Thank You For Your Support
Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you that I have met so far for such a warm welcome to The Brewhouse. It is great to see such a dedicated team of volunteers looking after our customers and spreading the word about our programme, as well as supporting us in the administration teams. I can already see that The Brewhouse is important to you, and that you have created a vibrant and supportive community here.
I’m sure you have all seen highlights from my biography on the website, or in the press or social media, but I wanted to send a personal note to you all to say that, as someone who has worked in theatre and performing arts for over 20 years, I have been privileged to bring numerous performances and experiences to audiences and have seen firsthand the impact and power of the arts to enrich our lives. Our sector has taken a terrible hit during 2020, but I am confident that the important role the arts plays in all our lives will endure and ultimately recover. The Brewhouse will pay a key role in reintroducing the joy of live arts and film to the community of West Somerset and Taunton, and I know that you will all be keen to play your part in this next phase.
You will have heard that The Brewhouse (through the Taunton Theatre Association) has received a grant from Central Government (the Department of Culture, Media and Sport) via Arts Council England from the Culture Recovery Fund, a £1.57bn fund to support arts and heritage organisations through the rest of this financial year. Our grant was a little over £194k. This money will support us to meet our overheads over the next six months, enabling us to develop as a business and support some additional marketing activity to help us spread the word that we are open. We have been struggling because of the reduced capacity of the auditorium, the lack of live performance touring the regions and the impact of this on our box office receipts.
During the next couple of months, I will be reaching out to you again to invite you can contribute to the next steps at the Brewhouse. Many of you have known the venue for longer than any of us here, and we welcome your thoughts and ideas of what the Brewhouse can be for artists, audiences and communities as we attempt to rebuild and reshape in the wake of the covid19 pandemic. Your individual skills and experience will be invaluable to us in this process.
‘What can I do to help?’ is a question that I am regularly asked by the volunteers I have met so far. You are fantastically helpful in your volunteering capacity and many of you will be aware that we are restarting some print in order to reengage audiences with our programme. We are restarting live performance in November, and any support to help us get that message out is very welcome. Gareth is coordinating leaflet drops, but further thoughts and ideas are welcome.
Once again, my thanks, and I look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming weeks as we think about the future of The Brewhouse together.