Staff at The Arts Village are filled with excitement for the year ahead as new projects come together.

One of the projects is the new Arts Village Cafe which opened on Monday.

The Arts Village manager Mary-Beth Acres says the public reception to the cafe has been fantastic.

"It is nice to have that buzz of happy people.


"Also, we have really enjoyed seeing people 'catch up at the arts village' as a destination to meet and chat over some yummy kai - the place is definitely feeling more like a space where people are comfortable relaxing in."

The new Arts Village Cafe. Photo/Shauni James
The new Arts Village Cafe. Photo/Shauni James

She says the outdoor modular stage is another project that is coming along well.

"There were a few delays with the final finishes due to last week's awful weather, but it is now completed."

She says the village is working with vendors to get quotes for when it is moved, so that people who might want to use it can easily know how and how much.

"Once we have this we will be able to publish information for community event organisers to make use of this."

Mary-Beth says the village had a busy holiday period with more than 200 volunteer hours spent getting the co-working space's floor mural completed (wood grain - mixed natives), with a few busy days still ahead.

The space will be open for business from January 17.

"It has been great talking to creatives about what their needs are and how the space can work for them."

The co-working space's shiny new floor. Photo/Shauni James
The co-working space's shiny new floor. Photo/Shauni James

She says having these projects coming together feels wonderful.

"Change - especially this much all at once - can be pretty overwhelming and we are lucky that we have a team of such energetic and positive people.

"There is still a lot that needs to be done and we have been really well supported by volunteers coming in to lend a hand which is a really rewarding way to work.

"These projects - the co-working space, stage, cafe and wifi - are all things many of our staff and board members in the past have wanted to see happen too, and it feels like a bit of a watershed moment in our history that these wonderful ideas are coming to life together now."

She says looking ahead they are preparing for the ongoing challenge of finding the funding to keep doing what they do.

"As an non-profit trust it can be quite difficult to fund the basic things like wages, so a big driver in the way things are changing here is to start to becoming more financially sustainable and self-funded rather than being reliant on grants."

She says 2018 is a bit of a 'watch this space' year for them and they are looking forward to it.

The Arts Village is having a launch event on Wednesday January 24, with music and performance from 5pm and a Play On performance from 7pm.

The cafe will be open during this time with a special menu and people are encouraged to bring along picnic blankets or camping chairs to sit outside.

"If the weather is bad unfortunately the event will need to be cancelled so if everyone could cross their fingers that would be awesome!"