Broker's Blog - A Year On

Tena koutou Katoa

On 27th March 2013 I emailed  Stathis Moutos Leasing Manager at The Wellington Company...

‘Hi Stathis as per my message to you today I was wondering if you would consider a proposal from a young arts activist Jonathan King who has made a submission to the Brokerage for a project he calls Tiflis Bank…....He is ready now and would be able to move into the space Monday or Tuesday next week and will look to open the doors on the Friday (5/4). Jonathan would love the space for 30 days (total). I have attached a copy of our draft temporary license for you to consider’.

The project, now named The People’s Cinema was accepted and the temporary licenses was signed 5th April to finish 5th May 2013

Jonathan King cc’d me into an email he had sent to Property Manager, Stathis today. Jon was informing him that he was to be moving out in the last week of April, and relocating much of the equipment to 19 Tory St, where People's Cinema was able to continue, albeit, in a different form.

What was originally a 30 day temporary licences became a 1 year free tenancy in a central city location.

The People’s Cinema was much more than what Jonathan intended it to be, it ran for longer than he could imagine and the number of people who went along to 57 Manners Street far exceeded his wildest dreams.

I’m delighted that People’s Cinema will live on in some form at 19 Tory Street. It is fitting and seems right.

I am so proud of all the projects that have been presented through the Brokerage over the last year.

For the last 15 months or so I have also been privileged to meet with over 30 or so individuals and groups who have come to talk to me about their ideas to activate vacant space in the city. Some of whom found spaces for themselves, went back to the drawing board or couldn’t proceed for one reason or another. Either way, I was blown away with the number of people who wanted to work outside the usual theatre and gallery walls. I receive many calls and emails a week enquiring about how to do what we do.

Highlights for me this year has been watching The People’s Cinema flourish and grow. Seeing Occupation Artists Sarah Read etal move from The Grand Arcade which they inhabited for 6 months, move into their own space in Trades Hall.

I couldn’t have found a more perfect location for the The Brides (corner of Bowen and Lambton Quay) during the passing of the marriage equality bill  last year - the stars were truly in alignment for that one. I was also particularly delighted to be able to make use of Prime Properties vacant space on the corner of Victoria Street twice. They came to the rescue for Gabby O’Connors Cleave and supported Daniel Webby’s ‘Your Message Here’ opening with boutique ‘home made’ cheeses and wines from Wine seekers next door.

More recently, March 2014, the creators of The Moodbank on Victoria Street and Waiting Room on Cuba were overwhelmed by the high level of public engagement, so much so Victoria Singh added extra days to her event.  Vanessa and Sarah from Mood Bank had to do another print run of their deposit slips after they exhausted their original 1500.

I of course cannot forget my first brokerage. The smallest of all the sites I’ve negotiated to date, a three week installation on Courtenay Place by James R Ford.

I am delighted to announce that through the support of The Wellington Community Trust and Wellington City Council we have extended our reach to the wider Wellington Community. The criteria better reflects UDB’s goals and the people who we want to work in our city.

Urban Dream Brokerage is re-open for business and I invite you to make your submission, no matter how small or indeed, how long.

Helen Kirlew Smith