In March 31st 2011 LAN lost its funding, bringing about some major changes. The original LAN organisation closed down, making Celia Cross, former director and Chris Young, newsletter editor, redundant. Determined to see LAN continue however, Celia called a series of meetings with former members to find out what they wanted, from which a small group of working artists enthusiastically stepped up and formed a Steering Group to try and take LAN forward, on a voluntary basis.
A new website was needed to try and continue to digest the various arts events and opportunities around the region but with no funds or resources, it was clearly necessary to make use of free social media and blogging tools so initially a WordPress blog was set up. Data Protection requirements meant that past members were required to sign up again to join the mailing list, causing some confusion but a steady number signed up, showing that there was indeed still a role for LAN.
Over the following 12 months much happened to try and rebuild LAN, including holding a networking event and producing two further issues of the newsletter whilst planning a new website but gradually many of the original steering group stepped down, due to lack of time or having moved away from the area. A small core team kept endeavouring to take LAN forward, despite constraints on time and resources until eventually only a few remained.
In April 2012 this brand new website was launched, which incorporates all of the information posted over the past year on the old blog and follows the ethos of the old, original LAN website by allowing members to post their own news, events and opportunities – register here
In September 2012 LAN was successful in obtaining a Small Arts Grant and with it organised a very successful Open exhibition at Oxheys Mill Studios in Preston, in which more than 70 artists, all LAN members, took part and a number of sales were made on the well-attended opening night. A similar exhibition is planned for 2013 if funds permit and a suitable venue found.
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