet some new people.)

If you can’t make a regular donation, but can give us something one-off, that also helps a lot – click here to do this!

 

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