On the Tenth of May, 2013, my favourite art gallery, music venue, theater space, book-club room, games hall, and all round awesome hangout-spot the reading room closed its doors for the last time in its current form.
Joining such cultural luminaries as Format, Higher Ground, and Tuxedo Cat in the great (temporary) ARI in the sky, this is the seventh such arts venue to close its doors in a matter of months, leaving another gaping hole in the cultural tapestry that our City Council keeps insisting is ‘vibrant’ and ‘exciting’ (while simultaneously shipping in cultural entrepreneurs from Melbourne to ‘start-up’ ‘co-working initiatives’ in our CBD. Pretty sure that’s what we’ve been doing the whole time with less buzz words, but it doesn’t look good in their end of year action reports when the populace are forced to get up and do it themselves).
ReNew Adelaide, the organisation that has been sponsoring us through the nearly three years of our tenancy at 153 Hindley Street, state that they are in the process of finding us a new space as soon as one suitable is found, so the reading room will be back at some point! We don’t know how long it will be before we can re-establish, and we don’t know when, but the spirit of our 30+ volunteers and 100s of artists and performers will not be so easily quenched. We are merely biding our time.
The main issue is that, although there are literally HUNDREDS of empty buildings in the the Adelaide CBD, not many of them are compliant for a thing called a 9B. There is a system of classification for every business run out of every building in every street world wide. At the moment we are ‘trading’ (ha!) under a Class 6, which is a retail license. For those who have been to the reading room you would know that we trade rarely, if at all, and generally only when we have a donations bar open at events to raise money to pay insurance and electricity bills and selfish things like that.
What we are looking for in the new space is a classification called a 9B, which means that we would be allowed to hold more events more often without getting in trouble from the Council itself. To do these things, we need a building that complies with this license, and there are not many around, as explained by Ianto Ware, founder of Format and ReNew Adelaide in this blog post.
So, long story short, it will be a while till we can get everything organised and ready to go. If your keen on updates, join our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the mailing list.
Till we meet again!