Our time is up...
Made In Newcastle is closing on 10th October because the landlords of 22 Nun Street have found a commercial tenant. No Moaning Minnies please. This is the deal with pop-up shops - we embrace the temporary and make the most of what we are given, for the short period we have it.
I set up Made In Newcastle as an anti-capitalist project, offering Newcastle people free use of city centre space within which their creative ideas could be developed. It was built on my belief that encouraging creativity is a powerful way of resisting the cloning of our city and the stereotyping of local people solely as consumers.
Made In Newcastle has been a multi-use space that encouraged all creativity. Anybody was welcome to be involved if they were willing to contribute to the running of the project. Because of this policy we’ve had poetry, dance, political discussions and public meetings, we’ve had meditation, graffiti, sewing, massage, chess, book groups, comic making and visual arts such as sculpture, photography and painting, there’s been music, crafts, skills-sharing and retail. And as everyone’s involvement is based on their own creativity nobody has made financial profit from other peoples work.
Being a ‘pop-up shop’ has been intrinsic to our success. Having limited time and budget has meant that people have been energetic, resourceful and committed to working together. My hope was that in using this temporary free space everybody would feel inspired, extend their networks and develop skills which could lead to some people setting up their own projects.
Setting up a pop-up shop is easy, it’s exciting and it can be a radical response to the branding of our city by shit fashion chains and bland coffee shops. I’m going to set up another pop-up Made In Newcastle – it won’t be exactly the same because doing this has helped me develop new ideas about creativity and I’ve made mistakes that will help me do better next time. I’m also happy to give advice and support to others who want to resist the branding of our city.
Founder of Made In Newcastle
Well we have some sad news. Unfortunately a few days ago Made In Newcastle was given notice to vacate the premises at 22 Nun Street.
As is the temporary nature of empty shop projects we knew it was coming at some point, although we had hoped it wouldn’t be quite so soon. However a tenant has come along and our last day of trading will be on Sunday 10th October in order that we can be cleared out by 13th October.
But wait this is not the end! Like a phoenix we rise from the MIN creative ashes and even now as you read this, we are beavering away to find ourselves another space and other ways to continue a similar project.
Although Made In Newcastle in its current form will be no more, the group of makers & artists formed out of MIN will be re-christened with a brand spanking new name to fit in with the collective spirit of the project which we are taking forward. A bit like the artist formerly known as Prince, only not a squiggly symbol. Anyway squiggle or no squiggle it will be amazing, so watch this space.
We hope to have some kind of bitter-sweet celebratory event to wish 22 Nun Street goodbye and thank everyone for their support, so we will keep you updated.
There are now 18 days left until we close and this is the start of a count down to new things, but while you still have a fleeting chance, get yourselves down to Made In Newcastle at 22 Nun Street before it transforms into a Halloween/Fireworks/Christmas shop type thing (which it will inevitably be).
18 days to go and counting