‘Away Day’ likely conjures up images of jetting off to swanky hotels and beaches, but rest-assured we did not squander any pennies on such decadence! Ours was very much contained within the less glamorous but soon to be renovated surroundings of our very own Oscars.
We hold these half-day board of trustee get-togethers once a year to ensure that all the important duties – such as risk assessments, financial forecasting – are kept fully up to date, but we also look at what I perceive to be the fun stuff such as looking at our programming strategy, marketing and more.
One of the key things discussed this year (other than money) is that we can do better on our communication, so we are inviting our trustees to write a regular blog so you get a bit more of a behind the scenes look, and we are also setting up some volunteer days where we can communicate directly.
So… this post is being tapped out by me, Jodie – hello! I’ve been a trustee for 3 years – you may know me from eclectica on Mill Street which I co-own.
The big point of business is always looking at the financial forecasting, and like everyone else we are feeling the squeeze this year due to increased costs, but this also serves as a push to get creative with marketing and remind ourselves of some of goals we set last year. One of those aims was to have 1000 members on our Friends scheme… so if you are yet to sign up please do! And if you are an organised soul and already thinking about Christmas presents – how about a Friends membership for your nearest and dearest?!
Things we’d like to keep you apprised of from today’s meeting…
Re-jiggling and re-modelling:
Studio 2: Tucked behind the main bar is a wonderful space, which in the old configuration formed part of the kitchen. Over the past few weeks builder Robert Harris and his team have been working hard (you may have spotted a few dusty footprints!) putting in a beautiful sprung floor and raked seating area. A few more bits to finish off and then this space will be available to use. Please contact our general manager Natalie to find out more about room rental here at LAR.
Oscars: We have plans to re-jig the bar layout to create some much-needed storage for our stage equipment. The current bar is much larger than we actually need and the layout isn’t terribly user friendly and overdue a bit of a revamp so we are looking forward to creating a lovely new space.
The important structural stuff will be done by the professionals, and the bar build will be done by our brilliant volunteers. We are awaiting a firm date for this to be done, and will keep you posted.
Box office: As we understand more about how folk wander around our building, and the trend to online ticketing continues, we’ve realised that relocating our box office to the large area to the left of the stairs makes more sense. We need a builder to manage this, so again date TBC but we are keeping everything crossed that a slot can be found before the end of this year.
…this gives us the opportunity to develop our retail and visitor information space – with the potential to offer a more usable and useful community space and showcase more of what LAR is all about. This is in the very early days of planning and we will update more as we have it.
That’s the nuts and bolts stuff, and for the important human stuff we are going to instigate a bi-monthly volunteer meet-up. LAR’s doors would shut pretty quickly without our amazing volunteers who run the bar, co-ordinate the visitor information centre, steward and more.
We intend that these will be an opportunity for us all to come together over a cuppa and a biscuit (or hopefully one of Laura’s lovely homemade flapjacks!) and find out what’s going on. We hope you will ask questions and generally have a natter and look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas. If you’ve been wondering what volunteering for LAR is all about, this is a great opportunity to find out. The first one will be held in August, and the details will be circulated in due course.
You can find out more about some of these projects in the recent Spring Update from our Artistic Director and CEO. Joel and some of the trustees will be contributing more regularly to this blog, so subscribe and stay tuned!