Up and Running!

Studio Rhode Westerly is up and running, with programs like Animation Nation and fibre arts already on the go and WAM! and Tell Your Story about to begin. We’ve been blogging our progress on the respective Program categories but here is a quick update on each of the programs. Don’t forget to check out the individual programs’ blog posts using the links above or go to the “Programs” drop-down menu on the top right of this page.

Animation Nation, a summer program with different sessions for tweens and teens, is about to wrap up its weekly meetings. Participants have recorded stop-motion animation footage, which will be turned into a short film that will be debuted right before Halloween on October 25th. The theme of this year’s Animation Nation was “Build a Better Monster,” so the timing is fitting, and will give staff time to edit the footage into a cohesive film.

Our fiber arts programming started long before Studio Rhode (with a dedicated Knit and Crochet Club meeting every Tuesday, plus needle felting workshops) but we’ve had new features available to our yarn crafters and fiber artists. We’ve been adding technology to fiber arts recently, starting with documenting Knit in Public Day with photos taken on an iPad. Since then, we’ve had iPads available at most Knit and Crochet Club sessions so that members can look up techniques. We will be kicking off workshops that bring technology and fiber arts together on September 6th with our Ravelry Workshop.

The next program to launch is Tell Your Story, our oral history project, which will have an information meeting on August 29th. Leading up to it, we have been promoting it and talking it up with people who have attended events for our 125th anniversary, like the Treasures through Time gallery opening and Tours through Time.

Next in the pipeline is WAM! (Westerly Arts and Media.) We have been in contact with WRAP (Westerly Regional Arts Partnership) to invite their members to be profiled as part of our Artists of Westerly photo and interview series and to take part in our next Pop-Up Museum on September 27th. It’s not just professional artists invited to exhibit at this Pop-Up Museum – we believe everyone is an artist and we want to see all mediums of art from all skill levels. Promotion for it has started within the library but will ramp up soon as the date comes closer.

So check out each of the program’s individual blogs to find out more information and how you can get involved in this project. Remember, you are an artist!

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The journey so far…

We are on the brink of being up and running! Equipment has arrived, plans have been made and there are minor tweaks to be made. Getting a grant of this caliber has been fun, exciting, stressful, and everything in between rolled all into one. Luckily, we have a great team, who will hopefully be blogging their experiences as well!

So, how did we get here? Well, the Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, announced this initiative in late January. By February, we were workshopping our ideas and applying for phase one. This grant application process (through the Rhode Island Office of Innovation) was unlike any other grant process I’ve done. Instead of having applicants write pages upon pages, they wanted only 200 word answers, which is really difficult to do! Anyhow, by March we had finished phase two and were notified in April of being selected as the dual-winner (Woonsocket Harris Library is the other Studio Rhode host this summer)

Maybe now you’re thinking, what’s been the process? In Westerly, we have decided to focus on the arts. Under the Programs tab, you’ll find a much better description and information. Part of being a Studio Rhode library also means helping other libraries or organizations replicate the process, which is why I’m blogging now, to help give you a sense of the amount of time, supplies needed, and any other new and exciting thing I can think to blog about. We’ve all already learned so many things relating to technology, libraries, and really are starting to rethink the way we think. I know that sounds strange, but it’s a way to re-imagine what we can offer the community (and go in uncharted waters so to speak). We’re looking forward to the journey that continues and hope to see you at the library soon!