Bristol's biggest arts crowdfund launches
Music lovers are being asked to support the city’s biggest and most ambitious arts crowdfunding appeal to date, in aid of St George’s Bristol.
The concert hall, famed for its classical, jazz, folk and world music, is launching the £200,000 campaign on Monday (November 28) through Bristol-based Fundsurfer.
It will be one of the UK’s biggest arts crowdfunding appeals – recent successes include The Royal Academy of Art which raised £123,000 and Theatre Royal Stratford East with £243,000.
Staff, trustees, and volunteers, have a total of £500,000 still to raise, including the crowdfund appeal, towards the cost of a new multi-million pound two-storey extension project.
The ‘Building a Sound Future’ programme will give the concert hall, just off Park Street, a striking new entrance, multi-purpose spaces for performances, education workshops and venue hire, as well as a café bar and improved step-free access. It will also help the city’s leading independent music venue achieve financial sustainability and develop new and existing audiences.
Works will transform St George’s into a world-class venue for music and spoken word events.
The appeal follows support from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Bristol City Council, charitable trusts and foundations, as well as major donors through the Apollo Club.
And thanks to the generosity of four donors, the charity has secured £100,000 to match-fund donations. That means St George’s can top up every donation by 75%, so for every £10 donated the charity receives £17.50 including gift aid.
At the heart of the Fundsurfer appeal, is a video featuring interviews with St George’s Chief Executive Suzanne Rolt, Head of Development and Fundraising Simon Farley, Trustee Ben Heald, conductor David Ogden, artist and founder of Sing with Soul Dionne Draper, and members of the audience at a recent GoGo Penguin concert.
Bristol creative talent is behind the campaign with filmmakers Chris Bettles and Zoe Moyden of Do Good Digital, Oliver Mochizuki of Fundsurfer, and illustrator Carys Tait. Unlike other crowdfunding appeals, St George’s will run for up to a year and aims to raise approximately ten times the standard target.
Rewards featured in the appeal include a chance to win a golden ticket for St George’s programmed concerts, donors’ names engraved on chairs, VIP packages, and membership of the exclusive Apollo Club.
The Fundsurfer campaign is also expected to help St George’s reach new audiences and strengthen connections with the wider Bristol community.
Chief Executive of St George’s Bristol, Suzanne Rolt, said: “We have embarked on our biggest adventure to date, building a sound future for St George’s.
“Our plans are bold and exciting and will totally transform the way people think of St George’s and use the venue. We are calling on the people of Bristol, and music lovers everywhere, to join in our first crowdfunding appeal.”
St George’s Head of Fundraising and Development Simon Farley commented: “All donations will help us complete our extension, creating new flexible spaces for artists, audiences, schools and students, whilst also enabling full access for all visitors.
“We would like to thank everyone who has already given their support, and hope that the city’s biggest arts crowdfunding appeal to date will really captures people’s imaginations and hearts.
“As a thank you for support, we will be offering a range of rewards including a golden ticket prize for a year’s worth of events programmed by St George’s.”
CEO and co-founder of Fundsurfer Oliver Mochizuki said: "We are delighted to be working with St George’s on their first crowdfunding campaign. It is a great way to connect with new audiences and open up a world-class venue to the wider Bristol community.”
St George’s programmes the best in classical, folk, jazz and world music. Artists performing over the next few months include pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Paul Lewis, and Nicholas McCarthy, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and violin virtuoso Kyung Wha Ching, Chineke! orchestra with BBC Young Musician of the Year cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and soloists from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; GoGo Penguin, Courtney Pine featuring Omar, and The Handsome Family; as well as spoken word and family events, and those presented alongside community groups.