How a "Netflix for local Arts" model is the future of Arts Funding

…or… at least it could be.

"The Arts brings meaning to life, its the spirit of our culture, it brings people together, supports creativity and social cohesion. But, If the arts contribute this much to our economy, why then do we still invest so little in arts and artists?"  Hadi Eldebek TEDx Talk

I think we don’t invest because it’s never been easy. We’re here to change that.

Last year we sponsored 96 of the 187 events including dance, storytelling, life drawing, meetups/networking, and exhibitions/openings. We love offering this support, especially to emerging artists just getting started, but, its exhausting and prevents us from getting ahead financially to do more, move into a bigger space, offer better resources and support services to local creatives. 

Now, we want to:
1. Make space free for artists to use for events/exhibition 
2. Let the community who likes what we do support us and be rewarded for their support. 
3. Expand the team, have a diversity of creative spaces, and scale to other cities.
4. Pay artists to create, experiment, perform, and showcase in our space. 


Patreon shows what can be achieved when the fans support the creators. Now, what about other non-digital creative industries like painting, ceramics, poetry, street art? And what about the creators themselves who need studios, galleries, people, marketplaces? 


Exchange Christchurch (XCHC) started as a multidisciplinary art space with the purpose of Cultivating a Creative Ecology. Located in the once-abandoned Old Pickle Factory, 4 types of affordable spaces were designed to help creatives develop their practice and establish sustainable businesses. These spaces are:

1. Makerspace
For the production of creative works and building a like-minded community
(110+ artist residents in our studios)

2. Showcase Space
Exhibitions, events, and showcasing of emerging work and ideas.
(600+ creative events & exhibitions)

3. Public Cafe/Bar
This allows for public exchange, feedback, exposure, and one hell of an experience.

4. Accommodation (started 2017)
Visitors get a funky place to stay, invest in our purpose, and we provide artists a place to stay while visiting our city.
(180+ guests | from 16 countries | for 330+ Nights)

We've been a launchpad and incubator for creative projects and a home for artists and creative thinkers. This has made the city a more diverse and exciting place to live/visit. Now, we want to scale, move into a bigger building, make our services free to creative industries, and share what we know (legal, property, financial, and cultural) to help other cities start their own Exchange. 


Christchurch New Zealand is a unique city. Because of devastating earthquakes, the city is being rebuilt. This attracted many entrepreneurs, changemakers, thought-leaders, and innovators who saw this as an opportunity to test new ideas, develop niche businesses and build a more social and environmentally sustainable 21st-century city; in a lot of ways, it's the first of it's kind. 

So, we're doing things differently, we're making the rules, taking risks, pushing boundaries, and challenging ourselves to create a city we want to live in. It's no longer up to someone else, we all have the opportunity to participate in creating a city.


Hi, my names Preston. I'm from Asheville NC and when I became unhappy with the work culture I was experiencing in the US and the inequality I was seeing in the world, I started traveling. When I saw how people focusing on their unique skills, art, craft, or passion, it rippled out and affected so much more.

I started looking for opportunities to do work that I loved, and when I zoomed out (way way out) Christchurch NZ was a winner of a city. Lots of entrepreneurs had moved to the quake-stricken city because opportunities were everywhere to do really cool creative stuff! Things were temporary or "transitional"; they'd do it for a while, then onto creating something else! It was safe to fail, so people felt more comfortable taking risks and being creative. I realized the people who had the freedom to create what they loved were thriving; especially when other people enjoyed it. Now, my job is to help artists find these opportunities.  

When I found XCHC, I was hooked. A newbie in the city had found a place with creativity, culture, and a community. 
On top of that, I learned how doing things differently was positively affecting the people, the city, and evolving the old paradigm of "work".
XCHC was a business without an owner; accountable only to it's Purpose.
XCHC is a community of people supporting each other to grow. 
XCHC is a verb, like robin-hood, constantly taking and giving energy for creativity.
XCHC is a place where anything goes and crazy ideas emerge and are encouraged.
XCHC is a partner reminding you "we'll figure it out"
XCHC is the culture of believing oneself
XCHC is a chance to express yourself.
XCHC is my home. 

I've been here 3 years now and I'm just getting started.

This Patreon has potential to prove and improve some important things:
1. Art is not exclusive
2. Everyone is creative in the right environment. 
3. Human connection is needed now more than ever before
4. Business can be a force for good when it holds the wellbeing of others at its core.
5. Arts and creativity don't need government funding/grants when supported by its community 
6. Overlapping digital and textile creative industries leads to new and innovative ideas
7. When there is a culture of sharing and trust built, more resources become available 
8. A thriving arts/creative sector creates a more diverse and resilient economy
9. Safe spaces to express and develop our creative selves positively affects our wellbeing
10. Positive experiences are produced when creativity is accessible to the general public.

Our goals.
We already do some cool stuff, here's how we do it better.
$500 - $1000 | Giveaways and making custom XCHC art/merchandise
$1000 - $2000 | Pay a regular content creator
$2000 - $4000 | Free exhibition walls and start to build an Art Store
$4000 - $8000 | Free event space and pay for creatives to showcase/host events
$8,000 - $10,000 | Hire a bar manager to keep the venue open late
$12,500 | Rent, power, wifi, insurance, staff paid; now we start getting creative!
$15,000+ | Get headquarters at The Arts Centre, start saving for our own building, expand the team, open other locations.

Other creative organizations are in a single place or an online network,not both. 
Here's who inspires us so far and what we've learned.
Swg3 : Scale. It needs to be big, and have a diversity of spaces. 
Artspace: You need to own your building, and live/work studios are valuable. 
Networks: +900.000 Opportunities. +7.523 Connected Cities+37.846 AdvertisedMembers+70.000 Social Rate
The Dots: A network of Makers, Doers, Fixers and Dreamers — collectively creating a better future.
Cockpit Arts
 + London Creative Network - An award-winning social enterprise and the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople. 


Heres some of our recent discoveries, learnings, inspiring things:
18' December: The Mystical Power of Inclusive Spaces | Jim Sheehan |TEDx Spokane
18' October:  A push to invest in the Arts becomes Stronger | Impact Investing | New York Times
18' September:  Art Binds People to Place and to Each Other | Art binds | Social capital
18' September:  Step Into The Page | Creative soul | Freedom | Art in Virtual Reality
18' September:  SOAPBOX: Opinion piece by Jacinda Ardern | Arts as Full-Time endevour | Youth
18' August:  Abundant Artist Association | Potential | Making good money.
18' August:  How craft is good for our health | relaxation | stress | accomplishment | happiness 
18' July:  “Profound” impact of creativity on mental wellbeing| Connection | Resilience | Social
18' July:  Every New Zealander needs a Third Place  | Public spaces | Building community
18' April: Bloomsbury South | Artists developed a powerful synthesis