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Bobbi Jo Free

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1 reviews

Review for PLACE, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

When I was laid off from my interior and product design position in Oct ‘o8, I found myself eager to return to my work as a fiber artist. In years past I have been involved in the development of crafts marketplaces on both coasts. I inquired about the WAV project and was introduced to PLACE. After receiving a tour of the WAV construction site with Chris Velasco, I’m enthusiastic about the organization and the model being created for Ventura. Mr. Velasco has made himself readily accessible to the artists and the community at large. I'm confident that PLACE has extended their reach as far as possible to provide affordable housing for artist within a socially and environmentally balanced community while accentuating the beautiful views and respecting the local landscape. The project supports the artist’s ability to continue creating and offers new opportunity for eco friendly retail businesses. The visual and performing arts activity produced in and around WAV will enrich the community at large while setting the president for future green developments. As a single parent struggling in a down economy, the dramatic change WAV will bring in our ability to make ends meets can’t come soon enough!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the optimism in our community for the project and the positive impact it has had on the importance of highlighting the visibility and asset of the working artists in Ventura.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would give special attention to the materials being used by the artists within the projects community. Often materials and processes produce off gases and toxic vapors that aren't meant to be handled within living spaces. Also downcycled materials aren't always eco-friendly. Recyled plastics are more often still full of contaminants that aren't meant to be next to our skin or hanging on the walls of our homes.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

becoming aware of it's pressence in Ventura through the WAV project. It makes me smile to be confident there will be more green projects on the drawing board and each one will be greener and more efficiently designed with the available technology and resources at the time.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptionally professional and knowledgeable, dedicated and inquisitive.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Hire additional staff enabling more media exposure for it's successes, expanding the promotion and presentation of more green development projects at key locations across the country. Thus inspiring hope through the arts at a grass roots level where we need it most and it will make the greatest impact on our youth.

Ways to make it better...

I had known about the project sooner and been further along in my involvement. No fault of PLACE, due to personal circumstances and the demands of my previous position I wasn't as involved in the community.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

maintaining an ongoing balance true to the purpose and success of the community.

One thing I'd also say is that...

a retail space be designated for the WAV Gallery as a retail shop. This would give the artists an additional outlet and exposure during all retail hours where they could sell their work on consignment or wholesale. Could be privately owned or a cooperative.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Bobbi Jo Free, Studio 94_Bell Arts Center

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Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I toured the Place's WAV (Working Artists of Ventura) Project.