Business Plan

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Proposal

HowlRound

About
C+ Corner is a community theater and creative theater studio for youths from 12 to 17 years old in the Bennington area. Using devised theater, a process in which the whole team develops a script collaboratively, C+ Corner aims at creating a space for youths to share, reimagine, and co-create narratives related to the topics that matter to them.

C+.png

Why theater?

  • Highly expressive, intimate experience
  • Capacity to imagine and reimagine reality
  • Creative space and collective practice
  • Should be a creative commons that is accessible and affordable for the community

Why devised theater?

  • Equal ownership, no hierarchies: everyone creates the script
  • No expertise required, highlight inclusivity and versatility (everyone has something to offer)
  • Focus on deep listening and active sharing
  • Suitable for youths: devised theater utilizes storytelling, improvisatory theatre games or other conceptual ice-breakers to tease out the stories the group want to tell.

“Through a series of improvisatory theatre games or other conceptual ice-breakers, they start to tease out the kinds of stories they’d like to tell and the way they’d like to tell them. Over time, a text emerges, one covered with the fingerprints of each and every participant.”
Mission statement
C+ Corner aspires to:

  1. Create an inclusive and fun studio space for youths to experiment with theater as a form of expressive art, in which they can process their emotions, thoughts, and dreams collectively.
  2. Highlight the interrelationship between the individual and the collective by creating a community in both a real and imagined space.
  3. Empower the youth to think about issues that matter to them and their communities.
  4. Make theater a creative commons, an affordable and accessible art form created by and for the community
  5. Strengthen the relationships among different constituencies of Bennington: local businesses, colleges and schools, migrant workers and farmers, etc.

Who are the participants?

  • Youths from 12 to 17 years old (?)
  • College students (as moderators)
  • The Bennington community
  • Old Castle theater actors (collaboration?)
Devised theater.jpg

Programs structure

  • Programs for youths:
    • Playwriting round
    • Movement collectives
    • Performances open to the public
  • Programs for the public:
    • Adult playwriting round
    • Movie screening
    • Salsa sessions instructed by the migrant workers?

Business incentives

  • Sell tickets at open performances: $5 per ticket; if you buy for $7 there’ll be a free ticket to a community member (?)
  • Smoothie station
  • Snacks around the world (spring rolls, empanadas, etc.) (?)
  • Aim to create a network with local businesses—cross-order service?

Questions to resolve:

  • Is the intended audience (youths 12-17) the right public for this organization? What will make a difference between the middle school and high school students?
  • What is the role of the moderators? How to maintain the “co-create” status and don’t run into “teaching” which create power dynamics?
  • How to find common times to bring people together?
  • What are the business incentives to keep the space alive? How does the cost structure work?

Iteration: Collaboration with Isabella and Emily

Brainstorming session


Brainstormtank.jpg

Common grounds between 3 projects:
- Community-generated space and system of exchange
- Utilizing storefront
- Emphasis on locality and quality
- Sliding scale model business
- Educational

MVP and Strategy


MPV.jpg

From general to concrete:

  • As a town member, I need a food co-op so I can get affordable and good quality food from the community while having a space to interact with other community members.
  • As a teenager, I need an open space to hang out after school/in free time so I can make art and have snacks with friends

Model

  • Adjacent food co-op (business) and community creative studio (skill-sharing platform)
  • Target audience: Btown community, middle-school/high-schoolers

Examples:
Food co-op/ Storefront: Oz Harvest
Community creative studio: Dream Tank
Strategy (need-based positioning)

  • Food co-op:
    • Sell produce from local farms
    • Service: buy your box and pack your meal
    • Buy in membership
    • Boxed lunch/snack with nutrition information and source info
  • Creative studio:
    • Painting/making snack or lunch boxes (like a craft)
    • Workshops (how to cook and decorate box) taught by middle-school/high-schoolers (MAUHS mosaic farm to table)
    • Open skill-sharing table

Next steps
- Pricing
- Narrowing down and consolidating strategies
- Testing out on small groups
- Investigating location

Revised MVP

I am a working townsperson who wants a skill-sharing platform to learn from other members of my community.
Test out customers' interest (survey + focused group): is there a need for a skill-sharing platform?

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

  • what are we uniquely good at: facilitating a creative commons (hosting events; nonprofit/public action background)
  • what do we have: 3 minds, with diverse skill sets and background and common interests, work hard

Weaknesses:

  • Cost of materials
  • Not a clear cut business model
  • Mitigating and bridging differences in vision between 3 members
  • Commitment: graduating -- having to be self-generated

Opportunities:

  • what does the model have: unique in Bton town, easy to test out model and customers' interest (small focus group), easy to spread the word -- locality (rural small town)
  • resources available: space, people, support from professors/peers
  • Not a clear cut business model (hybrid)

Threats:

  • Local Competitions?
  • Logistical questions: who are our audience -- working families (time and transportation)
  • Haven't been proven if there's a need for a skill-sharing platform
  • Easy to replicate?

Test out plan

Survey to the community + focused group:
survey to customers

  • what do you want to learn from your community?
  • what are some skills you would like to share?
  • if there was a membership fee, how much would you be willing to pay?
  • how frequent would you like to join the platform?

Capp.png

3 demo workshops:

Art Workshop

What: knitting
Audience: community members
Facilitators: us, the woman who owns a sheep farm
Space: Masonic lodge or Bennington College (a cozy place like South Street)
Time: 2 hours
Request: bring suggested donation
Activities during the workshop: basics? knitting a pouch, a square

Food Workshop

Fall theme!
What to cook: pumpkin bread, pumpkin-seed bread, pumpkin butter, something pumpkin-based
Audience: community members
Facilitators: us, Stephanie the bakeshop chef
Space: one of the churches, one open space with a kitchen
Time: 2 hours
Request: bring a pumpkin-related recipe or your favorite fall recipe!
Activities during the workshop:
- Prepare ingredients for pumpkin bread (or something else) and put in the oven to bake
- While food is cooking, create personal cookbooks from the recipes brought to the workshop
- When food is ready, share a small snack

Performance Workshop

What: clown workshop (or salsa)
Audience: community members; focus group: middle/high school student
Facilitators: Joana and Sam Mistry
Space: Masonic lodge or Bennington College
Time: 2 hours
Request: bring suggested donation
Activities during the workshop: TBD

Next steps

  • Contact people for space reservation and advertising
  • Within this week, we'll send out the survey.
  • Develop a timeline
  • Designing poster

Be transparent about what we’re doing.