Turf Manifesto

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We think art spaces should be welcoming and inclusive of everyone. We believe art is enriching to peoples’ lives. Everyone should have opportunities to be involved in or pursue a career in art no matter their identity, background or personal circumstances.
…because we are a grassroots organisation created by and for Croydon residents. All of Turf’s team are personally connected to Croydon and are heavily invested in the area. Turf is tailored to and for our community. We are bored of artists helicoptering in to areas they don’t have a personal stake in.
As a space that is open to the public, we want everyone to feel welcomed and included. This should be considered in every aspect of Turf; how we present exhibitions, signage, printed and online materials, how we work with artists and how we commission. Everyone who visits Turf will receive a friendly and respectful welcome.
If we want to be an artist-led space that understand the needs of artists we support, we have to make sure we have time to be artists ourselves. We make space for our own practices to develop and inform the work we do at Turf and vice versa. We will do this through Turf’s ‘Wiggle Time’.

We believe that visibility is not the only measure of success and want to ensure that the majority of our time and resources are spent working with our collaborators and audiences to make exciting projects happen. We believe there is more to a project than what is outwardly visible and what we are actually achieving is more important than what is on display.
Us being well makes what we do better. We want to work in, and offer, an environment that sees people as more than just their productivity. We prioritise our health when needed and work in sustainable ways to avoid burning out. This means cultivating a work culture alternative to the accepted norm, that is accommodating and flexible, sharing stressful responsibilities & prioritising breaks. We support each other and hold each other accountable.
Our work (including our workshops, exhibitions, and the experience and environment of turf) should be high quality, thoughtful and accessible. Free shouldn’t mean sub-standard! The quality of what we offer should reflect our respect for artists and audiences.
We will constantly question ourselves, our work, and the immediate and wider environment we are working in, to remain aware of what we want to work towards, as well as how we don’t want to do things. We want to ensure we do things for the right reasons, and recognise that art is not always the most useful solution.
We value the labour,t ime and energy of people who work in the arts, so we pay a fair and living wage. Our budgets and pay are discussed and produced collaboratively and based on a-n guidelines. Our approach to any volunteer work is that it should never be a one-way street and we want volunteers to get as much out of it as they put in.

We work best in a relaxed, happy and safe environment. We want to remain flexible and open to change; change can’t happen in a restrictive environment. So, we approach our work with humour, sensitivity and playfulness.
We believe that growth is not a universal measure of success. We want Turf’s staff and space to stay at a similar size to allow us to be more sustainable, build more meaningful relationships, promote transparency, and as a way of resisting homogenisation and monopolisation.

~Turf