A £14,000 crowdfunding campaign has raised 73% of its target in just 7 days.
Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, a community arts centre in Walton on Thames, is running the campaign to buy an all-weather outside stage.
Like many other small capacity performing arts venues, Riverhouse is struggling to see how they can continue to survive throughout the changing tides of the current pandemic.
With reduced box office capacity and social distancing still in place most venues just can’t make the figures balance. Riverhouse bucked the trend throughout lockdown by continuing to produce and facilitate online play readings, classes, concerts of all sorts and theatre.
But now that spring is in the air and the world is re awakening, Riverhouse needs to find ways of staying active, creative and offering its community much needed live cultural entertainment ‘in person’.
Emily Boulting, Artistic Director at Riverhouse says…
“Covid 19 has prevented us from opening our doors to our wonderfully supportive community and we are now having to rethink how we engage with our audiences. As we have such a small capacity indoors, the only way we will be able to survive is to take our programme outdoors.”
The campaign is raising funds to buy a robust and weather proof outdoor covered stage which will be semi permanently positioned in their car park which overlooks the River Thames towpath, allowing socially distanced audiences and increased box office capacity.
The stage will also be offered as a performance platform to other local community groups to use, so that they, too, can continue to create and perform.
Riverhouse is planning a summer arts festival, including many local choirs, an International festival of food and arts, a folk festival, jazz festival, comedy nights and theatre for all ages. The arts centre is run by volunteers and a small management team.
This covered stage is going to cost £14,000 and after several long months of closure, Riverhouse needed to turn to its community to help raise the cash.
They launched their crowdfunding campaign on Saturday 20th March and withing 3 days had raised over £4,000. Now just a week later, the campaign has passedthe £10,000 mark, a clear sign of just how important this venue is to its community; both audience and artists alike.
“It’s amazing to see the level of support we have at Riverhouse. Our community are always generous, but to have received pledges from over 250 people so quickly is really humbling.”
Riverhouse has been inundated with messages supporting the campaign from the likes of musician Chesney Hawkes, the well-loved comedian, Tony Hawks, folk music legend Peter Knight (of Steeleye Span and Gigspanner), plus musicians Ninebarrow, Lukas Drinkwater and many more artists who have performed at Riverhouse.
With over 20 days left to go, there’s a good chance that the campaign will exceed its target, which will allow Riverhouse to acquire improved sound and light equipment as well as the stage.
Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre: https://www.riverhousebarn.co.uk
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