Watermans' future has never looked so uncertain. If we don't act now, we face exceptionally difficult decisions in 2021 and cannot guarantee we will be here in our current form this time next year.
We need to act now. Over the next 4 weeks we need to raise £60,000 to protect Watermans' future. It will help us survive the pandemic intact, and reopen with a full programme of children's theatre, cabaret, dance, music, workshops and cinema, supported by our loyal and experienced staff. It will mean we can continue our outreach across the borough of Hounslow, and continue to deliver a year-round programme for disabled children and their families. And so much more.
Fundamentally, it will help to secure our future in Brentford, serving communities around West London. Whether you’ve got £1 or £10,000, every penny counts towards helping us to survive this body blow of a pandemic and shows us we have your support.
More About Why We're Crowdfunding
Coronavirus has decimated the arts sector.
Theatres and arts centres like Watermans have been shut for the majority of this year, and normality is still a long way off . It's been a body blow to the sector, and Watermans is no exception.
To survive the pandemic so far, we have:
- innovated, developing a new digital programme including Zoom workshops for disabled children, an online cinema club, and online gallery and live streamed gigs
- been one of the first of very few venues to open after the first lockdown because being here for our community is at the heart of our ethos. We presented not only theatre, but cinema, workshops for young people and exhibitions.
- accessed very bit of government support and funding aid available to us
- furloughed many of our loyal and experienced staff
But all this this is still simply not enough to guarantee our survival.
There are so few places left like this and they’re at risk. We are at risk. That’s why we are asking you to support us now, as your local theatre and arts centre.
Over the next 4 weeks we need to raise £60,000 to help secure our future in Brentford, serving communities around West London. It's a lot. But together, we believe we can do it.
Please help by giving today whatever you can. If every booker from last year donated just £10, we’d smash our stretch target of £120k and we could look to the future with full confidence.
At the heart of Watermans is our 239-seat theatre. It’s a place where people come together to be inspired, be part of a community that’s bigger than themselves, and learn about each other. We think these things are more important than ever now.
We’ve introduced generations of local children from all backgrounds to the joy of coming to the theatre with our children's theatre programme, and provided a home for dance, cabaret, live music and performance in West London. We’ve given thousands of young people their first taste of performing to a live audience, helped develop the careers of many young artists and inspired young people to pursue a career in the creative industries. We also programme and produce an outdoor arts programme in Hounslow town centre, presenting top-quality perfromances for free from around the world that bring the community together and have supported the regeneration of Hounslow Town Centre. We employ technicians, lighting designers, and front of house staff - loyal and experienced staff who make Watermans the special place it is.
We’re determined that Watermans will survive and thrive, but it won’t be easy. We were one of very few arts venues open after the last lockdown, and we’ve been heartened by how warmly people responded and how quickly shows have sold out. People want, need and value having a theatre and cinema in their local area, but with social distancing meaning we can sell no more than 25% of our usual capacity, the future looks bleak.
We’ve been lucky to receive a lifeline grant from Arts Council England to support us during this time, but with a difficult winter ahead, the challenges we face grow daily. And we are now closed again. Come the new year, without extra income, we will face impossible decisions. We want to keep our theatre open: theatre to inspire children, fantastic and life-affirming cabaret, dance and music for adults, space for artists to rehearse so they can prepare shows for happier times, jobs for crucial back-of-house staff who keep the show on the road. All this is our own contribution to the vital ecosystem that is the arts.
In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. Places to come together, to be inspired and be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills.
But we risk losing this forever.
Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Watermans is no exception.
Six months later, we still don’t know when they will be able to reopen fully. This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres in a perilous situation. The government’s bailout is spread across all cultural organisations and certainly won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.
Every day theatres are facing the tough decision to make staff redundant and to close their doors until next year. And there is a real risk that those closures could be permanent.
Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.