Why & When is PhotoMidwest Moving to 700 Rayovac Dr.
More usable space: The current space was starting to constrain our ability to easily and flexibly schedule the Special Interest Groups (now up to 8 plus pending Long Exposure group) and classes. We wanted to be able to schedule classes on any day or night of the week or weekend and also be able to hold regularly scheduled interest group or committee meetings at the same time if needed.
The new location has three separate gathering areas: A Large space with comparable seating to our present one for larger meetings or classes, a Small space for group meetings or smaller classes, and a Gallery space which can be used for meetings or classes. We anticipate using the Sony flat panel for a meeting that needs to display high quality images. The LCD projector will be used if there is a concurrent meeting or class not needing the Sony flat panel capabilities. We also have a shared board-room type meeting room with an adjacent kitchen in the lower lobby at no extra cost.
Accessibility: We wanted to be accessible to all members. The new space will have American Disability Act width doors and a working elevator. The building has an adjacent parking lot. Bathrooms and a counter with a sink are directly across the hallway from PhotoMidwest.
Location: Unfortunately, it’s not on the Isthmus. The Williamson St. area is one of the hottest real estate markets in Madison. We needed to retain a parking lot for members and not increase the average distance members’ drive. This was not financially feasible to do in the Williamson St. area.
Location: The new location is on a bus route and has good bicycling access. We also want to facilitate members traveling by the University campus to ride share with students. The Chazen, Memorial Union, and Union South offer good facilities to pick up and drop off someone sharing a ride.
Studio space for Members’ use: For the first time, we will be able to offer our members use of a studio space. In fact, several spaces. Cost and availability will be determined in the near future. Let us know if this interests you!
Larger Darkroom: The new darkroom will be larger than the current one, with donated equipment and good ventilation. We have seen an increase in use of the darkroom and now will be able to offer classes as well.
When? Remodeling to create the two smaller meeting/class/gallery spaces was done in May. On June 1, 2016, PhotoMidwest moved into the space with everything except the Canon iPF6100 printer which will be moved soon. Many items such as the library were first moved to an adjacent unoccupied office in advance of June 1.
Finances: We start with 3 month’s free rent, then pay a bit more than at our current location. We hope to make up the difference with our first membership rate increase in 8 years, which took effect on March 1. We also hope to gain more income from increased membership due to a variety of opportunities for members including studio rental.
How can you help? The Large, Small, Gallery and Hallway are now all repainted. There are still many thing to do such as shelving in the Storage and Digital Lab rooms and getting the Darkroom operational. Volunteers should email Camera@PhotoMidwest.Org with the email subject "I want to help".
Contact Camera@PhotoMidwest.org for more information or to volunteer your time.