A Letter from Studio IX Co-Founder, James Barton
The past year has been an extraordinary year for Studio IX.
Our community has grown both in numbers and activity. Studio IX members have spent over 150,000 hours passionately pursuing their goals. They have collaborated to produce and participate in over 87 events, including 11 Gallery Exhibitions by local artists and organizations, 30+ member-driven events, which included workshops, lunch & learns and wellness programs, 15 live performances, and 20 other private and public events ranging from bat mitzvah dinners to dance parties.
Through these events, the Studio IX community has welcomed over 2,700 guests into our space where new skills, insights, art, and food were shared—fulfilling our vision of building truly collaborative community.
We also launched Carpe Café and have expanded the menu, which now includes over 12 local producers. The café continues to be an important way Studio IX welcomes and serves the broader community.
True progress in civilization relies on innovation and technological advancement in addition to the human network—community and personal responsibility. We believe these are fundamental requirements for progress—and that through design, technology and community, space becomes a powerful platform.
The studio IX community welcomed over 2,700 guests into our space, as a result of the events and workshops put on by our members.
Before the close of 2016 we had begun to cast a vision to expand what had started at Studio IX. We began to implement those plans at the start of 2017 and announced the redevelopment of the former Bank of America building on the downtown mall as Vault Virginia—an actuator for progress.
Then, with global witness, the violence and hate of August 12th validated the need for spaces of civility and progress—spaces where we can thrive through community, productivity, and human experience in its most healthy forms; spaces where we can design a better future, connect and contribute locally and globally through the gifts of our community.
2017 was a year of disruption and trauma, but it was also a year of awakening. The response of the Studio IX community during events of the past year consistently affirmed my perspective that the opportunities outweigh the risks.
As we aspire to greater and greater purpose in our professions and social lives, I believe we will increasingly be drawn to dynamic, programmed spaces as platforms for accelerating serendipitous connections and unlocking opportunity.
Over the course of 2017 the Studio IX community engaged in 365 days of living purposefully and in community. The members, encouraged and supported by the steady hand of Manager | Curator, Greg Antrim Kelly, have been instrumental in bringing the world into their space and contributing to our society in countless ways through their extraordinary work, art, and other forms of conversation.
My hope for 2018 is that it will be a year of healing, growth, and progress, and that the Studio IX & Vault Virginia community will engage many more in the joy of collaboratively building a more civil society.