We had the good fortune of connecting with Logan Greene and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Logan, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Groundworks was in an interesting position at the dawn of COVID and lockdowns in Tucson back in March. We are a relatively new nonprofit and we had some good momentum in acquiring a facility within the first year of operation. The community around us was excited about the potential of the type of arts programming that we were going to provide and everything was on track for a grand opening in April. But, when we were forced to cancel everything, we ended up in a bit of a pickle as to whether or not to continue the organization at all considering our ENTIRE business model was upended. Our landlord was flexible and we knew our community would completely understand if operations stopped entirely. So, that’s when the team and I made the decision to continue. I figured that if this project was worthwhile at all, it was worthwhile in the face of this kind of adversity. We accelerated all of our plans for virtual content, found new ways of utilize our space safely, and figured out every silver lining that we could in order feel motivated for the uphill battle ahead. Ultimately, we were able to make the new pivot model successful even in a pandemic and now we feel more confident than ever that the project will not only be sustainable, but is indeed worthwhile. I think it’s important to know that it would have been okay if we gave up and moved on from Groundworks this year, but the fact that we didn’t has made our success all the better.
What should our readers know about your business?
I started Groundworks to fill the void of arts and music access for teens and young adults in Tucson. The opportunities that existed for me when I was growing up in town shuttered or became obsolete with the dawn of the internet age, so I felt that Tucson could use something new and different to engage young folks in the arts. Every single step of the way has been a challenge compounded by the obstacles created by COVID-19. However, there are positive sides to every story and I have found them through learning so much along the way. From simple trade skills to business management, the entire experience has been incredibly valuable to me as an individual and the pandemic has afforded me this time to learn.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Tucson, you can throw a rock and randomly hit one the best burrito shops you’ve ever been to. In fact, food is the number one thing I show off when visitors come to town. The Taco Shop, Tania’s, Rocco’s, Eegees, the list goes on and on and on. I love to shop at Bookmans, Folk Shop, Popcycle, 22nd Street Antique Mall and that doesn’t include the plethora of trendy maker’s shops that are always popping up all over the place. Owls Club for drinks and there is plenty of desert to hike in no matter which direction you head. All the while you can be listening to the sounds of multiple local, independent radio stations like 91.3 KXCI or 99.9 KMKR. Tucson’s very locally minded, so a week of unique, fun activities will not be hard!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a TON of people who have helped out Groundworks over the last year and half. I’d like to shoutout one artist-turned-volunteer, John Konrad (https://www.vomitparty.com/). He has been one of the most dedicated volunteers and is consistently committed to the cause! Not to mention, he’s one of the most talented artists we’ve worked with (at our first gallery opening, his two submissions sold almost instantly and thus sparked great disappointment in other potential buyers). From there, he started working with the space and became an integral part of the programming teams. Thanks John!
Sophie McTear and Off Kilter Photos