What is so unique about Cafe Art?
Most, if not all, homeless charities hold their own special art exhibitions annually or during their Open Days. These are great events that help showcase the marvellous artworks created. Cafe Art hopes to complement this by enabling the artworks to be exhibited to a much wider audience at more varied locations throughout the capital, all year round!
Not only that, we aim to show more artworks as we are not limited by space of a single venue. We hope that by doing so, we are giving more opportunities to even more artists to display their talents through a changing landscape of artworks at the Cafes for the public to enjoy, appreciate and celebrate.
Where do you get these wonderful artworks from?
We try our best to work with as many homeless organisations as possible. We don't discrimate the quality of work and will exhibit as many as we can - we are limited only by the number of cafes, wall spaces available and man power! We leave it to our Partners to choose and select the ones they wish to represent their organisation.
The artworks can range from drawings, paintings, sketches, photography to poems - so you are well spoilt for choice by these talented artists!
So which homeless organisations do you work with?
Please see our Partners page. We welcome more organisations to join us - so please feel free to contact us here if you wish to participate with other charities in celebrating your clients' talents and creativities in this unique and positive way!
What about the Cafes?
The Cafes are the other 'stars' in this initiative. They have been selected so as to give a fairly even spread of artworks across the capital. We hope to expand our network next year so that there will be an even better spread of Cafes all over London!
These are small, hard-working independent Cafes who have unselfishly agreed to put up these artworks on their walls for NOTHING in return. So if any Cafe owners wish to do their bit for the homeless, then do drop us a line here asap. We love to have you on our list!
The Cafe list is by no means exhaustive as new Cafes are signed on regularly. So please do keep coming back to check - there might be a partner Cafe even closer to you than you think! And if you want your favourite Cafe to do their bit for the homeless, then just get in touch with us.
How are you funded, and do the Cafes pay you etc?
We think that Cafe Art is volunteering and charity at its purest sense!
All the ground work to kick-start this project has been carried out by unpaid volunteers. The initial purchase of poster frames, website design/development & hosting etc have been paid through small, private donations from friends & families. The Cafes do not pay us anything too, as they are doing us a big favour.
We are a social enterprise and since November 2013 we have been registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC). CICs are companies limited by guarantee, but they are asset-locked. We can never sell the company and all the assets have to be donated if we ever wind up the company (our designated charity should this ever happen is Homeless Link). Currently our only asset is a laptop. As a social enterprise we are committed to raising money to empower people affected by homelessness and all our profits go toward this cause.
How often do you change the artworks?
We try our very best to change the artworks at each Cafe as often as physically possible. This is to ensure that you always have a varied and fantastic range to enjoy while having your great, hot cup of coffee.
The easiest is to visit this site as often as you can because we shall always be making announcements when new artworks are up or special events are on! Better still, follow us on twitter (@cafeartuk). Or join, or even like us!, on our Facebook page here.
So who are the main benefactors of this project?
Everyone! The homeless people (artists) gain self-confidence, pride and fulfillment from having their artworks exhibited and enjoyed by a wider audience. The project further helps to disseminate the problems and issues of homelessness for the charities. The Cafe owners should hopefully gain more custom to their business, and the general public gets to view some amazing artworks for free while enjoying a fresh, tasting cup of coffee. And for Cafe Art, as long as the above equation holds, then our efforts have been worthwhile.
What are the future plans of Cafe Art?
We have lots of exciting ideas in the pipeline. One of them is to involve other UK cities - so if you're up in Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol or any other cities/towns, and feel you'd like to take up a challenge and do your bit for the homeless - drop us a line! We'll be happy to give you a hand to set a Cafe Art in your area - it's dead simple! Only ingredients required are passion, time and a belief in these guys.
We shall also be developing an online Shop to enable you to purchase any of the artworks on display - so please do support that, as all proceeds go straight back to the artists/charities concern.
For next year, we aim to launch a more smart phone/iPad-friendly website whereby you can vote for the best artworks while sipping your coffee in the Cafe, read a short synopsis of the artworks, give feedback on-the-go etc.
How can I help?
Thanks for asking! First thing is to pop into any of the Cafes, grap yourself a coffee and start viewing the artworks. Then give us your feedback online to let the artists know what you think. These guys really appreciate and value your comments!
And when the online Shop is up and running, do take a look around. If you see anything you like for yourself or a friend, make a purchase, as all profits go straight back to the artists/charities.
Lastly, help spread the talents of these artists and the work of Cafe Art by sending an email to your friend(s) here.
Lastly, if you wish to copy, replicate or reproduce any of the artworks shown either at the Cafes, online or in any of the publicity materials, we understand that you would respect the copyright of the artists.
Just drop us a line and let us know, and we shall pass your request to the relevant artist for permission - I'm sure they will be pleased to know if their talent and creativity are recognised somewhere else too. Thank you!