Arts organisations launch funding appeals
Venues and artists use crowdfunding to raise urgent cash
Arts organisations are setting up crowdfunding appeals in a bid to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus on revenues.
Pocklington Arts Centre in North Yorkshire has launched a crowdfunding page to help "secure its long-term future" after announcing its temporary closure in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The venue is also asking ticketholders to consider supporting the venue and artists by not accepting a refund, if you are able to afford to.
The arts centre has opened a Just Giving and hopes to raise £10,000.
On the page, the arts centre says: "During this period, it is critical that we continue to support our staff, artists and creative partners. We will be working closely with our peers across the region and indeed the country, and we are determined that PAC will emerge from this challenge stronger and more vibrant than ever."
Similar fundraising appeals are under way in other UK regions. These include the Coronavirus Impact Fund in the West Midlands and Liverpool. “The creative and cultural industries are now valued at £101.5bn, growing at twice the rate of the economy,” says organiser Amahra Spence, organiser in the West Midlands. “These same industries are reliant on the labour of freelancers, self-employed workers and artists, yet these are the same people who are at the frontline of precariousness. In times of crisis, change, cuts and pandemics, the foundation of our workforce that we ‘celebrate’ annually for their contributions to economic growth are most vulnerable.
The Bunker theatre in London has also set up a Crowdfunder appeal to support the artists involved in a project which had to be cancelled.
The London-based listings project Seb's Art List has also launched a website containing information and resources for those impacted by coronavirus in the London arts community, including a list of open calls, health tips and links for work and workers. Marguerite London, a social membership group for women in the visual arts, has launched a networking list to connect creators with available jobs and gigs.
In Dorset, musician Phil Dewhurst has also launched his own crowdfunding appeal so that he can keep his £4,000 guitar after a slew of cancellations to his tour dates due to Corona Virus concerns and subsequent poor turnouts. Dewhurst, whose stage name is "Jinder”, was forced to sell most of his equipment over winter after falling ill and feared that the coronavirus would mean he had to sell his precious instrument. Since setting up a crowdfunding page he has raised almost £1,500 in just a few days.
A survey of grassroots venue members by The Music Venue Trust found that over 40 percent had experienced a noticeable downturn in gross income over the past week, while 38 per cent had noticed an increased number of fans buying tickets but not coming to gigs.