About Bristol Creatives
Bristol Creatives is a not-for-profit unincorporated organisation. We have been signposting opportunities, providing support, and online networking and marketing opportunities to Bristol’s growing creative community since 2006.
We have over 135 paid members who regularly log in to add listings for their studio spaces, exhibitions, events, classes, courses and workshops to our website, which receives over 10,000 visits per month. There are also over 250 member listings in our online Creative Directory which help our members promote their creative practices, businesses, products and services. Plus we currently have 1,950 active subscribers to our free monthly e-bulletins that are full of the latest opportunities, news, jobs and what’s on.
The image below shows an example of an existing Creative Directory listing on our current website:
Why is Bristol Creatives important?
“Bristol Creatives has been such an important resource for Centrespace as a small arts organisation running as a co-operative. Our membership has enabled us to share our networks, advertise our exhibitions with other artists across Bristol and also advertise when studios become available enabling us to improve our creative reach across the city and beyond.”
Laura Forman - Centrespace Studios Co-ordinator
"We have found Bristol Creatives has been an invaluable resource over the years, providing connections to local creatives, events, news and much more. If you are a creative organisation in Bristol, you really should check it out."
Chris Askew - Askew Cavanna Architects/25-27 StokesCroft
"A London art consultant recently found me on the website - and very happily I've sold two large paintings through them for a new Bristol commercial space. Bristol Creatives is a key resource for professional artists: both to get seen, and to be able to network with other creatives across Bristol."
Angie Kenber, Artist
"I've been a paying 'gold' member of Bristol Creatives for 7 years now and it's been a reliable and valuable source of support for my creative business. There's a wealth of arts opportunities regularly listed the 'news' section. I have sold work through being listed in its Creative Directory. More recently I have also received mentoring from Sally which has helped me transition my creative art practice into new areas."
Zoe Gibbons - Mixed Media Artist & Designer
"As a Bristol artist I frequently exhibit my artworks in various venues in the city and Bristol Creatives is always my go-to website to publicise these exhibitions alongside any workshops that I am running. I have full confidence in the website; it is extremely well maintained and all events, jobs and services are current and up-to-date. Bristol Creatives is an essential network tool and I am always recommending it to new creatives that I meet. I would be lost without it"
Lisa Malyon - Bristol Artist and Creative Coach
"Centrespace Gallery has been posting shows with Bristol Creatives for a decade or more. It is a unique, accessible resource and platform for artists and galleries: especially for new arrivals in the city who want an instant insight into navigating the creative life of Bristol. As a gallery we would be hard pressed to find an equivalent. Bristol Creatives is essential to the cultural life of Bristol"
Ruth Piper - Centrespace Gallery Co-ordinator
About this project
Our current website - www.bristolcreatives.co.uk - was built in 2011 when we switched from being a funded organisation (Arts Council and Bristol City Council) to being financially sustainable via an affordable paid membership scheme. Unfortunately the platform the website was built on is no longer being updated and is losing its functionality, plus it's also looking dated.
Our membership fees have remained the same for the last 11 years as we want to ensure that we remain affordable and accessible to as many creatives as possible. We are not about making a profit, for us it's all about providing a useful and valued service to visual and applied artists. Our annual membership fees are currently £20 for students, £30 for individuals and £50 to groups and organisations.
We are planning a redesign and to develop a new website with better functionality, that also performs more smoothly on tablets and smartphones with improved membership payment options. Currently you can only pay via Paypal or pay by bank transfer.
Our web developer and designer have given us an outline budget of £5,000 to design and develop the new website with an improved automated membership scheme, and although we have a small amount of reserves we don’t have enough money to cover this.
Benefits on offer
We are reaching out to our existing members and subscribers, and to Bristol’s arts organisations, studio providers, venues and suppliers to support this crowdfunding campaign.
We aren’t offering physical rewards as the benefit of donating to this campaign is the ongoing availability of the Bristol Creatives website and the ability for creative people and organisations to continue benefitting from this well established online network and marketing platform.
However, if you run an arts organisation, venue or are a supplier we are offering ten sponsorship packages: you donate £250 and we will include your logo and web link on the footer of every webpage of our new website and in our monthly e-bulletins for 12 months, plus one year's Gold Membership will be included in this package.
My name is Sally Reay and I am the founder of Bristol Creatives. I manage the membership scheme, answer emails and support members, keep the website content up-to-date, manage our social media output and collate and send out our monthly e-bulletins.
The money we generate from our paid membership scheme covers the cost of hosting and maintaining the website and a small monthly fee to pay me for some of the work that I do keeping the network active and the website up-to-date.
I am also a Director and Community Manager at In Bristol Studio and I work part-time for a charity called Creative Lives. Bristol Creatives is run as a not-for-profit and a lot of the work that I do for the network is done voluntarily as I believe that it provides a valuable service to Bristol’s creative and cultural community.
We will be working with our existing web developer, Sharpshooter and web designer, the chemistry set to design, develop and build the new website. They both have years of experience of designing, developing, building and maintaining sophisticated interactive websites and are based in Bristol.
Risks & challenges
The main risk is that if we don't raise enough money through this campaign we won't be able to create the new website and the old website will fail, so we will be forced to close down Bristol Creatives.
But with your support and generosity we will be able to launch a new website by the end of 2022 that should see the network continue for years to come.