Campaign launched to save artist-led Aire Place Studios

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Aire Place Studio (APS) – a disabled and queer artist-led community interest company – are losing their studio spaces and gallery!

Their buildings on Kirkstall Road have been sold to developers, leaving APS and its studio members with nowhere to go.

APS provides affordable and accessible creative spaces for all artists, freelancers, and small businesses, addressing barriers to access and promoting a sense of community in Leeds. They have made significant contributions to the city’s creative landscape, supporting over 1,500 artists, and providing a home for small businesses for around 340 individuals since 2015. Now they are looking for your support!

The money raised through this fundraiser will enable APS to secure new premises, retain its staff, support its studio members, and plan for the future. Your contribution will help APS continue to provide a platform for emerging artists and creatives and nurture collaborative communities. With your help, they hope to raise enough funding to support APS’s future programme and sustain their vision to remain a key cultural agent for change.

APS Director Sarah Francis said: “APS is a disabled-led space, which presents its own set of challenges due to varying symptoms and unique access requirements that affect day-to-day tasks.

“The board of directors at APS includes people with protected characteristics who have all experienced barriers to access. The studio was built to bridge the gap that they had fallen into.

“The primary goal was to create a supportive and affordable space that I did not have in my younger years, which often left me feeling isolated and impacted my ability to work as a freelancer. I did not want to fail, nor did I want others to fail. I built this space based on passion and drive to be the change I needed. My lived experiences of being queer and disabled inspired me to create a space that was different from what was already available.

“APS is a testament to the power of community and the ability to create something remarkable with limited resources.” 

APS Studio Member Myles Garstang, of RuneFable Ltd, said: “The closure of APS would leave me unable to work and have devastating consequences for my company and my income.

“This would have serious implications for my household income and mortgage and bills payments. I would not be able to find an equivalent space in Leeds where I would be able to work with resin safely without huge expense. Having the studio at APS has allowed me to take on bigger projects with game creators in the UK and US and these projects would be in jeopardy.” 

APS Studio Member James Grimshaw, Freelance musician, producer and writer, added: “Aire Place is an accessible and supportive environment for creative practice, and one of few such places that welcomes musical endeavours with open arms. To be able to build a fully functioning studio environment within walking distance of one’s home, without inciting noise complaints or restrictive time constraints, is unheard of in today’s climate – as evidenced by the inevitable sale of land from under our feet. Aire Place enabled us to set up our first proper writing and recording environment, thanks to a low barrier to entry, a nurturing team and a tonne of pastoral support.

W”ithout Aire Place, there would be no studio – and my career would not be what it is today. Without Aire Place I would not have landed soundtrack composition clients, Arts Council-funded projects, session musician slots with live bands or production clients from our local scene; my career in Leeds music would have been severely stunted before it could even grow.”

In return for your contribution, APS are offering a whole bunch of physical rewards including APS merch, event tickets to a live music event by Junk It, or by splattering paint all over the building! To top it all off they will be creating a commemorative art piece that you can put your name on to remember their building.

The fundraising page can be found here. Contact APS at help@aireplacestudios.com.

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