ames = ames collaborative art: a new local art project!

Last week I posted about how once you realize you are overwhelmed, there are some steps that you can take to get back to a good place. And once you are in a good place, the doors will open up for you to really focus on what’s important. I took my own advice. After a lot of soul searching and talking it out with Jason and other people around town I made some hard decisions. Decisions that will lead to a life changing project. Decisions that will help me to bring into life a project I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid…. a collaborative local art group. Here are the first set of steps I took:

First I decided to stop hosting the thrift kitchen blog. I love the project and concept, but going into it, I thought I would have 2 co-authors and that just didn’t work out because of life and all that jazz. So I’m going to absorb it into the kro studio blog. I’m thinking a “Thursday in the Thrift Kitchen” kind of post once a week would be a good healthy pace – starting up next month. And then I’ve also decided to stop hosting the local chapter of the sewing rebellion. We (the whole group) decided this for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that we are wanting to do so much more than just sew. And then I as the host wanted to use the full range of my skill sets – sewing is honestly not my strongest skill set. And by “stop” hosting the sewing rebellion, I have opened the way and time for a new organization entirely: ames!


Ames stands for ames collaborative art. The whole idea of it is the facilitation of collaboration between all media and art in order to infuse the community with creativity through public projects – be they workshops, lectures, or on the street art. Ames Collaborative Art. Encouraging the growth, sharing, collaboration of ames area artists and creative do gooders.

The whole thing is ambulatory – on the move – collaborating with various businesses, organizations and artists in order to host a variety of events that encourage creativity, growth, and participation of the community in the arts.

Growing: things for the future! And this is the really great part. ames has so much potential. And it will grow naturally over time.

In many ways, things will start out staying as they are. We will continue to meet up every second sunday of the month for a workshop. But now we will start scheduling a second event that will be taught by another artist. And that’s a huge thing for me. While I’ll participate in every event, I am now inviting others to come and show and teach us new skills. And that takes a huge responsibility off of me. In some ways by changing things I’m able to let go of a lot.

Another part of ames that is starting right from the beginning is an ames area art calendar. It will have all of the local art events/workshops/lectures listed on it. Kind of how diy alert functions, but for ames! I’m really excited about this just for me because I feel (and I’ve heard this a lot from others too) that I always hear about things the day after they happen. It will take time to get all the contacts to make the calendar represent the whole community, but I’ve already made a big step towards that with music.

Nate from the Ames Progressive is what I would call a “local music scene hub” not only does the Ames Progressive host bands from all over the area/world just about every night of the week, he also is starting up towny booking and touring (love that name) – service he’s providing for free to connect local bands with venues.  And lucky me, he has offered to keep the music dates up to date on the ames friends calendar (and I am just assuming everyone is ames’s friend, haha). I’m so happy about this because while I love music I am not that knowledable. The first collaboration! And this will really help spread the word about local music. I’m hopeful that over time people will learn to check ames before they make plans for the weekend – just to see what is going on. (we are just getting started on the calendar so it will take awhile to get it all up to date).

I myself am slowly adding all the local events that have anything to do with art to the calendar. It’s really fun, I had no idea about all the artists and art groups here.  I knew there were a lot, but I had no idea the scope of talent. I can’t wait to help bring that all into the public’s awareness. I think a lot of people in the community know that there is stuff going on, but they just take it for granted. I want to highlight it and encourage participation!

flier fun

Yesterday we had our first “unofficial” meeting and scheduled our first “official” event. And what a fun event it is going to be! We are having a hula hoop making workshop at the Ames Progressive and then take it outside and hula hoop in public – inviting passers by to hula hoops too! You can see the event details here on Once I will be doing a write up the event for the ames news section of the website once I get some pictures from the artist.

Another thing in the near future will be interviews with local artists/art groups as well as reviews of events. So the ames website will be a great resource for learning about what will be happening and what has happened if you weren’t able to make it.

I am so excited about this new project, I want to just dump everything into it (I always feel that way when I just start something), but I have a lot of deadlines this month so I’ll just have to hold tight until August. Only a couple more weeks and I will really get things moving. We have plans for a art in the community discussion group, make+music events, a lecture series, workshops, field trips, and artist development workshops (artist statement writing, grant writing, accounting for artists, proposal writing/development), and of course a series of small group meetings for drawing, fibers, critique, and anything else art workers step up to host.

For any of you who are in central iowa, I would love to have you on board for this. While the project is centered in ames, it really is about central iowa artists . We want to take field trips to studios and groups and galleries and shops, as well as bring area artists to ames events. Be our friend on flickr, my space, twitter, or become art worker on! Also help spread the word in your area. Download, print out, and distribute ames fliers:

ames flyer

Always your participation and support is encouraged. There are many ways to be involved with the ames coming to events, donating your organizations space for event hosting, teaching a workshop, setting up and hosting an event, writing a review for the website, helping to keep the community event calender up to date by sending me information about your or your organization’s events, if you are passing through town – come by and participate in an event or set up a workshop if you like to teach. Any idea you have, just email me and we can work together to make it happen. And that is what it’s all about: the ames is Ames Collaborative Art.

I look forward to working with you!

Kristin Roach
Email: admin [at] amescart [dot] org
Address: PO Box 1304, Ames, IA 50014-1304

3 thoughts on “ames = ames collaborative art: a new local art project!

  1. WOW! This sounds very extensive. I hope you get a network going, that would be a very exciting thing. I think it’s great that you are involving other people to present programs, etc. so as to take some of the stress off of you. Make sure you continue the Thrift Kitchen in your blog. It is a great idea, so I want to continue to see it! I wish I was there, I’d co-author it with you!!!

  2. Awesome! I’ve been practicing saying “no” a lot lately, too . . . because it means you actually can say “yes” when you really want to – and to the things you’ve always wanted to do.

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