Target: £5,000 DONE! Thank you Croydon.Outcome: Our studio will be refurbished and furnished and a stage will be built with a green room for performers. A basic refurbished PA and AV system with simple lighting rig will also be put in place.
Target: £10,000. Outcome: Instead of basic equipment we will have the money to invest in much better quality audio visual and lighting equipment helping create more stunning visual effects and acoustics to support the groups which perform in The Studio.
Target: £25,000. Outcome: If we raise this much we will have a fully functioning professional theatre space with quality seating, lighting, heating, ventilation and some money left over to promote the space to theatre groups that may want to make use of it.
Matthews Yard opened in late April 2012 as a direct response to the riots which took place in Croydon on the night of August 8th 2011.
I wanted to do something positive in response to the violence and disorder which tainted the perception of Croydon on a global scale. I wanted to put something back in to the community and to create a space of which Croydon could be proud.
This desire comes against a backdrop of cuts to funding for arts, youth and community projects across the UK which have been felt across the borough. In recent years we have lost the David Lean Cinema and ClockTower Arts Complex. And in recent months the Warehouse Theatre also went into administration.
These recent closures have left London's most populous borough with a vacuum in terms of space available for grass roots, community based arts and cultural activity in the town centre. Theatre groups rehearse in pubs and leave the borough to perform at venues outside the town, as no suitable space is available here.
What we do
Having been open for just over 6 months, Matthews Yard is fast becoming a hit with locals and an integral part of Croydon's cultural, creative and technical renaissance. We host a range of ad-hoc and regular activities including a craft club, book club, poetry society and homework clubs for young people.
Our activities have included hosting a number of charity fundraising events such as: the Croydon chapter of the Oxjam music festival; a venue for a music production to raise funds for Croydon Community Against Trafficking, a local group which works to combat people trafficking; and the launch of Hope is Possible, a charity founded to provide peer led support to people with mental health issues.
Other events which we have supported include Kiss My Disco, a disco which is run by and for disabled people and those with special needs. We have also hosted a number of live music nights ranging from jazz through to acoustic and a Ceilidh.
In the realms of theatre we have provided a rehearsal and relaxation space for the theatre group participating in the LIFT festival "Unfinished Dream" directed by acclaimed Iranian director Hamid Pourazari and are due to host a production by the Breakfast Cat Theatre Company in early 2013. In December we will be hosting a Carols by Candlelight concert to raise funds for a local charity.
'The Studio' @ Matthews Yard will be a space which will enable a broad cross section of Croydon's community to come together and enjoy the arts by creating, participating and enjoying amateur theatre, performing arts, film and music based activities in the centre of town.
This Kickstarter project aims to raise funds to:
- complete refurbishment work on the 100m2 space
- install relevant public safety equipment including fire alarm system, emergency lighting and ventilation
- install a Public Address system, Audio Visual system and a lighting rig
- construct a stage, build a green room and install appropriate seating
All of this will provide a unique space which is capable of hosting theatrical performances and rehearsals, live music and performance arts in the centre of Croydon.
In order for us to complete the work we need to raise a minimum of £5,000. This will provide all the foundations we need to get started. If we raise more than this we can enhance the standard the audio-visual equipment, lighting, seating and other facilities on offer to provide more professional facilities.
Outcome: Our studio will be refurbished and furnished and a stage will be built with a green room for performers. A basic refurbished PA and AV system with simple lighting rig will also be put in place.
Outcome: Instead of basic equipment we will have the money to invest in much better quality audio visual and lighting equipment helping create more stunning visual effects and acoustics to support the groups which perform in The Studio.
Outcome: If we raise this much we will have a fully functioning professional theatre space with quality seating, lighting, heating, ventilation and some money left over to promote the space to theatre groups that may want to make use of it.
Any excess funds will be used to enhance Matthews Yard, improve the services and facilities on offer and promote its availability for use by the community.
Risks and challenges
One of the primary risks associated with the project once funded is that we will be unable to attract community groups or theatre groups to use it for its intended purpose.
This risk is mitigated by the strong interest which has been expressed in using the existing, somewhat unsuitable space of our cafe for theatrical productions.
We would further mitigate the risks involved by not charging a fee to visiting theatre groups, troupes and artists for use of the space for productions and enable them to retain the revenue from ticket sales to fund their projects. This unique model will attract more productions and ensure the space is rapidly established as a vibrant, lively and positive performing arts resource for Croydon and South London.
A key challenge is for us to monetise the space to ensure it remains viable once the Kickstarter project has been completed. This will be done via the sale of alcoholic and non alcoholic refreshments and food to audience members during performances, a premises licence already exists for this purpose. We will also make use of the space for private hire events from time to time in order to offset operating costs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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