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August 09 Edition Cover

Tasty offering for abandoned space

27 May 2013

Tasty offering for abandoned space Image

A creative collective is set to transform the abandoned Waterfront City food court into a unique art space.

The group has been offered the space as part of Renew Australia’s Docklands Spaces project.

Docklands Spaces allows creative projects access to unleased spaces rent-free.

Properties are made available on a month-to-month basis, allowing landlords to reclaim their property quickly, should they get a commercial offer.

Landlords bear no cost, with insurance and overheads covered by not-for-profit Renew Australia, which is funded by City of Melbourne, Places Victoria and MAB Corporation.

So far Docklands Spaces has focused on Waterfront City premises but Places Victoria general manager Simon Wilson said plans were underway to expand into Harbour Town.

The group is the fourth project to move into the piazza and has launched a fundraising campaign to get its idea off the ground.

James Wright is one of four people running the project and said the group aimed to transform the space into a free, public art space for the community.

The food court has been collecting dust since its doors closed in 2010, but the group hopes the space can be revived and become a creative centre for Docklands.

Their project is called Docklands Community Arts and the space will be affectionately known as The Food Court.

During the day it will be used as a public workspace, with free wi-fi, a coffee cart, public book share and a public noticeboard.

And by night the space will become an events space available for arts-related activities.

The team aim to transform the food court from lifeless to lively, filling the space with greenery and plants.

But it intends to maintain the food court style. “I think that’s what makes it quite interesting,” Mr Wright said.

The team will also be holding its own screenings, exhibitions and workshops.

Other ideas for the space include performance nights, collective meet-ups and participatory dinners.

Although the Docklands Spaces project only allows a month-to-month agreement, Mr Wright was hopeful the Docklands Community Arts project would continue for a while.

“A lot of the office spaces and shop fronts could easily be snapped up, but this is such a specifically designed space, we hope we’ll be here for at least six months or even a year,” Mr Wright said.

The team is attempting to raise $5000 in order to transform the space into a vibrant arts hub.

They’ve launched a campaign through crowd funding website Pozible and as Docklands News went to print had raised $1530.

Funds raised will be spent on material for interior design, outgoings including electricity and wi-fi, event equipment, a public bookshelf and books, plants and an indoor garden, coffee cart hire and promotion and management of the space.

If you’d like to support the project you can pledge a donation at http://www.pozible.com/docklands until June 15.

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