Most of you are probably familiar with Exchange already from their extremely grand opening last summer and the events held there subsequently. So then, I don’t need to bore you with the backstory and the details. I’ll get right to the important part: Exchange needs more volunteers. Without volunteers to man the front desk and help in the general running and maintenance of the space, it can not operate. Everybody involved in Exchange works for free because they want a space like this to operate and succeed in Dublin. The venue is still very much in its infancy and it will require many hours of work by many people to make it the important part of the fabric of this city that it can become. If you think you can spare some time to help out, this Thursday 13th May there will be a big Volunteer Training Day where you can drop in for some basic training and meet lots of new people. There will be training provided during the afternoon and in the early evening for those leaving the office. If you’ve thought about getting involved but hadn’t yet called in, now is the time. There will be loads of new faces on Thursday and afterwards the long-awaited “Exchange night out” will give everyone a chance to get to know each other a little better and see how alcohol can turn previously pleasant people into uncontrollable monsters.
Exchange provides an non-alcohol drop-in space that is free from commercially-driven control, encourages public engagement with the space and the city as well as acting as a hosting venue for a number of groups and regular events. These range from a photography group, a storytelling group, a knitting, stitching & bitching group and a musical workshop for children to classes in capoeira, dance and life drawing sessions. The space operates its own gallery with work by young and emerging artists and also stages theatre events. The space was also a venue for all-ages gigs until the council blocked these from happening because the building is licensed as a retail space. Because the space is “all-ages”, some people confuse this with being “underage”, which is not the case. Some more involvement from people of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities would help to diversify the operation and make it more inclusive. It is open from 11am-11pm every day and every little bit of this is made possible because there are a bunch of people in this city that want to see things change for the better and want to provide worthwhile endeavours with a platform and as much support as possible. Even if you’re just curious, drop in at some stage on Thursday and say hi to the first person you see. See what happens.