A creative café is above all else a café. It isn’t a pub and it isn’t an arts centre, though it may be licensed and it may be within an arts centre. It must sell good coffee and other good things that go with a good coffee. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, the café is a Creative Café.
Are people reading literature there?
Is literature available in the café?
Is there a sense that you can sit here for as long as you like over you cup of coffee?
Are people creating new worlds as they sit and chat?
Does the café organise book readings, book launches and creative workshops?
Is there artwork on the walls that is either for sale or celebrates local artists?
Does book-crossing happen?
Does the café promote arts events?
Is there ever any live music?
How to turn your local café into a creative café
Sit in there to read or write.
Drop off a few of your books – whether to give away for free or to be sold by the café, sale or return, at a small profit.
Hold your arts meetings there.
Negotiate with the owner that you’d like to use this as a work space though promise you will make a certain number of purchases in a certain amount of time.
If the venue is suitable, organise a book event there.
Talk to the owner/ manager about using the walls as gallery space.
Take in leaflets about your own events and others you find interesting.
Ask if the cafe has an entertainments license and hook up with musicians you know to perform there.
See also posts on this blog about Writers in Residence, speed-dating and Literary Salons.
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