For many years I had dreamed of opening a studio, a place where creativity was the heart, the people who use it become the body.
In the summer of 2016 I was working on a community art project in Marsh Farm where I was, with a team of community volunteers, transforming four of the eleven underpasses on the estate with vibrant artwork.
I was contacted by Jamie Newell a keen artists and photographer who had recently returned to the UK from Australia, he was eager to get involved in my art project having returned from Melbourne, the art capital of Oz was finding Luton rather grey.
We talked through our ideas for bringing art to Luton on a broad scale and soon discovered that our business ideas and ethos were very tuned to one another and so after many meetings and discussions our business model was created. All we needed now was the third director to enable us to register our business as a CIC (community interest Company). I reached out out to my friend Kelly Seaton who teaches Classical Ballet, Tap and contemporary dance. Kelly was delighted to come on board and so became the third arts director we needed to register the business.
Little Red Creative Studios was born on 4th April 2017, now all we needed was a suitable building, we searched Luton for such a building and eventually found our home at 32a George Street, a Grade ll listed building in the heart of Luton town centre. The building was in need of some serious renovation and modernisation but we were up for the challenge set out before us.
After securing our ten year lease with C&R for the building in November 2017 we set about restoring the building. There were many challenges and the work we undertook was intense and at time heart and back breaking. We were often told to ask for help to get get this part of the refurbishment done, we asked, we pleaded and often became disheartened by the lack of support coming through, it was at this time our catch phrase “do it for you” came about. Coming full circle and realising that nobody would buy into our dream if we hadn’t fully committed to the work ourselves was quite the milestone and the catalyst for us to get our heads down and get the work done ourselves, as we became more involved we found more people became interested in the building and what we were offering here at Little Red, more volunteering hands came forth and gradually we were able to open our doors for classes and workshops.
Our first year has been a fantastic mix of highs and lows, although we are exhausted we are ready for things to really start to take shape in 2019.
Little Red Creative Studios is a centre for the arts with a strong focus on accessibility for those who suffer with financial and social restraints, breaking the boundaries which govern who can easily access the arts in Luton while creating affordable space and opportunities to develop a career in the arts or to simply meet with other like-minded people in a suitably creative environment.
We host classes and workshops while offering three studios (dance, photography and art) to hire for either private use, events, classes and workshops at an affordable rate.
Aimi Rix – www.littlerecreativestudios.com