Hello to friends of fortyfivedownstairs, written from the bunker! Thank you to all those who have donated to Drive to Survive.
Actually, it’s not quite a bunker in a corner of the theatre, it’s a very unbusinesslike corner of the sitting room, as we make the best of a world without live theatre, music and the opportunity to gather together for an exhibition opening.
We’re going to appreciate the experience more than ever when our artists are able to return and we have some exciting plans which will be revealed when there is some certainty about when fortyfivedownstairs is able to reopen.
Many of you have already been very generous, and we thank you from the bottom of our (collective) heart. But we are still a long way from our target to raise $250,000 by 30 June. It sounds such a lot, but it is necessary to ensure that we can continue to support the hundreds of artists, performers, designers, technicians who present work at fortyfivedownstairs each year. We know it’s going to be a slow and careful process to build audiences, box office and art sales again.
As the restrictions slowly begin to ease, fortyfivedownstairs will be in a better position than large venues like the mainstage theatres to reopen. However, even with a theatre capacity of 50 there’s no way costs can be covered. We are determined to find a way that all those creatives who “fell through the cracks” of the JobKeeper program, may be able to earn an income again. The only way this can happen is for costs to be more heavily subsidised by us than they have ever been. So we are asking for help from all lovers of the arts – those who have enjoyed a jazz night, an exhibition, a new Australian theatre production, or even one of the beautiful wedding receptions we’ve hosted over the years.
One of our greatest supporters is one of Australia’s most admired former politicians and contemporary polymath, Dr. Barry Jones AC, the man with the truly astonishing memory, A former Minister for Science, Barry is a passionate lover of the arts. For several years now, his birthday has been a splendid excuse for us to hold an evening of poetry and music, presented by some of Melbourne’s top performers, as we celebrate with cake and bubbles in October. It invariably sells out and is a highlight of the year. Earlier this month Barry, ever enthusiastic, recorded this video for us in support of our campaign for survival.
Keep an eye on our social media pages for information about the progress of Drive to Survive, and for more wonderful videos from creatives. Please share them amongst your own friends and followers if you can! We’ll also continue to post film clips and images about past productions and exhibitions on our website and social pages. Remind yourself of how great it has been, and be confident that good times will return!