The Common Room is a store and workshop space for women and nonbinary artists to show and sell their work, learn new skill-sets, and gather to collaborate, located in Fishtown, Philadelphia. We opened our doors August 1, 2017 with the mission to provide marginalized artists with a face, a voice, and a paycheck. We started with 16 artists, and close to 100 followers on Instagram. As of February 2018, we have shown work by over 95 artists, and have gained over 1,300 followers in just six short months.
Besides selling fine art and functional wares by local makers, we also host workshops led by artists and professional facilitators. These workshops are open to anyone in the community and meant to foster a sense of shared experience through the creative process. Workshops help offset overhead costs, as the majority of sales proceeds go directly back to the artists.
Since its very beginning, The Common Room has been a space inspired by community: one that celebrates our commonalities as well as our differences, one that provides easy access for individuals to assume a public voice, one that remains low barrier and exhibits a diverse expression of various cultures and identity. As the political climate of this country continues to grow more terrifying by the day for those who are marginalized, silenced, and oppressed, The Common Room seeks to be a haven for compassion, empathy, and understanding. We aim to do that through multiple initiatives, our most promising being The Daughters of Revolution Project.
We know that hope for the future lies in the next generation, and specifically with the next generation of artists, creators, makers, and dreamers. The Common Room is seeking funding to launch the first annual sponsorship for young women/nonbinary artists in the Greater Philadelphia to receive sponsorship from one of the professional artists within our diverse community. DOR sponsors will provide access for five young artists to experience Philly's art scene first-hand, as well as guide them through their preparation for a public exhibition of original artwork aimed at creating positive social change.
Funding for this project ensures our ability to continue operating out of our current Fishtown location, as well as our capacity to build the Daughters Of Revolution Project into an annual program. Our goal is $6,000, meaning that if each of our followers donated just $5 in the next thirty days, we would surpass our goal. For this reason, each donor who pledges a minimum of $5 will receive a ticket to attend the exhibition at The Common Room, to be held in June 2018.
Please consider supporting The Common Room, and its future as both a safe haven, and home to the revolution.
Risks and challenges
We are currently in the process of receiving applications from both sponsors and youth artists. We are using the small bit of capital we have for promotional collateral and outreach.
Sponsors will be chosen first and work pro bono for the inaugural year with hopes to provide stipends in future programming years; funds from Kickstarter will ensure 2018 operations remain in our current location.
Accepted artists will complete a six-week program with their sponsors, during which time they will attend public art exhibits and galleries, meet for weekly meetings with other accepted DOR artists, complete work in The Common Room's studio, and market for the upcoming art exhibition in June 2018.