Pausing artistsandmakers.com

Back in 2003, the idea of a website where people could have their own profile page, write their own content and leave comments on what they read was something special. That shows how far we’ve come in under ten years; that’s the everyday stuff that we’re all familiar with now.

But when James Fryer from BabyLamb suggested it to Revolutionary Arts in 2003, we knew it could be something that caught on. A sign-in for users, their own profile page, a content management system that made it easy to become a citizen journalist and the chance to upload images too all made the site a success.

Over 1500 users have since contributed nearly 3000 events, reviews and articles to the site. Initially focused on Worthing, the site soon spread across Sussex and the South Coast, and as Revolutionary Arts worked further afield the site followed.

Dozens of artists made the site theirs, hosting galleries of their own work and contributing content on a regular basis.

The site was an essential way to spread the word as Revolutionary Arts launched a local arts festival, with artists open houses in Worthing and trail of open studios in Horsham.

And it was the original home to the Empty Shops Network, and to lots of free resources that have helped people start their own pop up projects across the UK.

Well, for now artistsandmakers.com seems to have served its purpose, so (at least for now) we’re putting a pause on submissions from our users and planning what comes next. Revolutionary Arts now has its own site, artistsandmakers.com founder and editor Dan Thompson is still blogging about the places he goes, and there’s a site dedicated to the Empty Shops Network too.

But artistsandmakers.com is a massive archive for anyone researching the arts, so it will stay here for now. Just don’t expect such regular updates. Thank you for reading, but more importantly, thank you for joining in.

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