Peter Bazalgette is right – theatre companies need funding

Peter Bazalgette, the new chair of the Arts Council, has warned against the cuts to arts funding in the UK and has called on business to do more for the culture – ie invest in it. I couldn’t agree more.

We are thinking about taking Martini Bond up to Manchester Pride in August, but this time we need some funding in order to do it. Profit margins are so slim for small theatre companies – and probably large ones too – that it seems you are fortunate if you cover your costs through ticket sales. Forget about paying the actors, crew or writer a living wage. They all need other work to subsidise their dreams (or, after yesterday’s Budget and if you’re George Osborne, aspirations).

We are thinking about holding a James Bond quiz night as a fund-raiser and we will look into applying for grants and approaching business for support. I’m fairly hopeful we will raise some funds. After all, Pride is for a good cause, raising money for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities and organisations as well as HIV groups.

Local theatre, local bands or local comedy nights really need your support, though, because these acts are part of the culture of your town, and, as Bazalgette said, “are central to the life of the city and to the local economy”. Without bums on seats, the show can’t go on! So please go and see a local act on in your town.

When was the last time you went to see a local show? Were there many people there? Did you enjoy it? Do you care about arts funding?

March 21, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Comedy writing, Humour, Theatre, Writing.

14 Comments

  1. Carrie Rubin replied:

    In so many things, it all comes down to funding. I admire people who work with fundraising, because the job is really never done, is it? Must require a lot of patience and finesse and perseverance.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Hearing from friends who have run fund raisers, it sounds like a lot of hard work. And you’re right, it’s never ending!

  2. jmmcdowell replied:

    A friend of ours has been a museum director for years, and much of the job requires fundraising, nearly every day of the year. It’s not something I would be good at doing. I hope you’ll be successful with yours!

  3. 4amWriter replied:

    Fundraising is tough work, and I wouldn’t be good at it. But I think it’s important, and if someone asked me to support a local theater I’d do it. Good luck!

  4. kateshrewsday replied:

    Arts funding comes so far down the list of priorities for a cash-strapped government. It is unbearably sad. Yet the artists are still creating, waiting for the time when the funding becomes more plentiful. I do hope you get the funding you need!

  5. Kourtney Heintz replied:

    I went to a small community theater in NY for my friend’s one act play. It was packed with people supporting the actors and playwrights and directors. Awesome experience. I plan to go to the local high school production in May. I love theater. :)

  6. colonialist replied:

    The irony in our city is that a fairly generously subsidised theatre company appears to be utterly inefficient both in conduct of finances and quality of product, but denies funds or assistance to those who doggedly turn out excellent productions on far more limited resources. The former have dismal attendances, while the latter play to packed houses. Quite deservedly, as my periodic reviews show.

  7. The Laughing Housewife replied:

    I do care but I never go to local shows because I can’t afford it, even at subsidised rates.

    I helped found a local writing group. We meet once a month at Stockport art gallery. We meet when they are open and they give us the space for free. We don’t charge fees because we want it to be accessible for everyone, regardless of the circumstances. We are only possible because we have no overheads at all.

    As a thank you, we do the occasional reading or workshop for free. .

    With cutbacks, it is likely that our gallery will only open on weekends, and that is only because of our indoor war memorial. Our group will probably survive but it breaks my heart to see what’s happening to the arts in this country

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thanks for this comment. It is terrible that arts in the community is under threat like this. Keep me posted about the gallery. Hope you can keep it going.

      • The Laughing Housewife replied:

        The gallery is now closed on Sundays but we have been given a room at the Hat Museum, also for free. So the group is still going!

  8. jbw0123 replied:

    Oh yeah, writing from the other side of the planet, just finished 4 years of fundraising for the local youth symphony. Saint-medals to all who raise money for the arts. Attended a wonderful theater festival last month — 8 ten-minute plays selected in a play-writing contest. It was inspiring. Good luck!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thanks – and thanks for you comment. Four years! OMG – that is dedication

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