With the sunshine just around the corner it is perhaps tough to remember the difficulties of the winter months, but Hackney-based theatre, The Yard, will need all the help in can get to keep the building sustainable whatever the weather.
Artistic Director, Jay Miller, has launched a web-based campaign to keep the theatre doors open during the winter months by raising funds for vital renovations using an online crowd-funding platform. The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick is looking to raise £11,000 through the campaign on Spacehive.com to subsidise the installation of natural insulation within the theatre building.
In 2011, Jay Miller and his team renovated a disused warehouse into a theatre, bar and kitchen, with the help of Practice Architecture, a company which frequently operates upon voluntary labour and the use of reclaimed materials to construct cultural hot spots.
The Yard is a fully accessible charity building that boasts a beautiful collision between Greek and Elizabethan architecture in its use of raw natural materials. It has rapidly become a beacon within the local community functioning upon a Community Interaction Scheme which allows the theatre to successfully connect with other community centres, and provide rehearsal space to artists in exchange for interactive workshops within the community, promoting new artists and giving back to the surrounding community.
Despite its support from the National Theatre Studio and 2012 Olympic legacy organisations, the Legacy List and the London Legacy Development Corporation, The Yard is currently forced to close from December to April due to the excessively high heating costs.
The money being raised through the online platform would buy enough natural insulation to allow the theatre to remain open during the winter, permitting the generous and charitable work of the theatre to continue uninterrupted and urging the theatre’s established community scheme to develop even more ambitious projects.
The concept of crowd-funding, an online platform by which individuals are able to contribute to raising funds for community projects, is a relatively recent model, but one which is already thriving. Websites such as Spacehive.com allow their users to list their community project on the online platform, constructing a profile page common to most social media platforms. Using this, individuals and companies are able to promote their project to local citizens, businesses and councils, encouraging funding through the website. No donations are taken from pledgers until the funding target is acquired, meaning that the money donated to a certain project will only go to the intended scheme.
Jay Miller, Artistic Director of The Yard, stated: “Our daily activities, running local workshops, means that community engagement is in our blood, so crowd-funding is a natural extension of this. Spacehive’s approach to bringing the community together for the benefit of all has helped really bring our project to life, and we’re confident that through a hard fought campaign, we’ll be able to hit our target.”
To find out more about this inspiring project or to donate to the cause please visit: https://spacehive.com/theyardtheatre