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Greetings from Arts HQ in Flinders Lane! An update on Drive to Survive

Greetings from Arts HQ in Flinders Lane! We’re still here, but have tried not to bombard you with too many messages as we continue to work towards reopening our beautiful gallery and theatre.

At the moment there’s a bit of a hiccup, with the current reduced numbers allowed in venues. But we have plans afoot! And we will certainly be observing stringent social distancing and hygiene conditions when we open again.

In the gallery
You will remember the shock we all experienced when everything closed in March. We’ll be making an announcement over the coming weeks as to when the stunning exhibitions by Alison Percy and Cally Lotz will reappear (almost) as if nothing had happened! This will be followed by a non-stop schedule of exhibitions, including familiar and new faces.

In the theatre
Scheduling is a bit tricky, but in early September, we’ll be presenting a young theatre company with an intriguing, brilliant play by one of Britain’s most exciting playwrights. More of that to be announced – bear with us while details are finalised!

Fundraising progress
Like almost everyone involved in the arts, whether creating work, or creating the spaces where it takes place, our income for the remainder of the year stopped instantly when we had to close the doors.

We believe it’s vital that art, music, theatre and all the other arts should continue to enrich our lives and feed our spirit. And to be pragmatic, the creative arts contribute $14.7 billion a year to the GDP. Yet the artists are suffering terribly, most have lost work for months, if not for years ahead. To recover, we need to keep arts venues alive to support and present the artists – our lives are inextricably entwined.

Friends of fortyfivedownstairs, including many of you reading this now, have been wonderfully generous in what is a particularly difficult climate, with so many major social and environmental needs. For this we are incredibly grateful. We haven’t yet reached the target of $250,000, which is needed to enable us to keep both the gallery and the theatre operating through into next year until restrictions on audience numbers are eased. However we’re not too far off, and every dollar will go towards helping restore and support the arts industry we love.

We have been heartened by a wonderfully supportive message from celebrated writer Christos Tsiolkas, whose work, Ugly, was first presented at fortyfivedownstairs back in 2008.

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