We’ll be back soon
Published: Fri 17 Jul 2020
When the news came in March that we had to shut our building we were halfway through a typically packed Spring season, looking forward to circus, comedy, theatre, music, exhibitions, dance and a host of family shows stretching through to the summer. We had also just launched our second ever pantomime and were planning for it to be even more fun and sparkly than last year.
Then we had to start the heart-breaking work of dismantling the season: refunding customers, making sure the companies we were due to work with were compensated, cancelling or postponing hired events, rescheduling schools and outreach projects.
In the days since then we’ve been monitoring the situation, gathering information, sharing knowledge with arts organisations around the UK and shifting our plans as the national picture changes, but finally we’re delighted to be at the point where we can say that we’re aiming to re-open the building on Tuesday 1 September.
It’s safe to say that things may look a little different for a while. We’d love to launch into a season full of shows, events and classes but we are guided by both the government advice and what sort of activity is economically viable under social distancing. We’re having to be cautious – the health of our community and the stability of artsdepot depends on it.
While we wait for the time when we can once again share the thrill of live events, we’re taking some of the best-loved elements of our programme online. Thanks to the support of John Lyon’s Charity, we’ve launched a digital programme of workshops and shows for children and young people. Over the summer and into Autumn, you’ll be able to join in with interactive creative play sessions for the very young, tune in to weekly shows for primary aged children and their families, and young people going into school years 8 - 10 can participate in online drama workshops to explore how they go forward in Life After Lockdown. See our current digital events and projects here.
We’re also working out how and when we can re-start our Artist Development programme and our Creation Space residencies for artists developing new performances. We’re committed to supporting the development of new work and artists, including those at the beginning of their careers. We’re also sponsoring Victor Esses to be a member of the National Freelance Task Force, which aims to represent the 70% of the theatre workforce who are self-employed or freelance in our industry’s response to the ongoing crisis.
Like every public building, we’re putting measures in place to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and artists. We’re fortunate that our modern building is spacious and easy to keep clean and we’re currently working out one-way routes around the building, procedures to enable social distancing, and enhanced cleaning protocols. We know that our visitors will want to play their part in keeping everyone safe, and thank you in advance for your patience and assistance with our new procedures.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed towards the future of artsdepot – to date, 722 people have made a donation or chosen to return the cost of their tickets for cancelled events back to artsdepot. We’re also very grateful to those who have given up their time to be part of depot Dialogues and everybody who has been in touch to share their happy memories of artsdepot and wish us well.
We can’t wait to see you again.