A Community Coming Together To Make BIG Things Happen!
The Bohemian Balcony project is all about bringing creative people together in Swindon; working as a community to make things happen to our cultural landscape and breathing new life into a forgotten building which will innovate, support and celebrate our local evolving multi-arts scene . It is a beautiful platform where minds of all ages have the freedom to create, the opportunity to become ground breaking practitioners and a space to bring their ideas to life with support.
The vision of The Bohemian Balcony started with one man who had nothing but ambition and utter belief; not an investor, organisation or council... Just a little self-less man with BIG ideas, who took a risk in order to make a vision a reality for Swindon, lighting the fuse and getting things rolling. That one man was me and already the space is beginning to come to life and the name is spreading thanks to the people I have met, the partnerships and friendships formed, and the support from all those who want to see it happen.
The Bohemian Balcony will be an Empowering Multi-Arts Space for the Creative Community in Swindon to Fuse Minds, Skill Share, Innovate the Arts and Embrace the Freedom to Create. It will provide young minds with an inspiring platform to train, develop their own projects with support and resources, take artistic risks and become the practitioners of tomorrow. It is a unique space which inspires innovation in our creativity as we network to spark new exciting projects. It is a beautiful working environment which allows the freedom to create and publicly share the work of local musicians, performers, dancers, directors, artists, photographers, designers and film-makers to a growing audience in Swindon, and not to mention bringing people into the town to embrace our artistic achievements.
I hope to develop and establish The Bohemian Balcony as an alternative venue and creative community hub which shines some light on Swindon and the talent within it. It will reach out to give opportunities for young minds to think bigger, get the artistic experiences which will shape them to achieve and give them a space which allows and inspires them to push boundaries. Along the way, these student minds will encounter local emerging artists and groups, making it possible for new projects and collaborations to exist across all creative disciplines.
I stood in the empty space of the original Swindon Palladium Cinema, exactly where the balcony once was and the screen once flickered. An empty canvas bursting with potential! It is a space which echoes the past and cries out for a future. Over the weeks I have worked with volunteers from the community, night and day, to restore, develop and breathe life into this slice of heritage. We don't have financial support, grants or budgets (everything is self-funded by balancing day jobs); but we do have utter belief and determination to make something special starting from nothing... What better way to inspire our young minds than a story which proves that self-belief and risk taking can lead to big things.
We have a lot to do and we are giving our all no matter what! The Palladium is 88 years old this year and we don't want to cut corners in lovingly restoring and renovating it for a new age. So, if this unique space is to become a beneficial reality to our local arts, groups and young minds, then we would love for the community to help make that possible. This project is to profit the people who are given the space to create and celebrate. We want to raise as much money as we can from the community who believe in our vision in order to help us restore and revive the beautiful old cinema into a creative environment which opens doors and minds. Beyond saving the building by fixing the roof and renovating the front facade, we also want to provide all those things which our local students and groups require to succeed; film, lighting and sound equipment, which will allow them to be practitioners in their own right.
So far I have covered the rent and utilities in order to spark this project, keeping it moving forwards, working through day and night (and I will not stop) - but with your support we can reach out to those students who will benefit much quicker and allow them to enjoy The Bohemian Balcony without any further delay. Together we can do that for them and do it for Swindon Arts!
By backing, supporting and believing in The Bohemian Balcony we will be creating something special for the community of Swindon to be proud of, embracing the creativity of our local talent, providing a platform for our young artists to grow freely and feel celebrated, and for our local collaborative arts to draw in new audiences. We can do it on our own, but we want it to happen because of you.
Above all, by playing a part in the development of The Bohemian Balcony, we are proving that the power of people working together can achieve anything from nothing. If we want it... let's make it happen!