Hello from us all at The Met!
We hope you’re all safe and well and adjusting to life in lockdown as smoothly as possible. We wanted to take a moment to (figuratively) sit down and have a chat with you all about how we’re coping with our building’s closure, and what are plans are for the coming weeks.
The Government’s latest announcement to extend the lockdown period hasn’t really come as a surprise to us, and since the 23rd of March we have been preparing for an extended period of closure. It’s completely unchartered territory for us, and having to find a way to reschedule our upcoming programme whilst attempting to ensure we can still engage with our workshop groups and support our artists has been challenging to say the least. But at the bottom of it all, we’re a charity who exists to open access to the arts and support creativity within our community, and we’re determined to keep doing this regardless of whether our doors are open or closed.
Earlier in the month we proudly unveiled our partnership with United We Stream who are a service dedicated to supporting local Manchester artists and performers throughout the lockdown. They are using our venue as a hub to broadcast their streams from during this time, which is lovely both from the perspective that we are still enabling artists to reach new audiences whilst they are at home, and also that even while we aren’t there our building is still full of music and life.
We’ve also had some great conversations with our workshop group leaders around how we can support them to engage with their groups remotely. We run several different workshops designed to target aspects of our community in need, from children with autism to adults with disabilities. For many members, these groups are one of the main ways they can socialise and interact, and so it was really important for us to develop a way for them to keep meeting whilst our building is closed. Our workshop group leaders have come up with some brilliant ideas from sharing Facebook videos with weekly challenges to engaging in a‘Coronavirus Time Capsule’ which is a national initiative bringing together youth theatres across the country. We’re in the process of developing a dedicated web page where you can keep up to date on the progress of our groups, and hopefully find a little local good news to keep you positive throughout this surreal situation.
Obviously money has been a big concern for us over the past few weeks. We’re a charity and ticket sales make up 60% of our income, and so the cancellation and rescheduling of our shows has severely disrupted our cashflow. We’ve been working hard to try and reduce this loss as much as possible, and have been applying to several funds to help us mitigate our losses and safeguard our organisation’s future. We are also looking to those who are able to support us from the public to donate to our Coronavirus Closure Fund, become a member of The Met, or purchase tickets for our future shows. We really mean it when we say any donation will have a large impact on our ability to endure this situation, and we are so grateful for any help people can provide.
We’ve got countless more ideas in the pipeline of how we can keep bringing creativity to you all over the next few weeks, and will be keeping you in the loop with our news on a regular basis. You are all as much a part of our organisation as we are, and we cannot wait for the day when we can reopen our doors and welcome you back with open arms. But until then, stay home, stay safe, and stay positive.