Friday One week on from the fire in which Battersea Arts Centre’s Grand Hall was severely damaged, your interest and offers of support continue to move us beyond words. You have kept us going; you make it possible and you give us strength. Thank you. Lots of people have asked how can we help?
So below are 6 ways to get involved and help this phoenix rise from the ashes.
1 – Come to Battersea Arts Centre
We are open: buy a ticket, come to the Scratch Bar for food and drinks, for those who have under 5’s please enjoy The Bee’s Knees, carry on being creative with us, join our membership programmes including The Great Hundred Club. Or volunteer to usher our shows. We are proud to offer free membership to our Friends programme to every one of the fire fighters and police who fought the fire last Friday.
2 – Donate to the Phoenix Fund
The brilliant National Funding Scheme set up a donate page last Friday. You can also now donate through the Battersea Arts Centre website if you prefer. We have had amazing donations to this fund, every donation counts from the £1 coin I saw an 8 year old put in a bucket yesterday, to the £1,000 generous donations of other organisations, to the £100,000 donations of major companies. We also ask you to save the date for the night of Saturday 18 April when there will be a major fundraiser at a central London venue to be announced next week. You can also call our box office to donate on 020 7223 2223 or send cheques to Phoenix Fund, Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN. Also, many people are arranging their own collections, auctions, art sales, sponsored marathons and school bake sales and we’re so happy for this to happen. The incident is covered by insurance but we will go through major change over the next three years and insurance will not cover everything, so the Phoenix Fund will be our working capital to get through this and rebuild.
3 – Offering stuff
Thank you to everybody for the incredible offers of space, offices, laptops and equipment. We thought it would be useful to create a list of what we still need.
- SPACE – Do you know of a building large enough to help us recreate a Grand Hall theatre, in London, as near to Battersea as possible, available for between 6 months and 12 months?! Contact AndrewB@bac.org.uk Thanks to those who have already brilliantly offered local space including Devas, Southfields, Providence House and all the local shops and cafes for their help the weekend of the fire.
- KIT – Huge thanks to Whitelight, Mark Dakin at NT, Stage Electrics and Ivor at the Young Vic for offering so much kit and support. We are accepting offers of any lighting equipment, such as lanterns, cable, consoles; any sound equipment such as microphones, amps, speakers, cable, mixing desks; any AV equipment, such as projectors, cradles and cable; any storage equipment, such as flight cases and amp racks; any staging equipment, such as dance floor, steel deck, handrails and treads. Kit Contact MattO@bac.org.uk
- OFFICE EQUIPMENT – In terms of IT equipment, huge thanks to ICT for helping us get up and running again. At this point, spare laptops are appreciated because our team are working in much more mobile ways! We also need a stock of tables and chairs if anyone who is offloading some. Office Equipment Contact NatalieR@bac.org.uk
- ADVERTISING SPACE – Can you help us with free advertising space to celebrate the fact that Battersea Arts Centre is open on Lavender Hill and help us communicate where the Grand Hall shows are happening across London? Contact KatieE@bac.org.uk
4 – Offering time
We are looking for someone, or a local committee, to help us run a poster campaign across Wandsworth to tell people that we are open and to get the Phoenix Fund out there with different groups and networks. Contact AnneW@bac.org.uk
5 – Help us remember the Grand Hall
Today at 4.20pm, to mark the moment one week on from the start of the fire, you can tweet your memory of the Grand Hall. We will collect all the memories for when we rebuild and for our digital archive. #BACPhoenix We will soon send out a ‘Save The Date’ for an event when people can come together and remember this extraordinary public space. We will also soon begin organising visits to the Grand Hall for those that want to spend a moment with the space. If you want to visit please email AnneW@bac.org.uk. You can also share imaginary events in Grand Hall created by Andy Field or record your memory of the Grand Hall on the Battersea Arts Centre digital archive.
6 – If you are funder…
…we have four needs at the moment:
1. Completing the fundraising target for our existing and unaffected capital project, which has £500,000 remaining. This will enable us to open more of the front of the building in early 2016;
2. Supporting our existing programmes at a time when the organisation will be stretched to the limit to deal with all the additional challenges;
3. Creating a temporary Grand Hall in which we can present all the amazing artists and shows we have booked for the coming year including those for A Nation’s Theatre;
4. Re-building the Grand Hall for the future as a space for performance, ceremony, debate, and as a home for Wandsworth’s heritage.
We hope that all the funders who have made the organisation what it is today will step forward, and we also hope that we can create new relationships to deal with all the additional challenges we now face.
Thank you all so very much. Everyone’s support has been incredible over the last week. After dealing with the immediate aftermath and re-opening, now the hard work really begins. The way that everyone is pulling together is phenomenal, and we hope people will stick with us in the weeks and months ahead, to keep us going to give birth to an even more remarkable organisation and building. Thank you all again for your love and support.
P.S. If you have already written to me then I will be going through every single email and text message early next week and responding. But if the above 6 ways to help and get involved inspires you to action, in the meantime, then that’s great!
P.P.S. Why help? What’s the plan? What are we going to do next? This is our plan…
Firstly, we will continue to:
- Present and develop amazing shows
- Provide play space for families, our Family Saturdays and shows for all the family
- Run the Scratch Bar as a great place to hang out, eat and drink
- Develop the university of creativity in partnership with QMUL, Kings College and others
- Launch our first digital commission with The Space
- Work with The Guardian on A Nation’s Theatre
- Continue our young people’s programmes including the Hourglass Festival next week, and Homegrown, The Agency, Beatbox Academy and Young Producers
- Collaborate with schools, develop our new partnership with Katherine Low Settlement and continue our Tea Dances
- Grow our relationship with Wandsworth Museum which promises to be an exciting new model for cultural and heritage organisations
- Work with our partners in Hull, Great Yarmouth, Thanet, Torbay, Gloucester and Darlington to co-create regular festivals in 2015/16. As well as sustaining this amazing consortium, we hope to establish a new Collaborative Touring Network in late 2016
- Continue our Take Out programme, which will include a nationwide tour of Little Bulb Theatre’s Orpheus this autumn and international touring for The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey
- Complete our current capital redevelopment by Spring 2016
- Plan for future weddings, beer festivals, conferences, celebrations, debates and fairs.
And soon we will be announcing three new exciting partnership projects for 2015 and 2016.
Secondly, our new challenges are to:
- Recreate our office base in another part of the building
- Relocate Grand Hall shows in the short-term to other theatres who are brilliantly offering support
- Recreate a temporary Grand Hall to host shows over the coming year
- Rebuild the Grand Hall for the future
- Reimagine our business model for Battersea Arts Centre