Arts and culture in Taunton have been given a boost thanks to Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund, awarding The Brewhouse £194k to support their programme of work and future development as the global Covid19 pandemic continues to impact the cultural sector.
Following a deep clean, months of planning and new measures to ensure audience safety, The Brewhouse opened its doors to the public in August for cinema & event cinema screenings, while adapting its Take Part programme of classes for online learning. This autumn they welcome back live performances to their stage, as well as offering several classes on-site at The Brewhouse, all under strict social distancing guidance.
But the organisation continues to be impacted significantly by operating a reduced-capacity auditorium, with additional funding from ACE providing much needed support.
Chief Executive, Amy Bere says: “We are extremely grateful for Arts Council England for allocating The Brewhouse Theatre a significant grant as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The funding will help us navigate the next six months as a reduced capacity venue, enable us some breathing space to develop a new business plan and helps us prepare and plan for our recovery. We will continue to connect with our audiences through our cinema screenings, Take Part activity (in person and online) and restart live performance later this year, in a safe way so that the wide variety of events and activities offered at the Brewhouse can continue to be enjoyed during this difficult time.
The staff and volunteers at The Brewhouse have worked tireless throughout these challenging months, applying creative solutions to the problems we have faced. We have commissioned digital projects from our incredible regional artists, utilised technology to stay connected to our Take Part participants and have adjusted our operating procedures to enable a safe return by audiences to the auditorium for film and event cinema.
The Government’s recognition of the value of the cultural industries demonstrated through the Culture Recovery Fund, and Arts Council England’s commitment to supporting regional arts organisations will enable The Brewhouse to continue to serve the artists and audiences of Somerset as we rebuild following this disastrous year, during which the arts have provided essential respite for the entire population.”
Val Hammond, Chairperson of the Taunton Theatre Association (operators of The Brewhouse) says: “This is a wonderful affirmation of the work of the Brewhouse team in striving to continue to bring art and culture to our community and to support local artists in their work. The funds are of great significance not just as money, although that is obviously vital, but as continued recognition by Arts Council England of our work in bringing great culture and entertainment to Somerset West and Taunton for all to share.”