I went in search of art while Sadie took care of her official business. One encouraging place was Art Space, originally a livery, then Ford car dealership; it's now a large artists' studios, exhibition space and workshop/education facility - just the kind of place we were/are hoping for in Bideford.
With a little help from the State and City and lots of patronage from annual sponsors Art Space survives and flourishes. There were no empty studios, in fact there's a waiting list. Artists pay a rent for their studio to the not-for-profit 'art-space' organisation, but the individual artists can make a profit personally. Part of the deal is that they have to use their studio for a certain amount of time and that they must allow the public into their studios to see what they're doing, answer questions etc. It's based on a similar art space at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria near Washington DC.
There is a really good, free, arts magazine in Raleigh, or the Tri-city region with Durham and Winston-Salem. artsee premièred this year with it's July/August edition. You don't often see a new magazine coming out in a recession especially a free one.