We need some funds to help us make our gallery space and facilities more accessible and useable by everyone. Our lift, loos and lighting need attention! The great news is that we have most of the money already; even better news, everything you donate will be doubled from an Arts Council England matching fund. Donate NOW - or find out more about how the gallery is important for emerging musicians and our wider community.
The full story - growing and improving
The Plough Arts Centre is an amazing arts centre drawing audiences from all over North Devon and beyond to sample exhibitions, live music, theatre and film. We were on the brink of closure in 2002 but now we are nearly self sustaining on a day to day basis. However, growing and improving always takes a bit more effort and funding. Supported with a generous legacy in 2007, we have a thriving gallery space with a hugely varied range of exhibitions. It's also become a new space for music, workshops and community events. Gallery gigs are a firm favourite and musicians tell us how important it is to have a place where they can play their full repertoire to a listening audience in an intimate space. Community groups, including a local Memory Cafe tell us how welcoming and airy it is, what a good feel the place has.
Shake A Leg perform in February
But there's a downside...the gallery is upstairs and our lift has been broken for some time, so it's only accessible for those who can tackle the climb. It's lit but only as a gallery, not as a performing space, so artists and audiences find it less than atmospheric. And, if we're going from the top to bottom(s) with this bid for your sympathy, our accessible toilets leave a bit to be desired!
The out of action lift
The upside is that we have just been promised most of the money we need for a new lift from Devon County Council, Torrington Town Council and Torridge District Council. Hooray!! We have also been given over £700 by generous individuals already. So, all we need now is a fraction of the funds, which is where we hope you can help.
What we need and why
What we're asking for now is the last element of funding to complete the project and make our gallery space perfect for everyone.
- We need a little more to help with fitting the lift and redecorating afterwards,
- some money to help us mitigate the ancient plumbing that gives us less than fragrant loos,
- and finally we need to lighten up life for the gallery musicians so it becomes a suitable space for performers as well as visual artists.
This may sound like a lot to achieve with our target of £3,000 but the even better news at the moment is that every extra bit of money you pledge will be matched pound for pound by Arts Council England. We've been awarded a match funding budget to cover the next three years.... but it's only available if we get funds from businesses, individuals and trusts.
So, there has never been a better time to help us. Pledge away and we'll reward you with everything from a warm glow and a public thank you to your name on the walls of our new lift, food, wine and a good time at our wonderful arts centre.
If you need more convincing then you can see below what some of our users think of the space and what more is needed:
What our users think
The Great Torrington Memory Cafe was using the gallery space for their meetings. It's a lovely group of, often older people, working with those who are suffering from memory problems usually associated with the early stages of dementia. They loved it because.."it's a very spacious, light and cheerful room with an excellent ambience" and they told us... "The venue we use must feel 'normal' and used by all sorts of people and groups. The Plough certainly fits the bill ...our numbers swelled from single figures to 30 plus when we held our meetings there. However, once the lift was out of order we had to find alternative premises."
We'd love to welcome them back.
Our gallery set up for Great Torrington Memory Cafe
Musicians such as Baz Bix and Courtney Rose tell us: "The gallery gigs offer a great opportunity for performers to reach a 'listening' audience. A pub gig can be lots of fun but because of the background noise and general pub frivolity many performers tailor their sets towards fast energetic numbers. Gallery Gigs offer the perfect opportunity to perform slower more lyrical songs. The audience is fully listening and as a performer this is the best it can get. The gallery at The Plough is a perfect place to launch new material...except for the lighting. The picture spots make it either bright light or deep shade, hard for a group to get it right. Better lighting would enhance the atmosphere for us and the audience and the more we can do to make it a perfect night the more people will come back again."
Baz Bix performed in a Gallery Gig with Courtney Rose on 25 Oct 2016.
See Courtney here in a different location...
Finally a huge thank you
Thank you for visiting this site and even thinking about supporting us. This is our first attempt at crowdfunding and we're still learning so give us feedback if we could do better. If you are happy to fund us, we're very grateful and if you'd pass this link on via your own social media network that would help us enormously. A huge thanks from everyone here at The Plough!