In 2003, we enjoyed the first full year in our new office. We have settled in nicely to our new home and continue to improve the use of the space. More art has arrived to adorn the office walls. Having a kitchen has proved to be a treat, with random and occasional planned group meals. The space is in constant use and has turned into a true hub that hosts year-round activity from all groups. The Black Rock Arts Foundation office has been expanded to accommodate the growing BRAF staff. The Fishbowl (our ticket office) is no longer a fishbowl with the addition of full walls, making it a quieter working environment for the ticket team.
The office is not only serving staff more and more over time, but we have also held several parties, meetings, and gatherings for the greater community. In December, we hosted a volunteer Spark Club gathering, inviting volunteers, staff, and members of our community to join us at the office for an evening of food and fun. We also hosted an election night open house to watch the results for the San Francisco mayoral race.
Our use of the office is not always contained with the walls of the building. Fire Conclave performers hold their regular Fire Jam in the parking lot the last Sunday of each month. On rare occasions, you might find a weary office staffer catching a few minutes of late afternoon sun on the roof.
The Romper Room is still serving as the arts and crafts hub of the office. In 2003, the Café Décor team held many a work party there, when volunteers created beautiful displays and art pieces for the Center Camp Café.
What we call the “Volunteer Room” is being used more and more often as a conference room for meetings, both day and night, involving just about every department. This room has also turned into a temporary bulk mail center for processing mailings of Survival Guides and Newsletters. This room has seen so much activity in the last year that we moved the volunteer workstations into a more central location that would not be affected by meetings. Volunteer coordinators no longer need to scramble around meetings, and they get to work in the Zocalo (the center of our office) where they experience a much higher sense of community.
One challenge we face as we look toward 2004 is our continuing issue of space. We have quickly filled our new office, and we continue to fill more space, as more staff and volunteers join the team. All need places to work. We continue to strive to use our home efficiently and respectfully, because it really is a home to those who work here and even to those who just stop in to say hello and see what our work is all about.
Becky Workman, aka Bex