On Friday we threw a party for Charlotte our General Manager because she is leaving. It was a good night.
Charlotte has been with us for ten years – she is us. Nick Sweeting and I interviewed her in our freezing cold office on New Canal Street with the promise that we were about to move into luxurious new offices in The Big Peg – which proved to be freezing as well.
Charlotte had a great CV. She was favourite for the job on paper and confirmed that in person. She was a shoo in. As she left the interview Nick observed to me that she had the potential to transform Stan’s Cafe and this proved to be the case.
At Friday’s party guests were invited to annotate “The Charlotte Martin Decade” a photo-book documenting a ludicrous series of shows Charlotte has put on the road for us. She has come with us on some trips – Barcelona, Budapest, Montpellier, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Rostock (she will never forget Rostock) but mostly she has been in the background keeping us all safe from harm and making things happen.
It was Charlotte’s networking skills that found us @ A E Harris, her calculations that proved we could stay there and her relentless energy that kept the place functioning for five years. It was during this time that so many people from other arts organisations came to recognize what we had always know, how lucky were were to have Charlotte with us.
On Friday Rob thanked Charlotte on behalf of the Stan’s Cafe boards and I thanked her for myself, Craig and all the Associate Artists Charlotte looked after. In response Charlotte gave a touching speech about feeling at home with Stan’s Cafe.
We threw a party to say Thank You to Charlotte. People came from Leeds, London and Leamington, Coventry, Northamptonshire, Royal Berkshire, Handsworth, Kings Heath, Stirchley, Moseley and the Edgbaston/Ladywood cusp to say ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’.
Jake played great records and lots of people danced. Charlotte wore her gifts of gold Docs and a fantastic sparkling gold dress. It has been a great decade, it was a great night.
Charlotte officially leaves in mid-January. People keep asking who is replacing her. Well, it’s not that easy, you can’t replace Charlotte with a single person we have appointed two people to form a new staffing structure. These new team members will be announced in a couple of weeks time.