55. Putting something back…

Why Bother…?

At WHQ & Curtis Mayfield House we support the Arts. Not as job or anything…

We do it because in terms of hustle, we know what we are doing. So we share that hustle, spreading it around the city freely, as part of our never ending, progressive lifetime quest, to make Newcastle more friendly & interesting.

This page lets you in on some of the high profile local Arts & other Organisations that we work, hustle & hang out with these days (hopefully..?) adding value to them in the process…

WHQ & Museums

Until recently, WHQ was heavily involved with our long standing chums at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. They have an Audit Committee. The Audit Committee looks after the governance, accounts etc for all the massive, public museums near here…

Places like the Laing Art Gallery, the Discovery Museum & the Great North Museum etc. It also handles all the management of risk assessments & a tonne of other stuff around the Organisation’s infrastructure. Sounds a wee bit boring doesn’t it..? That’s because that kinda caper often is.

It is really important though, as public money has to be carefully accounted for, because it’s the taxes that we all pay that basically provide it. In the austerity nightmare of 2017, Arts Organisations need to start generating their own income, as they can’t just rely on public funding & handouts anymore.

For the past nine years, we’ve helped establish & Chaired, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Audit Committee. Both us & the Museums Service found hooking up & working together a nice, steep learning curve & really worthwhile. Due to commitments with the Unity Festival & the Club’s popularity exploding, we stepped down in 2015.

We may have stood down, but still gotta love our regional museums though. As they give people, especially kids, a sense of place, time & identity – Much as we hope hanging with WHQ Club will do for you in your life, when you are older & look back on all the fun nights we spent together…

WHQ & Independent Cinema

We are now involved with the new Bar/Cafe that the Tyneside Cinema have developed & are currently Chairing it’s Trading Board.

When you are as independent & motivated as we are here at the Club, that passion & experience, can add genuine value to other organisations too & we get asked to be involved in all kinds of cool stuff, most of which we have to decline, as we are always so busy, booking mad shows & making people dance.

The reason why at WHQ we get asked to be involved in stuff like this, is because we bring an outsider’s view to things.

Establishing & then running a successful independent Club/Arts venue over decades, whilst never taking a single handout from anyone, is pretty much unheard of & taught us stuff…

Stuff like having game & hustle, that other organisations may not be as familiar with as we are, on a day to day basis.

Proper hustle, that all cultural organisations, many of whom until recently, depended almost solely on public funding, may need help with, to evolve & survive in this uncertain economic climate. You probably wouldn’t think sitting on a Museum Audit Committee, or assisting a talented team to steer a Bar/Cafe for an Independent Cinema, as the kind of things we would bother to be involved with..?

Well here is the News…

We don’t just spin tunes, sip Red Stripe, dance about all night & then sit at home, wanking over our record collection all the next day…

(Reader’s voice: You sure about that..? I’m surprised..!)

We do all kinds of mad stuff you wouldn’t expect… This is so that we can help & contribute, to local organisations we think are cool, who genuinely recognise the need to realise their full commercial potential. We scrutinise & add our highly-evolved hustle to their thing & at the same time, we learn new skills from them that we can to bring back, to help us at the Club.

Not much gets past us… We are pretty direct, call things as they are & are willing to commit lots of time. Which all adds up & can help to change & evolve the culture of any switched on business, or Arts organisation, wanting to embrace new ideas, that invite us to work with them.

Any stuff we do like this we around the city, we always do for free & don’t take any expenses, or use any staff discount schemes that may be available. That’s how we roll, so our positive input always comes with cast iron independence & integrity.

WHQ & NE1

We mentioned NE1 & our involvement with our chums there way back in the story, in the bit where we’d just nearly lost everything & almost got thrown out of the Old Club (page/tile 40).

If you missed that, as you were not paying proper attention, then you have been very naughty & we want you to re-read it & then go & stand face the wall… Like the cheeky little bad that you are.

If you continue to be a cheeky bad & don’t pay proper attention to the story, then we shall not only ban you from reading all the hilarious antics over in Complaint Corner, but we shall also have to smack your patties with a stick…

Now let’s look at an Art Gallery we worked with for years in Curtis Mayfield House & we’ll use snaps of their exhibitions to break up the story…

WHQ & Art

Before Mayfield Studios & Bridge & Tunnel came to join us, for many years we provided a cool home in CM House for our chums, Globe City Art Gallery, on our 4th, 3rd & at times 5th floor.

From Spring 2003 until Spring 2010 on our upper floors, Globe City was open 11.30am – 5pm Wednesday to Saturday. It was in a massive space, so as an Art Gallery, it really worked well.

Here cutting edge visuals were the order of every day. We happily provided heavily subsidised gallery space for Globe & they were able to successfully establish, fund, develop & run their own show here because of that.

All the work displayed was fab, odd bits were even near the knuckle…

With a property so large, it was important to us that the whole building worked towards our original vision, representing not just music, but all kinds of mad & original artistic ideas. During the time of our 7 year hook up with Globe City, they certainly helped us to achieve that.

Exhibitions changed regularly &  the standard of them was always kept really high. For more information on what the Globe bananas are up to these days, click here to go to their website.

You can also check out a load of past exhibitions there & get a really good feel for what got shown. Pictured here, are some more far out examples of the genre defying, diverse (& at times insane) art that was displayed in Curtis Mayfield House, during Globe City’s time hooking up with us.

Art in Bars & Clubs

The whole Art / Bar / Cafe thing has been around in Newcastle on one level or another since way back in the day. Anyone remember Cafe Procope..?

That all seems like a million years ago (Errr -that’s probably ‘cos it was…) but now Clubs & everywhere else seems to be at it too. New places springing up all connect themselves with art now & it’s great to see. It’s also got a funny side, as everywhere that does it, carries on like they are the first place to have ever thought of the idea. Funny bunch your artists, they are often tunnel visioners…

But so are we, so it’s not a pot / kettle job. As you can probably deduce from both our Club & website, we take tunnel vision to it’s extreme, so we’re just glad to see all this art, spring up all over the place, in Bars, Clubs, empty shops etc., irrespective of the credibility of any daft spin.

We first got into the idea of it the mid 1990’s, when we worked with the amazing Arena Club & the Cornerhouse Bar in Middlesbrough (tile/page32). We caught the bug there.

We have art all over our Club & are constantly adding more murals every year. It looks nice.

Guess what…?

Shall we scroll down a few more pictures from Globe Gallery & chat a little more..?

Supporting the Arts is an important thing. You don’t have to give money. You can give time.

If you get involved with artistic stuff on any level it’s a good thing to do.

We reckon it makes you live longer & you are better able to connect with other people.

Of course, we could be mistaken about that…

But we don’t think we are & even if we were, we don’t really care. We’ll go with our instincts.

That’s what we’ve always done at WHQ.

Just do what feels right & totally ignore & all negativity. It’s our thing, so we just roll…

Working, often in partnership, always for free. Trying to make this city & the world a better, more interesting place. Whether it’s one record, or one meeting at a time… x.