A lot of people have joined Oxford Arts group over the last few months, and some members have yet to attend their first event, so I thought I'd post a little information, both for new members who might feel slightly in the dark, and established ones, who'd perhaps appreciate a reminder about how we operate.
Primarily, Oxford Arts is a social group for those with an interest in the creative arts who are looking to attend events in the company of like minded individuals. The organisers post details of events which they expect to attend on the site, and group members are invited to RSVP 'Yes' if they're interested. Some group members RSVP 'No' out of courtesy, but while this gesture is appreciated, it isn't obligatory and effectively makes no difference to the process. Previously, there was also the option to RSVP 'Maybe', but the Meetup organisation, in its wisdom, decided that this made life too complicated, and this option has been removed.
The types of events posted on the site obviously reflects the organisers' individual interests. As the main organiser, I tend to cover music, spoken word and theatre, occasionally venturing as far as dance or cinema, while other organisers provide their own eclectic mixture of postings. We also organise social events, such as drinks get-togethers and parties of various kinds, including more recently, our own performance evenings. All are welcome at these events, including family or friends, and they are usually free, with attendees asked to bring food or drink where possible, and to put a coin or two in the hat to cover hall or equipment hire and site costs.
Unlike many of the other Meetup groups, Oxford Arts is a non-profit making enterprise. We run the group for the love of it. Site running costs are approximately £100 a year, and as long as costs are covered, or something close to this, we're happy. Any suggestions for improvements to the group are welcome and should be addressed to the organiser.
One area I'm well aware we don't cover frequently is the visual arts, so if you have a love of painting, photography, conceptual art or anything similar, please feel free to make suggestions and we will consider them. Neither is the group restricted to one-off arts events, so if anybody wishes to suggest a visit to a permanent exhibition or place of interest which has an arts link, either in Oxford or beyond, please feel free to do so and we will endeavour to help if we can. Group members are currently organising a visit to the Hay-on Wye festival, which is a positive development.
If you do decide to 'suggest' an event on the site, please put as much information as possible, including any suggested or actual times, dates and location details. Also, if you have time, a photograph or a relevant image is much appreciated. All suitably presented suggestions will be circulated to group members. If you feel you'd like to post events regularly, please contact the organiser about becoming an assistant organiser. This will allow your events to be forwarded to members automatically. While we need to limit the amount of events posted to prevent members' boxes becoming swamped, we welcome a variety of input.
Finally, a word about the rather laid back ethos of the group. We're not a business so please don't expect things to run like clockwork. People run late, plans change, and attendances need to be cancelled. While the organisers in particular, will endeavour to attend events on time, this doesn't always happen, so let's keep the channels of communication open. As organiser, my mobile number is[masked] so if you're running late, need to cancel at the last minute, or can't find people at a venue, please feel free to text or call. Also, and this is particularly important from an organisers' point of view, if you have RSVPd 'Yes for an event and then find you can't make it, please change your RSVP to 'No', or if it's late in the day, contact the organiser directly, otherwise we are left wandering around looking for the 'lost'. This particularly applies if no photo has been uploaded!
Once again, that mobile number is 0787 6248705. If you're new to the group, let me extend a very warm welcome, and if you're not quite so new, then hopefully see you again at an event some time soon.
(Arts Group Organiser)
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