The Arts Barge ProjectBy: Marcia Mackey York
The Arts Barge Project is...
A large and growing collective of musicians, artists and performers who want to buy a dutch barge to become a unique, river-based venue in York. We've been working successfully since 2008 putting on large, medium and small-scale collaborative events which get professionals and amateurs from loads of different genres and backgrounds to work together as well as mentoring young musicians and kick-starting our own in-house amateur band. This year we're focussing our For Love and Money fundraising campaign on buying the barge itself.
Why a barge?
We have no arts centre (it closed down in 1998) and no affordable 'built' space in the city to rent as a community venue. As well as that, York's river is very underused despite a thriving river-community just out of the city centre. A barge is an ideal way to create a community space at a fraction of the cost of a building - we've already been offered a prime, city centre mooring in a great location for our project to start up.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
We rented a barge in 2011 and put on a programme of day-in, day-out entertainment - music, comedy, cabaret, open mic, new works - plays, songs and artwork - and we also had a cafe bar selling local produce and great locally brewed beers - the run was a sell-out success. As well as that, we regularly do local festivals and 'pop-up' tours, we've got our own in-house professional band as well as our amateur Bargestra! and we're right at the centre of new creative initiatives in York. We're particularly into big collaborations - we love mixing it up in terms of genres and styles. We're supported by the local council and local businesses and there's a lot of public support for the project. Based on the success of our trial run we decided to buy our own barge a year earlier than originally planned.
What will your money buy?
Simple. A barge.
Okay, so it'll need some work but the idea is that we buy a sound 'hull' for around £5K which the community will work on alongside professional boat fitters. We've already raised over £6K ourselves and this money will be used to get the barge moved to a dry dock and undergo survey and initial works. We've been approached by a documentary maker who wants to follow the progress of the purchase and fit-out and we've identified the barge we want to buy - it'll hopefully be available for survey in late March and then for purchase some time in April. The process of fitting out the barge through to getting her moored safely is likely to cost around £70K (depending on whether we decide to go for one deck or two) and we're aiming to raise this through a combination of public funding, private sponsorship and our own fund-raising efforts. Our ambition is to launch the barge in summer 2013.
What if you buy the barge and then can't raise the money to fix her up in time?
It is a highly ambitious plan for the next 12 months but we know it's possible. Our estimate of £70K+ is what would be needed to make a 'state of the art' venue but we'll cut our cloth according to what we raise over the next year. We've got an established fund-raising track record of our own which we will be using alongside all our other efforts. If necessary we can do a basic fit-out and then improve the interior at a later date. We can also leave the barge as a single-decker until further funds are available to add another level. The main priority is to buy a suitable hull - we're confident that once we've done that and made our 'virtual' barge a reality, raising money for the next phase will be significantly more achievable.
Check out our website here: www.theartsbargeproject.com
03-05-2012 11:17 AM
Marcia again from Arts Barge Project. I’m trying to get a list together of all the pledge prizes needed (I emailed about a week ago) but so far I’ve only heard from a couple of you.
If you want to claim your pledge reward can you please email me asap so that I can organise it for you.
You just need to let me know what you want (T Shirt size where relevant, instrument choice where relevant or whether you’d like a set of Rory postcards etc depending on the pledge bracket you were in). Please see previous email/update about this too:)
You also need to let me know a delivery address for your item(s).
If you’re happy not to receive your pledge reward that’s absolutely fine - more money stays in the pot! But please do let me know what your preference is,
With love and thanks
27-04-2012 01:43 PM
Hello to all our fantastic backers - thanks again for your support in helping us make the target.
I promise to stop bothering you all very soon but I want to make sure we’ve got all the info we need to give you your prizes.
I’ve been asked by PleaseFund.Us to check that each of you has made sure we have an up to date shipping/postal address for you (if relevant for receiving your pledge). Can you please update YOUR PROFILE on the please fund us site if this is relevant to you.
If you’ve pledged £25 or £50 please will you also tell us whether you would like a male or female t shirt. The men’s sizes are s,m, l, xl, xxl. The women’s sizes are similar and relate to sizes 8-10, 10-12, 14-16 and 18+.
If you pledged £100 would you please tell us which instrument you would like a lesson in! If you’re not interested in a lesson we’ll send you your splendid selection of Rory Motion Postcards to the address you’ve given us (above).
If for any reason you don’t want to receive your gift, you can tell us that too.
Please either email us on marcia at artsbarge.com or contact me by phoning 07880821110.
Love and thanks
24-04-2012 01:13 PM
Are you, or is anyone you know, interested in match-funding what the York community has managed to raise?
Thank you to the many, many people who helped back a winner - we reached our target figure with 3 full days to spare. AND DON’T STOP THERE! We’d love to go well over the £5K - the more money we can raise, the easier the next phase will be.
Hopefully what the past 55 days has demonstrated is the weight of community support behind this project even in a major recession.
iF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW CAN HELP WITH MATCH FUNDING PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.
Please contact Marcia on 07880821110 if you can help.
26-03-2012 05:35 PM
It’s happening! Click here for some photos.
We’ve just had confirmation that the barge we’re interested in buying is definitely coming up for sale during the next 2 weeks - so please help us to make sure we’ve got the funds to buy her! You can see the barge at the bonding warehouse mooring at Skeldergate bridge but, be warned, she’s not pretty! Yet! She’s much longer than the barge we tried out last year so more room for loos!
Our campaign total is running at just under £2K which is really fantastic. We’re not even half way through our campaign yet so there’s still stacks of time to top up that last £3K. Can you help? An office whip-round? Passing the hat at a gig? Showing friends and family the website and telling them what a great time you had on the barge? Anything you can do will help us - literally every £10 we get brings us closer to our barge.
This can be a reality if you help.
Marce, Chris, Han, Steve and Jane.
08-03-2012 07:59 PM
We’re delighted with the support people have shown for the project so far - thanks! - and we’ve been asked a couple of questions about our company structure by people who’ve just heard about us. Hopefully the following will answer these:
We are an Unincorporated Community Group (i.e. we haven’t yet formed a company) and we have a formal , written constitution which, amongst other things, allows us to fund-raise and pay expenses for artists, performers and other people who work with us. We don’t take profit from the project although we can be paid expenses for work we do. That doesn’t happen very often because we’ve been trying to accumulate funds for a barge, so we work on the project voluntarily at the same time as keeping our day jobs. We do plan to register as a company (not for profit) but have delayed this because our current structure has made us eligible for a wider range of funding.
We have a business account with the Cooperative bank and our accounts are independently audited. We’re not eligible for VAT registration.
Hope that’s useful. Do contact us if you have any more questions you’d like answers to.
Marce and the crew