Week 26: Seeking Out Potential Partners

Throughout the development of the Made in Opa-locka project, we constantly switch roles from designer to business strategist. Not only are we deeply invested in strategizing property acquisition, programming, funding, design work, and business models, we are also committed to seeking out the potential partners who will give this project life.

This week I’m in Opa-locka to sit down with neighboring nonprofits and community organizations to introduce our ideas for three Public Houses. With the Made in Opa-locka programming booklet in tow, Germane set up several appointments for us to meet these potential collaborators.

During one of our brain-storming sessions we developed a strategy for how the architectural space and programming might work. This model is similar to a standard in Florida’s hospitality industry — the timeshare. (Indeed, the first time shares in the US were right next door in Ft. Lauderdale!)

Made in Opa-locka’s Public Houses offer three distinct public spaces: 1. Performance Space (for watching movies, poetry, dance, or music performances), 2. Office Landscape (for tutoring and business incubator), and 3. Gallery Space. In this time-share scenario, partner non-profit organizations and individual businesses would not occupy the Public Houses permanently. Instead, they would use the space proportionately, as needed, much like a timeshare. Partners might use the office landscape space for programming one week and capitalize on space flexibility by running a performance based program the following week. 

-- Jennifer Bonner

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