…or… at least it could be.
It can be hard to keep up with Exchange. The vibe changes daily depending on the exhibitions and events, and as a social enterprise the business is for purpose, not for profit. When we stop to ask ourselves how it’s all going we’re looking at more than just financial stability, we’re asking if we’re supporting the creative community and providing them with the space and the networks that they need. I sat down with my colleague Preston to chat about where Exchange is at - what has remained the same since it first opened and what has changed - and where we see it going in the future.
Since extending our hours, XCHC has become an open source bar, inviting the public to come in and tell their stories through food. The first group to take us on our word was Momo Said, an organisation that uses their dumpling business to support and up-skill migrant and refugee communities in Christchurch. Dumplings & Drinks occurred on World Refugee Day, and Christchurch was treated to dumpling folding lessons as well as plates and plates of momos.
Arts and community organisations can get a lot of flack for the perception of what they are or aren’t doing, but I think that in Christchurch they are doing really well. We’ve got some incredible people in the city and we just need to do everything we can to encourage them to stay here. Give them opportunities, be flexible. Their skills may be incredibly useful in any organisation, but for them to want to stick around they need to have the time and resources to do their own things.
"This is a place that allows people to give things a go without putting too much stress or pressure on them. If you want to try something, go for it, and you’ve got an awesome and supportive environment to do it. This place is so important to Christchurch, and it’s a place that I’m very glad to have been a part of." - Liam Dangerfield
Got a great idea for a cool, fun project for Christchurch that you’ve been itching to get off the ground?
CHCH SOUP is the event for you. It might be an event, a little project, an artwork, a working bee to get something done in your neighbourhood, garden… anything really. It’s just got to be achievable within 3 months or a discrete part of it does. To that end, SOUP is supporting small, relatively easily achievable local projects get off the ground.