I just wanted to take this time to give you a little update on Cotton On MCR and discuss how Covid has affected our small business.
Firstly, it is worth saying that Cotton On MCR is ran by myself, Domino, with the help of some amazing volunteers. I myself do not take any money from the business, therefore, I have no employees, and no dependents counting on me to make money. Although I would love for that to be the case, and it is a goal of mine in the future (to have this as my one main job with one or two regular staff) in the case of coronavirus and the recent lockdown, this has not affected the company in such a drastic way. We are lucky enough that we can continue to work as best we can, without it affecting the business in a financial way.
Soeaking of our work, another thing you have probably noticed is that we haven’t been writing as many articles on the blog. I am sorry for this! There are a number of reasons that have contributed to this silence. First being, most of our articles are exhibition reviews, or run-throughs of What’s On/Top Events. As you can imagine, there hasn’t been much on in the last few months, which means we haven’t really had any content to write about.
The other reason we haven’t been posting as often is because, as you may have seen on social media or on our newsletter etc, we are working extremely hard on a new and improved Cotton On MCR. I can’t give too much away at this stage, but we are aiming to launch a new website, new look, and new mission in the next few weeks. This new launch has taken a lot of planning, research and preparation, and this is taking up the majority of our time.
The tidal wave of Covid19 has really affected lot of the art scene, not only in Manchester and the UK, but worldwide! With events, exhibitions, competitions and art fairs all postponed or cancelled altogether. We had huge plans for this year, aiming to host four of our larger events – art fairs, exhibitions and workshops combined. We had the Spring Art All-Dayer event all planned, which unfortunately has been postponed. We are now aiming to host this in November, and to re-brand it as a Christmas Art All-Dayer., so expect an extra bit of sparkle and tinsel. All the artists booked on the fair have their space guaranteed, or penciled on hold, so you as the audience will not miss out on some amazing, Manchester based art work. Those artists that can no longer attend have been fully refunded, and we will look to re-open applications to fill those spots.
Those of you who have booked a space on one of the workshops, the Introduction to Acrylic Painting or Marbling workshops, your slot is also guaranteed and transferred to the new date. We are working behind the scenes to make sure we can still offer you these workshops safely, taking into account the social distancing guidelines. Again, those who can no longer attend have been given a full refund.
As you can see, Covid19 has affected us here at the Cotton On MCR office,and put a halt to a lot of this years plans. However, it has also given us time to reflect on the business and make some positive changes. With the new launch and new direction mentioned above, we have also made some changes to the business values and goals. Our first being that we aim to offer our audience more live events to take part in. We want to make sure you get the chance to physically take part in a huge array of events in Manchester’s art scene, and we also aim to contribute more to the art scene ourselves. So watch this space for further updates on that.
With the future events, we of course will be taking all Government advice on board to make sure every event is safe for you as the audience, as well as us here at Cotton On MCR. We are constantly checking Government guidelines in terms of social events and venues, and have a thorough checklist of Health and Safety requirements that we will strictly stick to. If you are attending any of our events and worried about Covid, please do get in touch with us and we can go into our Health and Safety policy in detail with you.
We have a great little team of volunteers here at Cotton On MCR, however, as we move forward and with our new plans in mind, we are making an effort to make sure that those volunteers have more opportunities to make money. As we move forward, we have adapted our budgets to guarantee that those volunteering with us are getting paid wherever possible.
This lockdown has given us more time to think into the future and what we can turn Cotton On MCR into, promising a better business for you and for us. We have some really exciting ventures coming up, and some big changes. So yes, things have been real tricky for us and the arts industry, but we have used this time wisely to really change our focus. We hope you stay along for the ride!