The Corn Exchange Newbury has launched a fundraising appeal in response to the closure of its buildings and the suspension of its live performances, films, classes and courses as part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It costs over £12,000 a week to run the Corn Exchange and, with more than 50% of the organisation’s income coming from ticket sales and associated activity, there is a substantial gap to fill while the buildings are closed. With limited government support, and uncertainty about when it will be able to reopen, they are asking for support to ensure the future of the Corn Exchange and everything it does.
Last week the Corn Exchange launched its programme of online activity and is offering a range of ways to keep the community engaged in the arts, including live virtual sessions of its Rhyme and Shine sessions for parents and babies, its Youth Theatre, and the Our Song music sessions for the residents of local care homes. It is also offering pre-recorded sessions for all ages including art, dance, theatre reviewing, and learning resources to support home-schooling.
Katy Griffiths, Director of the Corn Exchange Newbury, says ‘Following government guidance, we closed our buildings in order to safeguard the health of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff, but the financial implications of this are significant. We are asking everyone we know if they can help us survive this extraordinary situation so they can return to the same, much-loved, Corn Exchange when we reopen.’
She went on to say ‘In this unprecedented period of uncertainty for all of us, the arts have a critical role to play in getting us through this difficult time and in helping us shape the type of society we want to be once day to day life can resume.’
The Corn Exchange engages with over 130,000 people a year through its varied live events programme, extensive learning and participation work and free outdoor events, and believe passionately that the arts make a difference to people’s lives, perhaps now more than ever.
Those who wish to give a one off donation or to sign up as a regular donor should visit www.cornexchangenew.com/loveyourcornexchange, or call 01635 582666 to talk to a member of the development team.