Northern Ballet to launch Buy Back A Dancer
For Northern Ballet, the substantial 15% cut to core funding from Arts Council England is very bad news. Added to other pots of funding that have been withdrawn (for example, the Sustain Fund was worth £735,000 during the period 2009-11 – Sustain is Arts Council England’s response to the impact of the recession on arts organisations whose sustainability is important in delivering their mission of great art for everyone), the actual cuts are a whopping 25% and that means that the company has to manage with £800,000 less in 2012/13 than it took to run the company in 2010/11. That’s why, for Northern Ballet, the lack of funding could mean taking drastic measures.
The company has 39 dancers and these dancers give more performances, to more people in more places than any other dance company. For example, in the last 4 years the company has given 650 performances in the UK with approximately 100 weeks of touring to 17 venues and to more than half a million people.
To make these savings, and with a heavy heart, the company feels is has no other option than to cut the number of dancers – potentially up to 10. This would severly impact on the type of productions they could perform, on new works, as well has the amount of touring they could undertake. Additionally, Northern Ballet has a programme of participatory activity that is also under threat.
Northern Ballet has created 10 full length ballets in 10 years, including the very successful Cleopatra starring Martha Leebolt and Toby Batley. 57% of their income is derived from public funds, and the consistently high level of audience support and engagement is now more vital than ever and will need to rise.
In order to help to secure the future of the company and avoid the loss of dancers, Northern Ballet is working on a new campaign, to launch in October, called Buy Back A Dancer. The company are aiming to raise £250,000 per year to buy back 10 dancers.
The company is hoping for donations (follow the link above to make one) and is also very willing to work with you in any way they can to organise your own fundraising events.
Now, it seems to me that this opportunity is a perfect recipe for us! I wonder whether all of you wonderful Ballet News readers can be as imaginative & resourceful as ever – and make a difference by building up a head of steam before the campaign is even launched. We’ve already helped one dancer’s dream come true (more on Heather McGowan next week) so it can be done!
Please do get in touch with me if you have any ideas that you would like to implement to raise funds for Northern Ballet and need any help in making them happen. Together we could safeguard the future of the dancers of Northern Ballet and I think that’s worth doing, don’t you ?