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New Fundraising Campaign "Heart for the Arts" Launched

New Fundraising Campaign "Heart for the Arts" Launched

posted 13 Nov 2023

The ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign which launched back in 2021, has now concluded with vital funds from donations successfully contributing £95,000 to provide a new watertight, energy efficient roof for the theatre. Only the second historic listed building in York to now have solar power, the installation of a zinc roof, insulation, new tiles, and LED lighting is a vital step in securing the long-term sustainability and in reducing the energy consumption of the theatre. 

Following on from the huge success of the ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign, we are now looking towards the future, and are happy to reveal our aspiring plans by launching a new campaign ‘Heart for the Arts’ to provide a temporary structure in the grounds. 

With our audiences in mind, “Heart for the Arts’ seeks to raise £30,000 from public donations, towards the overall estimated target costs of £100,000 for a new ‘Garden Room’, providing a much-needed meeting place and waiting area to relax in before performances, as well as the inclusion of an in-house bar and additional toilets. 

Current facilities at our Grade II listed theatre remain inadequate. A limited foyer area means audiences are often forced to endure freezing temperatures gathering outside ahead of performances. In addition, the existing bar provision has no running water or storage capacity, making it a significant limiting factor in how the theatre can be used by communities.

Dan Shrimpton, our Chair of Trustees commented: 

'The support we receive from our audiences is always incredible and we can’t thank  them enough, every penny raised for the new project will enable our beloved theatre  and community space to remain open and thriving for everyone to enjoy. We have big  plans, and we know the generous businesses and people of York and beyond will help  to reach our ambitious target. We’d love the Garden Room once open, to be at the  heart of the theatre filled with people using it as a local hub to meet family and  friends”.  

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre was created nearly 90 years ago in 1935, in the very heart of its surrounding communities, built to enrich lives by providing a facility to gather for education, recreation, and see affordable entertainment. 

To celebrate this enduring, community focused, inclusive vision, our trustees and volunteers are committed to their fundraising targets for the next few years, striving to keep returning visitors and attract new audiences inside the theatre. 

To kick-start the run of fundraising activities, we are excited to open the doors for the first ‘Autumn Festival’, a chance to show your support by attending a special set of informative performance-based workshops, demonstrations, enjoy a concert and chance to join a quiz night. 

Other performances to support fundraising include ticket sales for a Christmas Showtime Concert with York legend Don Pears, an iconic Christmas raffle to win incredible prizes and events coming soon in 2024.

Donations and ticket sales into 2024 from specific events will help fund the necessary update to facilities, enabling York's art-deco theatre to continue offering a variety of entertainment for everyone in the city and its surrounding areas. 

Support will also continue via memberships, sponsoring a seat, monthly giving and theatre merchandise

Make a donation and find out more.

To view the full Press Release, click here.