idiomART 1 Year Celebration & Learnings

idiomART: Celebrating 1 Year of Creativity and Community in Our New House [Video]

It feels like only yesterday that Sarah HB invited Michelle and myself to the 1st ‘official’ idiomART meeting in the new premises on Mariscal Lamar. One year on, and we have a similar meeting to plan some of the festivities to celebrate the anniversary. We start talking about some of the collective achievements and lessons learned. Given our shared goals of creating a vibrant, inclusive community, it felt appropriate to share some of these achievements and lessons with you.

This was the genesis for creating this extensive video interview with idiomART’s passionate director, Sarah HB. Hope you enjoy!

Summer Celebration Kicking off June 8th @ 6pm

All of us at idiomART want to welcome you to our 1-Year Anniversary Fiesta! Join Trio NoAn and our own in-house artist, Cristian León (or DJ Medio Broster) for some incredible live music so we can celebrate in style. Live Cuban music, cumbias, rancheras, and everything in between!

Below is a summary of some of the main points we discussed during the video. Think of it as a bit of a cheat sheet. This is a new content format that we’re trialing, so any and all feedback would be truly welcome.

A Melting Pot of Inspiration

At idiomART, diversity and inclusivity reign supreme. The vibrant tapestry of people from different backgrounds and interests is what makes this place truly special. Sarah HB, with her contagious energy, has nurtured a sense of community and belonging that brings artists and art lovers together under one roof. In the words of Sarah HB, “idiomART is where art becomes a language that transcends barriers and creates connections that last a lifetime.”

Exploring the Wonderland of Activities

Prepare to be dazzled by the kaleidoscope of events and activities offered at idiomART. With a goal of becoming a diverse space that caters to all artistic passions, they leave no canvas untouched. From culinary arts to literary works, fine arts to visual experiements, art therapy to spiritual well-being, and music that sets your soul on fire – idiomART truly has something for everyone. A visit has been known to set your senses soaring as you indulge in tantalizing tastings, concerts, and captivating exhibitions that push the boundaries of creativity.

Supporting Artists and Community Outreach

idiomART isn’t just a place where artists gather; it’s a haven that nurtures their talents and supports their growth. Sarah and her team are dedicated to providing a platform for artists of all backgrounds and experience levels. Through exhibits, concerts, and workshops, they create opportunities for artists to showcase their work, collaborate, and expand their artistic horizons. But the magic doesn’t stop there. idiomART goes beyond its walls, engaging in charity work and forging collaborations with organizations, spreading the power of art to across the community.

Collaboration and Partnership

One of the secrets behind idiomART success lies in its collaborations and partnerships. One example is the alliance between idiomART and YapaTree, sharing experiences and parallel initiatives to enhance the artistic landscape of Cuenca. Together, we’re better able to drive positive change and empower artists and art lovers alike.

Milestones and Highlights

idiomART has come a long way since its inception, and its growth and recognition are undeniable. Moving to its new location was a significant milestone, allowing for expansion and increased attendance from locals. The media, both local and national, has taken notice, giving idiomART the spotlight it deserves. But beyond the glitz and glamour, the true impact lies in the community. idiomART has become a hub where people from all walks of life can find solace, inspiration, and a shared love for the arts.

The Thriving Artists of idiomART

The atmosphere at idiomART is often on of high energy, fostering an environment where artists can thrive. Flexibility and openness to change are qualities that allows artists to flourish, as they embrace the ever-evolving nature of this creative sanctuary. Collaboration and interaction among artists fuel their inspiration, leading to unique creations that transcend individual talent. At idiomART, artistry blooms through the collective spirit.

Navigating Operations and Regulations

Behind the scenes, managing operations and logistics at idiomART is no small feat. The old-age patrimonial house presents its own challenges, but with the support of the owner, Jacqueline, maintenance and repairs are taken care of. Despite facing hurdles from intense rainy seasons and even earthquakes, the spirit of cooperation between the center and its landlord prevails, giving every event the best chance of success.

Future Plans and Exciting Offerings

The future shines bright for idiomART, with exciting projects and changes on the horizon. Collaborating brings new artistic ideas and fresh perspectives to exhibits, promising deeper concepts, different activities, and profound exhibitions that will leave visitors awe-inspired. Prepare your taste buds for wine appreciation courses, dive into a mural workshop, or unleash your creativity in a watercolor class. And don’t miss the cultural road trip for the Inti Rimi celebration, where art and culture intertwine in a harmonous display.

Expansion and Improvement

idiomART is constantly seeking ways to improve and expand its services. With a new billboard system for better communication within the house, visitors can stay informed about the plethora of activities and services available. Additionally, a self-guided tour has been introduced, allowing visitors to explore the labeled spaces within the house, uncovering artist corners and other hidden gems at their own pace.

Wrapping Up

idiomART is not just a place—it’s an experience. It’s a testament to the power of art in fostering community, embracing diversity, and inspiring creativity. Sarah HB’s dedication and energy have transformed idiomART into a haven where artists and art lovers find their tribe. So, come one, come all, and immerse yourself in Cuenca’s enchanting creative center. Experience it firsthand and let your artistic spirit soar to new heights, as you become a part of this vibrant and ever-evolving artistic community.

To stay up to date with idiomART’s events, sign up to their newsletter by emailing [email protected], check out their Facebook Page or head over to our events calendar.

Jason    00:02

IdiomART has been in its current location for one year, so it’s a really great time to sit down and dig into some of the learnings, achievements and the future vision with idiomART director Sarah HB Sarah welcome.

Sarah    00:14

Let’s do it.

Jason    00:17

Good morning, Sarah, HB. Thanks for finding the time for a chat. I know that you’re super busy with all the constant activity here at Idiom Art, but please just give us a quick introduction. Where you’re from, how long in Quanca, that sort of thing yeah hi everybody. My name is Sarah HB, which is short for Hain and Bauer. It’s a mouthful. I don’t expect anyone to ever remember that. I’m from Bozeman, montana, and I’ve been living in Ecuador since 2009 for 13 years. Of those thirteen years, I’ve spent ten in Quanca and three on the coast awesome yeah.

Jason    00:49

Thanks for the intro. Yapatri has our office here as well, so I’m very aware of all the different activities and then going on here and the amount of energy that you put into idiom art. So I’m just very interested what motivates you to keep idiom art going.

Sarah    01:04

Well, idiom art is a place that truly brings people together and makes them feel like they’re a part of something. And as we’ve continued to expand and to grow, that feeling is getting stronger and deeper. And anytime I have somebody come up to me and tell me something like, you know, idiom art feels like my second home, or it’s because of idiom art that I was able to meet new people and find my place in the community. These are the things that really motivate me. Also, we get these incredible artists that come in and they will say things like idiom arts, one of our favorite places to have a concert or do an exhibit or. Do a workshop and these are all those moments that remind me of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and really gives me the energy I need to keep going.

Jason    01:51

So seeing the the satisfaction on the the face of all the people that come into India, that’s that really.

Sarah    01:57

Oh, absolutely. And to see different people getting together, sharing a moment, learning something new, getting excited about something, dancing, whatever it is, to people who maybe would have never met. In any other circumstance in life, now they’re friends. Now they have something in common. These are the things that are so wonderful.

Jason    02:19

It’s definitely a great melting pot of seeing a lot of different people come.

Sarah    02:22

Together, yeah, it really is. I mean, and it’s become more and more we get people from all walks of life, different ages, different backgrounds, different languages. Different interests, even different politics. And what I love is that that is never an issue within the walls of idiom art. That’s kind of an unspoken rule. No debating politics at idiom art, and people know it. And I think they actually really like that too.

Jason    02:48

I wasn’t aware of that rule, but I love it.

Sarah    02:51

Yeah, it’s so unspoken. We don’t have to say.

Jason    02:56

I’ve seen the transformation from a center that predominantly focused on artist studios and art workshops to now including a whole range of activities that are very, very different. And now over the next two weeks you’ve got road trips, you’ve got wine tasting and you’re even hosting I think the the first play of the new theatre here in in Cuenca. And my question really is to you that I think it would be super helpful if you can give some sort of overview of the different types of events and activities coming up here at Idiom Art.

Sarah    03:26

Yeah, well, one of our goals at Idiom Art is to become a diverse space, right? So we get different people in and offer different activities, and in order for that to work, we have to do both. So we consider ourselves an intercultural creative center, right, in order to be intercultural that in and of its. Self implies diversity and creativity. There’s so many different things. So that’s been one of the funnest things for me, To tell you the truth. At IDIOM, art has been the programming. And you know, art manifests itself in so many different ways, and community manifests itself in so many different ways. So that’s why we are just kind of exploding with all these fun things. So we do things with culinary arts, literary arts, Fine Arts, visual arts. Art, therapy, spiritual wellbeing, music. I mean, there’s so many different ways to explore and to discover yourself. So that’s why we’re doing things like tastings. You know, you start to do a chocolate tasting, for instance. And not only are going to are you going to learn about chocolate, but you’re going to learn about the region in Ecuador where this chocolate is being grown. And the history of how cacao is becoming has always been such a great resource here in Ecuador. And in fact, Ecuador has some of the best caca. Out in the world now, they’re also creating some of the best chocolate in the world. These are important things to know about our community, where we’re living. The concerts are always so much fun. I be we have so many different bands and the people who come, it’s it’s a blast, right? So we are going to continue to just really offer all these fun things. You know, like I always say, we’ll try almost anything once. If it works, great. If it doesn’t. Great to say.

Jason    05:15

That your scope is super wide. Maybe it’s better just to concentrate on the things that you don’t do, Like are there certain activities that you’re like? No, that’s just too out there for idiom art. No, anything goes. Try anything once.

Sarah    05:31

For the most part, there are some things that we have tried where we’re seeing that. Maybe idiom art isn’t the best place for that, for instance. We’ve done different things, like on spirituality and really doing inner work and the philosophy of idium Art lends itself to that. The dynamic of the house itself maybe doesn’t because it’s so active. If you’re in a in a space where you’re pouring your heart out and you’re, you know, really diving in or meditating and then people are walking outside and looking at an exhibit or something like that. That might be something that we’re keeping to a minimum and maybe only doing it on certain days where we know it’s gonna be quiet because that’s a intimate.

Jason    06:22

So you’re still doing those advances, you’re just tailoring the, yeah?

Sarah    06:26

And being a little bit more selective, we have said. I don’t think this is the place for there are places in town. So then I’ll, you know, I’ll direct them to those guys and say why don’t you get in touch with Santosha, why don’t you get in touch with them Pascana, they do this kind of work And so that would be one thing other than that, you know, as long as we are talking about creativity, the arts and community. I mean, really, Sky’s the limit?

Jason    06:54

Even the practical stuff we’ve talked about leasing workshops.

Sarah    06:58

Oh, absolutely.

Jason    06:59

It’s not something that I think a lot of people would traditionally associate with, you know, an artist studio.

Sarah    07:04

As an example, yeah, well, I mean, it’s a part of a community service. You know, if you’re coming into a new town, you don’t know anybody, you don’t understand the customs, you don’t really get how it works. Then that’s a huge service and it’s super important to know and that’s a part of community building, which is what we’re all about. So it doesn’t all, you know, art and creativity and community doesn’t only mean painting or writing or the most obvious things. That of course is a part of it. I mean that goes without saying, but there are these nuanced activities that we can be doing that. Are also a part of this foundation of being a part of a community that supports one another and cares about one another and is helping each other out.

Jason    07:49

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s the main reason that we decided to move in here. Yeah, that sort of environments and that community and that’s the reason we love having you guys here, too. Every once in a while people are like, yeah, petry, but they don’t do art.

Jason    08:01

I know I’m not an artist.

Sarah    08:03

You’ll be the first to say it, right? absolutely yeah but the work you guys are providing for the community, I mean, and you and I have talked, we kind of got on board with our initiatives with this work we’re doing at the same time. So we have a lot of parallel experiences. And to be sharing a space I personally find super fun. I love it. And then seeing how you guys are growing and hearing the comments that people make when they come to idiom art about Yapa Tree, it’s just it’s wonderful. I mean, you’re providing a service for the community that is very needed and people appreciate it.

Jason    08:35

Oh, it’s very nice of you to say, but enough about me, let’s move on to.

Sarah    08:38

You all right.

Jason    08:40

As we mark the one year anniversary of Idiom Art in its new location, could you please just share some of the the milestones and the highlights that you’ve achieved during this time?

Sarah    08:49

Sure well, this year truly has been a year of very noticeable growth and expansion. You know, part of the reason we moved to this new house is because we were outgrowing or actually head outgrown the other house. And some of the activities and events that we wanted to do just didn’t work in that other space. So we moved to this house. That allows us to really dive into some of the fun things we’ve been wanting to do, especially some of the activities in the events, you know, performing arts, culinary arts, things like that, that didn’t always work in the other space. And so that’s been incredible. The fact that we have been noticed and recognized by local media, including national media has been huge. I mean we are getting more and more Quaincanos, not just Ecuadorians, but Quaincanos coming in. And that is just makes me so excited cuz that’s one of my main goals.

Jason    09:48

I think a family in Quito saw you on. Oh really? Equi visa what’s?

Sarah    09:53

No, it was tell Emma Sonna. Yeah, I had somebody come in from Quito. Who said they saw me on TV and they actually came looking for idiom art because they were in town. And so these are the things that’s like, wow, OK, we’re getting there, we’re getting there. To me, that’s one of the main milestones. We’re getting people coming to certain events and putting on events that are campesinos, indigenous people, traveling like two three hours to come to certain events that we’re doing. These are huge things for us. And so, you know, we’re coming to the end of our year and I’m putting together a newsletter just to talk about all the things we’ve accomplished as well as talk a bit about the impact we’re having in the community. Because, you know, one of our goals and focuses is to support artists It the art world is challenging no matter where you are on the planet. Ecuador is not easy. Cuenca is not easy if you were trying to live as an artist. It’s hard. It’s really hard. So we try really hard to support artists and they can be emerging artists. They can be artists that have, you know, decades long notoriety even. It doesn’t mean that things are any easier for them, right? So as I’ve been going through the numbers and writing it down, it’s actually really exciting. We have had over 80 events in this house in the last year. It’s tons. We’ve had over 40 workshops and at those workshops we’ve had anywhere between like 5 people to 20 people, depending on the workshop. We’ve had 16 art exhibits and we have supported 27 different artists within those exhibits because we’ve had multiple artist shows. We’ve had artists from like 6 different countries show their work here at Idiomart. We’ve had 12 Patio session concerts and with that we have artists that are traveling through artists that are established here in Cuenca. We have singer songwriters, we have folk singers, music or country music, Kumbia, you name it. And these things are just so excited. We’ve also, you know, for the people who don’t know me before Idiomart. Because a lot of people didn’t know me before then, I have been very focused on giving back to the community, doing a lot of charity work and doing a ton of volunteer work. And you know, I had to kind of get my feet under me at Idiom Art that first year. I was just trying to figure out what was going on. And this last year, I feel like I’ve really come into my own as Sarah running Idiom Art and bringing more of that community outreach in. So we’ve helped over 6 organizations. Including a local 1, the Clue Deportivo that’s here in in our barrio and they help out children and and low income families.

Jason    12:52

When you say help, does that mean like with financial support or some other sort of aid?

Sarah    12:58

Yes, all of that. So include Deportivo where we we give them money, right. And then with other groups we have done exhibits we’ve hosted like high teas we’ve done. Cultural events, things like that, where proceeds go to these, to these.

Jason    13:17

Organizations Sales as.

Sarah    13:18

Well, yes, absolutely. So that’s something that we definitely want to continue to do. There are so many incredible organizations here in Cuenca, in Ecuador and that is super important. It’s part of. Being in a community, helping one another out and there are a lot of people doing good work, so if we can help we will.

Jason    13:37

See, that’s a lot of effort, though. I hear that like 80 events and I start sweating a little bit, just trying to think how much time, energy and yeah, especially energy And I see you running around all the time and I kind of vaguely know what you’re doing, but.

Sarah    13:53

Me too. I vaguely know what I’m doing.

Jason    13:56

Some of those details like I’m just super impressed by the amount of energy that you’re able to put into.

Sarah    14:02

Yeah, it is a lot of energy. I kind of have it down to a science. I think I could set chairs up downstairs and I sleep at this point. Honestly, the fact that idiom art is growing the way it is, it has outgrown me. I can’t do it on my own and I haven’t been doing it on my own for a while. And so I think it’s important to acknowledge also the people behind the scenes. You know, I’ve I’m kind of the face of idiom art at this point but it doesn’t mean I’m the only one doing things right and. First off, I have to talk about my family. You know Deanna and life. They have been with me from day one since the old house, constantly helping me out and and not just like at events, but like emotionally and kind of. Putting up with me, bringing work home and maybe the stresses or the being tired and not wanting to say a word and they just give me my space. You know that, do you?

Jason    14:55

Do you guys have weekends? Because there’s a lot of events all over the weekend. So like, do you actually have family time?

Sarah    15:03

I would say that that’s something that needs to change. We don’t have as much family time as we would like. It’s been definitely a. One of the what do I want to say? Sometimes I forget how to say words in English, but like compromiso, compromiso. That’s not it. Yeah, compromise. That’s it. And I feel like. My family is compromised a lot because of how much I’ve been putting in and that’s something that I want to change personally, not just because I I could stand to have a little RNR, but I would like to have more time where it’s not just idiom art focused. And that is happening more and more. And part of the reason that’s happening is because like for instance, we have these incredible artists in house artists who have their studios here and now we’re working together where they’re taking. Some of them are taking on responsibilities in the house that maybe they weren’t before. So we’re rotating days here, which is why you maybe don’t see me physically in idium art all the time, because my day is in charge of the house that day. Or Christian, or we have a new artist, her name is Samantha, and she’s starting to do that as well. And that’s. Not only is it helpful for me and my energy, but I think it’s just awesome for the house because we’re in it together. We’re doing this together, so it makes sense that we would be taking control of certain aspects of the house together. I also have a wonderful woman. Her name is Karen and she she kind of instigated the drum circles we’ve been doing. And over the months, we’ve started chatting, and she mentioned to me that she’s a retired corporate administrator and she offered to take on the registration and reservations for Idiom Art. And she’s been doing that for a couple months. And I tell you what, before she came on board, I can’t tell you how much time every day I spent answering emails, putting things into the spreadsheets, all the reservations, the follow up. It’s a. A lot of work. That’s a huge chunk taken off of my plate. We now have Jimena Moscoso who’s coming on board. She’s actually taking on all of the art exhibits at this point and helping with event coordination. So the team is growing and then there’s so many volunteers that they’ll come and. Help us with the plants, or work in the bar, or be at the door, or help with the chairs. People are constantly asking what they can do.

Jason    17:40

And there’s more volunteers required if you want to put your hand up, you’re more than welcome to have a talk absolutely yeah, we have. I we have a lot of really fun ideas and we need groups and teams to make it happen. And yeah, anyone who wants to be a volunteer and it doesn’t have to be physical stuff like what I’m talking about. We definitely have some other administrative things that we could be doing to help serve the community and serve the art community. We just need the folks.

Jason    18:10

Operating a creative center comes with its own set of challenges. What are some of the key lessons that you’ve learnt during this first year here?

Sarah    18:19

I would say. Measuring myself is definitely something I could work on. I have really big ideas and people come to me with really big ideas that I love, and making sure that I can keep up with these ideas has been a huge challenge and I can get impatient. I know what I want, I know where I want to go and I want to get there yesterday sometimes. So I just have to remind myself that things are a process. You know, the art scene in and of itself is a challenge, and being an independent creative center has its own set of challenges yeah so you don’t get any funding right from the the local council or anything?

Sarah    19:04

No, no, we’re not involved with the municipality or the Ministry of Culture, and in all honesty, it’s. On the one hand it would be nice, but on the other hand it’s nice that we aren’t. It’s not always easy to to work with the bureaucracy at the end of the day you got your freedom here, though.

Sarah    19:21

Yeah, we’ve got our freedom. You know, I’m looking into if there’s a way that we could partner up with a nonprofit and maybe offer different programs. It would be wonderful to be able to offer more programs to children in the neighborhood or if we could get a sliding scale. I don’t know. All of these things require. Help that we can’t do on our own. So it’s like identifying different things and identifying where we want to go and what we want to do and how can we do that sustainably and successfully. And you know I think that’s a challenge of really any initiative and any, anything that anyone’s trying to do. So I don’t feel like we’re unique in our challenges, it’s just definitely there you know.

Jason    20:08

So I do know that there is a lot of collaborations and partnerships that have contributed to the center’s growth and this includes the resident artists that call Idiom art home and I have noticed there has been some rotation of artists over the past year and. I guess what I would be interested to know is if you can just elaborate a little bit on the type of resident artist or perhaps the qualities that you’ve noticed that really allow a resident artist to thrive here in your mind.

Sarah    20:40

Well, you know, idiom art is an active place. We have a lot going on and that’s continuing to grow. So, you know, to be have your studio space here means that you want to be around action, you want to be around movement. You’re OK with some noise, you’re OK with comings and goings and things coming up or things changing. There’s a level of flexibility that all of us really have to have to have to make things work here. I find that the artists that really are diving into the idea of of idiom art are the ones that really enjoy collective collaboration. You could say it’s really fun. You know when the different artists will pop into the other studio and they’ll chat about their work or give each other some feedback and or hey, what if we do this, what if we do that? You know, this is. The the idea of idiom art is not to be a place where all we do is collect rent, right? It’s for us to create together. And so the artists that have really hung out and keep staying with us and want to and really are looking towards the future, they love that energy. It’s, you know, we one of the artists who came. And got her studio almost two years ago. She said. I’ve been an artist for a while and I’m stuck. I’ve just been stuck and I’m looking to be around other creatives to get my juices flowing again. And now she’s going nuts with her painting. It’s really fun. In fact, our most recent artist, Samantha, same thing, she says. I have 15 years of art inside of me that I’m trying to get out. I want to be around creatives.

Jason    22:23

It’s it’s great seeing the artists work together. Oh, I love it. I just hate when they ask me for any sort of input. I’ve got nothing.

Sarah    22:31

It’s great. I love it.

Jason    22:33

Great color.

Sarah    22:35

Yeah, exactly.

Jason    22:36

So now I do love the energy of this old patrimonial house, but I also know that with age comes some inevitable fraying around the edges. And can you just share some of the insights around managing the center’s operations and logistics, as I’m sure it’s quite.

Sarah    22:56

Well, I want to give a huge shout out to the owner of the house, Jacqueline is. She is just an incredible human being and she loves her house. So we have an agreement that if anything happens, I’m to tell her immediately and she will take care of it as soon as she can and she really does. This has been a very intense rainy season that also involved. Really good size earthquake that shook Quanca, right? We’ve got an old roof with the ceramic tiles and those are attached to one another through with wires, right? The earthquake moves some of the tiles we didn’t realize until our next big rain, and we had some pretty big leaks in the roof. So somebody had to get up there, move him around and you know, these are things that are going to happen. What’s great is she’s on it, you know, and in terms of at the end of the day, I personally don’t have to take on any of the maintenance in that way. That’s that’s our agreement and she does a good job and that’s not always an easy thing to find either. So I’m super grateful for her that’s fantastic. Those relate if you have a good relationship with your landlord, like we do a lot of. Rental properties here in Quanca and that’s generally the number one thing if you have a good relationship. The rest of it is just easy.

Sarah    24:17

Oh yeah. And she comes to the events and, you know, I’ve gotten to know her husband and her daughter, and they’re just great people all around. So what?

Jason    24:25

About dealing with the city itself, I’ve noticed some different inspectors cuz the the patrimonial status and stuff like that. Is that any? Is that much work for you?

Sarah    24:36

No, that’s a loaded question. I wouldn’t say it’s a lot of work. It’s just very time consuming. Nothing happens as quickly and as smoothly as you’re ever.

Jason    24:46

Waiting in lines. That’s all.

Sarah    24:47

Waiting in line only to find out that now the computer doesn’t work, or the system or they’re changing this or that, but you know, it’s it’s nothing out of this world either. Yes, we are a patrimonial home, so there’s certain things we can’t do, you know, for instance. We are not necessarily the most handicapped friendly home in the in our center in Quanca, right? First of all, we’re two floors. If you’re in a wheelchair or if you have severe disabilities, you’re going to have a hard time or it will be impossible for you to get to the second floor. The bathroom is a specific width. The door, if you have a really wide wheelchair, it’s you’re not going to get in it. We are looking to build a ramp to get into the front door, but that’s about where we can go. Anything else that we would potentially do in the house is this huge ordeal with permits because it’s a part of historical Cuenca. So those are some things that. Thankfully, people who live here, even those who are brand new here, understand that kind of stuff. So it’s not like people are angry with us, like, oh, idiom arts, not handicap friendly. It’s like, it is what it is, right? And so we we make do with what we can. So those are the things at the end of the day, it’s, you know, you just have to jump through the hoops. And so we do.

Jason    26:14

So looking ahead, what are the plans for Idiom Art for the next 12 months? What exciting projects can we look forward to?

Sarah    26:21

Well, one of the things that’s really getting me excited is, are the plans and the changes that we have for the exhibits with Humana coming on board and taking on the exhibits, she has a really. Artistic side to her, She’s an interior designer. She does set design for theater. She’s worked at Museo Puma Pungo, the Rexion de Cultura. She’s been an art teacher. I mean, she has a ton of experience and she has some really fun ideas of how we can take our exhibits and turn them into more of an art experience, not just an exhibit. And so that’s going to involve a whole other process. And I think starting in the fall, everyone will notice how that piece of idiom art is shifting and is only becoming deeper and concepts are going to be more profound. Activities surrounding the shows are going to be different. I mean, it’s really exciting. I’m really looking forward to that. And you know, part of what she wants to bring to the table is basically growing on what we’re already doing. And you know. Creating a kind of a a group of artists where we’re all in it together. You don’t just come for an exhibit then you leave, but you come for an exhibit, but then you’re a part of something and even when the show comes down, you still feel like you’re part of something. So taking that further, I mean that’s where we’ve been, but now the idea is to go further. That’s super exciting.

Jason    27:53

That’s incredible. I’m looking forward to that. Me too. Having a little bit of a struggle to imagine it. I think it’s one of those things that we just kind of have to be here and experience.

Sarah    28:01

It well the color. It will be great. Ok yeah that’s my input, yeah exactly.

Jason    28:08

And which upcoming workshops, exhibits and events are you really looking forward to?

Sarah    28:13

Well, I’m really looking forward to our next exhibit that’s coming up. This is actually going to be the first one that Jimena does, and it’s with the local artist. Her name is Maria Bellen Ochoa and she’s actually an actress. And she’s done different things around town. And she makes these cool dolls. They kind of look like marionette puppets, but not really. They’re called them Mampuches. I don’t know if I’m saying that correctly. It’s I think it’s a word that she’s created. And the two of them are putting together this really incredible concept for this art exhibit. And the opening will be towards the end of the month and we’ll be sharing dates soon. We have. Well, we’ve got a tasting course coming up. It actually starts on the 3rd of June. And you know, over the course of these past months, we’ve had different wine tastings and and champagne and sparkling wines and chocolates, and we’ve had course meals, pairing wines and things like that. And it’s really fun and people have been asking, but we’d like to learn more, not just taste, but learn how to. So we’re doing that with Somali, a Melissa Perez singer. She’s the woman.

Jason    29:27

How to classify one? Or what’s the?

Sarah    29:29

Well, it’s fun where it’s we’re doing one oh one one oh two one oh three and one oh four, so each class is focusing on something different. So the very first tasting class is one oh one, where you will learn the basics of just how to taste a wine, pour it in your glass. What does it look like? What does it smell like? How do you taste it? What do you do when it’s in your mouth? What do you look for? All these kinds of things. One oh two is then how to differentiate between basic varietals, like what’s the difference between a Merlot and a mall back, What’s the difference between the Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc, things like that, and then how to pair them? The third one is focusing on roses and sparkling wines, Prosecco, champagne and learning the nuances like what are the differences, what are they about, how do they come about, where are they grown, where they made things like that?

Jason    30:19

So it’s a little series. So it’s a series. Do you have to do all of them or can you just?

Sarah    30:23

Come and go. No, you can just come and go. You could sign up for, you know, one or two or three. If you do sign up for all four, then we give you a little discount kind of the package deal and we’ve been promoting that on social. Media and on different, you know, promotion sites so you can find information. If you don’t find it, get in touch with me, I’ll send it to you. That’s really fun.

Jason    30:46

That’s really cool. I like that you’re going the next level, not just the surface level. But if you want to go deeper, then we’ve got something for you.

Sarah    30:52

Yeah, absolutely. And then we always have great workshops. You know, we’re looking to do a mural workshop where you will learn how to draw out a design. How to put that on a wall and then paint it, You know, what are the different paints, the brushes, the styles And what will be cool is at the end of of that workshop we’re going to have a mural painted on a wall, hopefully in the neighborhood. We’ve got our eye on a couple of walls and we’re working on that. And then we always have such great things with, with the inhouse artists. You know, like Alberto is going to be doing yet another watercolor class and people love that kind of stuff and. We’re gonna do an Inti Rimi cultural road trip with the Spanish group going to Chopshi to celebrate Inti Rimi for the solstice. And I mean, we could be here for another half an hour if I started telling you what I’m excited about.

Jason    31:47

There’s a lot of cool stuff coming, yeah.

Sarah    31:49

In a nutshell.

Jason    31:51

Any plans for expansion or improvement of the center?

Sarah    31:55

Yeah, actually we we’ve put in place a new billboard system, I guess we could call it. And basically for a while there we had a young intern, her name is Grace, and she came with a really cool organization where they do gap your work called the Amigos de Las Americas. And part of the work that the interns have to do is put in place some sort of a project. In the organization where they’re working. So with Grace, we designed this kind of communication system within the house and basically, you know, when you walk in the front door, we always have the posters and things of what’s coming up. And but a lot of people don’t realize what we actually do within the four walls of idiom art with all the different artists and and organizations that are here. So we’re putting together. We actually have it started and we’re finishing it up where we’re going to have a list of all the different things that can you can do here in idiom art any day, art classes, different services like with you guys, all sorts of stuff. So you can walk in and look and. Go oh, OK. I actually really like that that, that, that, that. I had no idea. And we’re also putting together like a self-guided tour. So we’re naming the different spaces in the house and they’ll all have signs on them. And then there’s going to be a map downstairs and upstairs. So you can go in, look at this map and then essentially give yourself a guided tour of the house if you want. Or know exactly, oh, I want to find the APA tree. Where is it? Oh, there it is and go.

Jason    33:33

That’s really cool. Just of the house itself, though, not just.

Sarah    33:36

Of the house? No, just of the house itself. And we do have a community space, we call it the community that creativa, where people who are not in idiom art can put things up. So we’ve got upstairs in our multi use room or classroom in this room where we are right now. You can come in and put your business cards up or if you have a flyer for an activity. People are always asking for that and we’ve never really had a place, so now we do. And then when you walk in, you’ll still see the different things, but now it’s nicer. We’re not taping paper on the wall like we had been.

Jason    34:10

A little bit more organized.

Sarah    34:12

Yeah, it’s a little bit fancier now. We have cork boards, yeah. So that’s one thing, you know. This space is in constant evolution. It’s one of the things I like. So we’ve been here for a year and we’re seeing some of the things that work, some of the things we could improve. So we’re constantly doing little things that you maybe wouldn’t even notice. But to us being here on a daily basis, we do notice things like give.

Jason    34:39

Me some examples, yeah.

Sarah    34:41

Cleaning out the bodega, knowing where things are in there. It might seem small, but it’s huge actually. Yeah, little things like that, right? But then in terms of expansion, we actually do have some really cool things simmering. I don’t want to talk about it yet because nothing’s been solidified, but we do have some ideas for more collaboration when working with other groups and doing other things to. Continue with our goal to help artists be seen, be valued, be appreciated, and receive compensation for their work. So that’s something that we really want to expand into in the next year, and you’ll hear all about it when we’re ready to tell you.

Jason    35:34

All right, we give anything away yeah.

Jason    35:36

So, now let’s talk about the one year anniversary celebrations. Now this year we are being a little bit greedy and we’re celebrating for the entire summer. And what fun and exciting events do we have? Our bus leaves. Well, we’re gonna kick it off with our actual anniversary. And it’s kind of fun because it is the actual date, June eighth last year june eighth was the day that we had our inauguration, our grand opening of this house. And this year, June eighth, we are going to commemorate our one year anniversary. And that’s going to be tons of fun. We have live music, DJ’s we’re going to have artists in their studios. We’ll probably have cake. I don’t know. We’re gonna have surprises. I’m not gonna let the cat out of the bag with everything, but it’s gonna be fun and the ideas for us all to get together and just celebrate.

Jason    36:26

It’ll be a full.

Sarah    36:26

House, right oh yeah,

Jason    36:27

People and energy everywhere.

Sarah    36:29

People, energy, dancing. You know, we have a lot to celebrate. And it’s not just idiom art that has something to celebrate. We all have it because we’re all a part of it, right? We got here today because of all of us, not just because of a few of us in the house. So let’s celebrate. Let’s do that. And then, you know, we figured, well, we can’t have it be just one day, but there’s like, you know, there’s technically three months, but two months to the summer. And so why not, you know, you hear of people having a birthday month. Apparently we have an anniversary summer and so we’re going to do some really cool things like have open houses where the artists will be in their studios and they’ll be doing like art demos or talking about certain things in the art world. The idea is to really showcase what we have going on in the house, as well as continuing to offer all these really fun and diverse activities. We’ve got the art exhibit that I already mentioned. We’re going to have some really great workshops and we’re going to have some fun events and activities focusing on art, like live figure drawing. I’d love to do an art jam if we could, and that’s fun where you get people in here doing crazy stuff with art and you just come and hang out. So we’ve got a lot of really cool things coming up. We’ll be sharing the calendar very soon so people can start planning their their life. Around our celebration.

Jason    37:57

Yeah, it’s gonna my next question was really how do people keep in touch and understand what is actually coming up over the summer?

Sarah    38:05

Well, I mean, I think one of the easiest things for people always as social media, we have a very strong presence on Facebook and Instagram. So if you follow our pages, then you’re constantly going to be seeing what we have. And I always put our monthly calendar on and then I pin it. So you go to our Facebook page and you can go straight to that. We also, you know, promote on the Apatry event page and Gringo Post and Quanca High Life, all those mediums. And then we have a mailing list and a WhatsApp group. So if anybody wants to get on our mailing list, wants to get on our WhatsApp group, they just have to give me their email address and their phone number and with them email. I’d say we maybe send between one and four emails a month depending, but the WhatsApp group is on a weekly basis. This is what’s coming up, so it’s an easy way to really get info right to.

Jason    39:00

You most of those emails are event based, right? It’s like this is yeah yeah. Although I would like for that to change in the next year, now that I feel like I’m going to have more time, I would love to start to do a little bit more content as well, because I think there’s a lot going on here that people don’t know about because we just haven’t had time to share it. And I would love to start sharing that too awesome so these are the goals awesome really good. Now that’s all the questions I had. So thank you very much for your time, Sarah, today. Thank you. I cannot wait to celebrate over the summer with you. I know.

Sarah    39:33

Get your dancing shoes on. I want to see you dancing.

Jason    39:36

Oh, we need a few drinks first.

Jason    39:40

We can make that happen.

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