Exchange Dublin is an all-ages, volunteer-run, alcohol-free, arts-cultural-social, registered charity and over-hyphenated DIY creative space in Temple Bar, holding exhibitions, discussions, workshops, gigs, visual arts, theatre performances and more!
Exchange provides independent groups and artists with opportunities to create and show their work. Volunteers help to organise these events and exhibitions, doing everything from admin and finance to cleaning and maintenance to facilitate the various projects, exhibitions and activities, with our co-operative culture promoting values of inclusion and equality, encouraging people to contribute and participate in the running of Exchange. We believe people should have a say in decisions which affect them, so we have an open meeting every Wednesday evening at 7pm. Participative local democracy in action!
So here’s where you come in. We’ve done a lot on a shoestring budget since funding ran out 19 months ago, and we’re asking for help to put together resources to do more.
Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon, we have open art workshops facilitated by wonderful, helpful volunteers where people can sit down for an hour or 2 after school, college, work or to take a break from the bustling city centre and draw, paint and chalk-doodle at their own pace in their own headspace. Sometimes people work together on a project like painting a mural in a blank wall in Exchange, or a senbazuru of 1000 origami paper cranes!
We want to do more of this! It’s socially-inclusive and generally just a really nice thing. Art isn’t a luxury, you shouldn’t always have to pay to enjoy creative expression. However, Exchange has rent of 984 euros and bills averaging another 300-400 a month to pay using all the donations we get from groups and the public, so materials for the art groups are paid for by the volunteers and we have limited resources.
Over the course a year, three art workshops a week will be provided. Additional workshops will help participants in collating chosen pieces of their work to be displayed in mixed media gallery exhibitions in Exchange comprising visual and recorded media and dedicated mural and wall space in Exchange – this will mean moving our kitchen back to our office to free up the front wall for permanent community arts display, and though we’re already covering much of this cost, help is appreciated!
A lot of people have few other options for a social, welcoming venue. We try to provide a space where they can not only be social but creative, and help volunteers too so they can get involved. This project is to provide them with materials (everything from paints, paper, playdough and plaster to a printer, even a projector if enough is raised - this fundit is brought to you by the letter 'P') to allow people to express themselves creatively, because we know there is an appetite to engage and participate here if given the opportunity and resources. The arts are about freedom and the arts are for everyone.