An abandoned 1950s service station in Beaufort is transformed into Servo@23, a creative hub and exhibition space as part of Creative Victoria's Regional Coworking Spaces and Creative Places Pilot Program. Meet Sarah Beaumont and the team behind the project.
Tell us about you and your creative work.
My creative work is primarily about entrepreneurship and project development. I work with organisations to enhance and develop their skills and help them grow. I currently lead the Beaufort Progress Association.
My passion is Art, so combining a co-working Hub and an Arts space is an incredibly exciting project. The impact that our hub will have to support artists and entrepreneurs will have a very profound impact on our community. It will develop people’s creative and entrepreneurial opportunities and help enhance their connectedness and art practices. Brilliant for our region.
How has coronavirus impacted on the project?
It has really slowed us down and dispirited the team. At one stage we considered quitting...a lot of frustration…however that was short lived!
How are you coping or responding at this time?
We have a really great team and we have supported one another through this crisis. We have kept to our vision. Persisted and continued to roll out our project plan. We are moving slower than we would like, but we are very patient and persistent and go with the flow. We do what we can when we can. Even small steps help.
We plan to open in September and have just secured our first sublet to use a space in the Servo. Our small Gallery contains the work of two local artists.
How will this project help the local creative sector? How do you envisage people using the space?
This is the most exciting thing of all! The space will be used by entrepreneurs, start-ups, existing businesses and artists. It will provide a base for all the exciting projects we hope to tackle. Our event space is gorgeous and the gardens inspiring. People can come and work by the hour or book a space for longer.
It will be a true community creative hub…plus we will have some truly delicious coffee in the kitchen 😊
What have been the highlights of the project and some challenges?
Highlights have been:
- The enthusiasm of local artists already responding to the space.
- How well the space has responded to renovating from very humble beginnings.
- Seeing the gardens being laid out by our horticulturalist.
- Our teamwork.
- The talent we have
- The spin off projects already incubating...
Challenges have been:
- Waterproofing the space
- Loss of a committee member
In three words, offer your fellow creatives some encouragement or advice.