Since starting at ROAR nearly a year ago, I have learnt many things and more than anything have realised how important our membership is to the organisation.
Our key role is to help and support professional and emerging artists in Rotherham and this role, as you can imagine, has many different layers to it. Based at Westgate Chambers in Rotherham, we offer space in the form of studios available to rent and a project room which acts as an area for our members to develop their skills. Space away from the home environment can be important for artists as it gives them the physical and creative room to thrive.
Here at ROAR, you also get to interact with other creatives, inspiring each others development and learning new skills. This is intertwined with weekly drop-ins, group projects, life drawing sessions, artist talks and regular exhibitions. On top of this we also have equipment for our members to use such as a VR machine and a laser cutter.
When becoming a member of ROAR you also gain support and encouragement in your artwork, assessing your practice in a more in-depth way. As well as this, and something which really is my role in the organisation, is you are kept in the loop about what is going on in the community and what opportunities are available to you with a weekly mail-out and an active presence on social media. We also have an established Etsy shop where we can sell your work!
Up until this April, membership of ROAR cost £30 for the year. We have now decided to remove any barriers to involvement with ROAR and made the membership free, with a suggested donation of £30 for the ongoing upkeep of the organisation. We have always offered membership to fellow organisations and this fee has now been reduced to £50 for the year. Because of this change, some services we provide now incur a charge. For a more thorough breakdown of our membership, please click here.
So if you live or work around Rotherham and are a professional or emerging artist, you might wish to consider becoming one of our members.
Here are some of the comments members and associate organisations have said about ROAR:
Studio holder: “It’s the most accessible and the most good-humoured support that I’ve ever had in any aspect of my work. I’ve never felt like I’ve been intruding, I’ve never felt like it’s wrong to ask for something and certainly I’ve never felt de-valued, under-valued, ignored or anything like that, its always been immensely supportive.”
Member: “It’s very much a community hub where people of like minds meet.”
Associate member: “What the arts community needs is somebody to coordinate the work that’s going on, to negotiate with the local authority, with businesses to ensure that art continues to thrive and happens. That’s ROAR’s main role really to support, to nurture and to make sure that the arts in Rotherham are seen as really significant for the area.”