A communal space in downtown Conway to facilitate community and promote local creatives is set to open in November.
The Locals, with a storefront at 1024 Van Ronkle, will be a partnership of art, crafts, coffee, and food vendors under one roof.
The Locals is a project of La Lucha Space, and, according to the group’s director, a physical incarnation of the community that has developed among local producers and artists.
Director Sandra Leyva said, as she and other “members” worked at painting and cleaning the space at a recent work day, that The Locals will make the community she has been part of public.
“What we all have in common is that we want to have a public place,” she said.
Cyndi Minister, owner of The Twisted Purl, a fiber artist spinning, dyeing and felting wool, is among the first vendors who share membership at the downtown storefront.
She was at The Locals on a recent work day to help move the space along.
Minister, who sells her products online and has merchandise in about 50 stores, said she is happy for the opportunity to have her “own place,” a local venue to set up shop and sell.
Leyva said other vendors who are set to occupy are farmers and food producers, artists, and crafters.
The Locals will dedicate some space for co-working, which is to share available office space with other independent freelancers, small business owners or community organizations.
Much space and attention will be dedicated to The Locals’ coffee shop, which will be coordinated by Caleb Stovall and features Onyx Coffee, a small batch roaster in northwest Arkansas.
There will be a stage at The Locals for musicians and other performers, and the center of the space will be open with tables and chairs.
The space surrounding will be occupied by vendors’ booths and mobile workshops, including produce and farm goods as well as art.
Community groups who wish to use the space will be able to based on the schedule, which will give preference to The Locals members, who are encouraged to hold community workshops and give lessons.
Any who wish to use the space can rent it for a small fee, Leyva said.
The Locals will open for the first time Nov. 15, 6 -10 p.m. with a launch party.
Tickets at $10 are available online at www.thelocals.be, or from any Locals member.
Some members are Andrea Todt and Cody Hopkins with Falling Sky Farms; Chris Massingill Ceramics; Off the Wall painting and illustrating, Cyndi Minister, The Twisted Purl; Scratch, an oilcloth apron business; Creative Coffee Club Jewelry by Pat Haggard, Linda Sigler and Jan Guthrie; Dan Decker, co-worker; Tammy Sue’s Critters, featuring bath and body products created with fresh milk and honey; Maria’s Homemade Country Fare, featuring fresh jams, jellies, baked breads and candy; and Conway Symphony Orchestra.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)