Please don’t wash your hands of us!
The Acorn has been at the heart of Penzance for over 50 years making live performances of every kind accessible and affordable for the people of West Cornwall. The Acorn has always been run by and for local people. In these challenging times, we need your help to ensure that it will be here to carry on when the present difficulties are behind us. After all, we’re going to need somewhere to celebrate!
WE DID IT! (BUT THERE’S MORE TO DO.)
We'd like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have donated to our crowdfunder to help us survive the shutdown. We smashed our original target in just a few days, and we can't tell you how good that made us feel We've been an arts venue for the last 50 years and we hope to survive for many more! It will help us so much with the fixed running costs of the building (which we incur whether we are open or no). It will also help with the additional expenses of reopening under social distancing regulations which will require extra signage and PPE. We do not yet have a date for this, but we are prepared and are ready to go the moment indoor performances are permitted.
Unfortunately, during the time that the Acorn has been quiet during the lockdown, we have had problems with anti-social behaviour, litter and waste that is unpleasant and quite frankly, dangerous to deal with. The staff and volunteers have made a significant effort to tidy this up, but it was a distasteful days work, and we would like to prevent a reoccurrence. It was becoming a problem earlier in the year and was exacerbated by the lockdown. We have put several measures in place already, and we are hoping to further protect our staff and volunteers by reinstalling the original railings and lights which will make access to the Acorn more difficult and prevent these problems. The railings are to be commissioned from a local artist and the original fleur-de-lys design replaced, rather appropriately, with acorns.
We are therefore hoping to extend our original £5,000 target to £10,000 to cover the quoted cost of the railings and help us restore the Acorn to her former glory. We are nearly at £6,500 already, and there is still a week to go. So, just a bit more to go and the Acorn will survive the lockdown in a healthy place, ready to bring the arts to the people of west Cornwall for the next 50 years also.
So, if you can afford it, please donate to help keep the Acorn open - and please pass this message on to anyone you know who might help.
We know how much The Acorn means to you and we’ll do our very best to take care of it.
Here are some wonderful words from Michael Grandage CBE
"Aged fifteen, I was kicking an empty can down Parade Street in Penzance, when someone standing outside what was then called the West Cornwall Arts Centre invited me in. I was shown around a gallery space, bar and little theatre downstairs and an exciting larger performance space upstairs – it was like an Aladdin’s cave and in that single moment, my life took on a new purpose and meaning. I spent the next few years making theatre in that former Wesleyan Chapel and if ever there was a definition of a community-based arts centre, this was surely it. Over the years, it has changed its name – now the Acorn Theatre since 1987 – but it never changed its focus. This modest hub of creative activity has seen artists of every kind on its premises and given local audiences an inordinate amount of pleasure since it first opened its doors back in 1969. Like so much else in this quickly changing world, it is under threat. The launch of a crowdfunding appeal to keep this important building alive and ready again for audiences is an important moment in its long and illustrious history".
Michael Grandage CBE is a theatre and film director. He was the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres (2000-2005) and the Donmar Warehouse in London (2002-2012). He now has his own production company and works predominantly in the U.K. and the U.S. He still lives in Penzance.
In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and each other.
All the very best
Richie and the Acorn team