Urban ReThink (Website | Facebook) the collaborative workspace, event space and offices for all around great community programers will close their storefront location at 625 E Central Blvd. in Thornton Park by the end of September.
“I cannot speak to the framework, location, or composition of the transition to come. This is all rather sudden. What I can tell you is that it will not affect our August and September programming/events,” Darren McDaniel, Found Director of Urban ReThink told his staff in an email that went out this morning.
Craig Ustler who owns the building and is co-chairman of UrbanThink! Foundation told Bungalower via e-mail that it was simply time to do something else with the space.
“The Urban Think Foundation made good use of the space and URT was a good community asset, but it was also labor intensive and a lot of work. At the end of the day, the UTF Board felt it would be better to focus on more efficient use of our resources going forward. We are proud of what we accomplished at URT and we think the community benefited from our efforts,” Ustler wrote.
We were at Urban ReThink this morning for Creative Mornings. The staff at Urban ReThink told Bungalower that while their storefront is closing down, the work that they do isn’t stopping.
“The programming will continue, just in other venues. The things we spearhead ourselves like Super Joy Riders and The Artist’s Survival Guide aren’t location specific so we’ll just work with our awesome community partners to find interesting places to host them monthly.” Brendan O’Connor, Programing Coordinator told Bungalower.
Details for some of the programing is still being worked out.
“We’re still working with out other Signature Series hosts like Ideas and their HIVE event to see if we can co host them somewhere else or find someone else to work with them in the interim. We haven’t had the time to reach out to all of our stakeholders yet to make sure everyone is taken care of since the story has broken so suddenly, we’re being forced to rush, but honestly this could be a good thing,” O’Connor said.
While maybe not ideal the Urban ReThink team appeared re-energized around their mission.
“With you in mind, I am determined and optimistic that the vision, the UR community, and I will emerge strengthened…with all the more opportunity to flourish. Ten years ago, I had a dream for a creative community hub that would bring together and empower the area’s independent-minded, community-spirited do-ers. Through you, after 2 1/2 years of operation, I’ve seen far too much evidence of success to waver from that mission,” McDaniel said in his email to the staff.
O’Connor told Bungalower, “The space was incredibly expensive and that took a good portion of our fundraising budget away from our programming.” O’Connor added “This can help us refocus on awesome events that wouldn’t necessarily work in the framework of the UrbanReThink space. We have a handful of amazing ideas that we can put into place though.”
Just this morning Bruce Stephenson, Director of the Masters of Planning in Civic Urbanism at Rollins College, told those gathered at Urban ReThink that they embodied the idea of what Ustler is trying to develop with his Creative Village project.
“I don’t think that the closing of URT has any major impact one way or the other,” Ustler said regarding the Creative Village project. “The reality is that the creative community has grown tremendously over the last couple of years and there are lots of co-working spaces, studios and creative/tech networking events.”
Once the details are worked out about programing and on what will go into the Urban ReThink space, we’ll tell you about them here on Bunalower.com.
“So yeah, crazy week, but we’re lucky to have the umbrella of the Urban Think Foundation and some amazing community partners to fall back on to help with the transition,” O’Connor added.
Updated August 23, 2013 1:53 with comments from Craig Ustler.
Here is the e-mail from Darren McDaniel passed along to staff:
Where do I even begin? On October 1st, Urban ReThink is losing its space at 625 E. Central. This was a decision, financial in nature, made by the executive committee of the Urban Think Foundation board.
I cannot speak to the framework, location, or composition of the transition to come. This is all rather sudden. What I can tell you is that it will not affect our August and September programming/events.
It has not yet gone public. Next Wednesday the 28th at 5 PM I will be hosting a community conversation in the space on the subject. I’ll also address the matter in my PechaKucha Night presentation on September 20th. (I encourage you to get tickets ASAP for many reasons, as this is an amazing gathering of people.)
With you in mind, I am determined and optimistic that the vision, the UR community, and I will emerge strengthened…with all the more opportunity to flourish.
Ten years ago, I had a dream for a creative community hub that would bring together and empower the area’s independent-minded, community-spirited do-ers. Through you, after 2 1/2 years of operation, I’ve seen far too much evidence of success to waver from that mission.
Thank you. And stay tuned. This is certainly a disappointing wrinkle, and I apologize for the inconvenience it may well cause many of you. That said, the effort is afoot to become something greater. Together. I’m sure many of you will have questions. Let’s talkWednesday.
Onward and upward,Darren