The Donor Scheme at Kardomah 94 on Alfred Gelder Street in Hull actively facilitates community organisations and breaks down barriers to wider interaction with arts-based events.
Many art organisations and theatres have philanthropic schemes that mean for those patrons willing to pay a little bit more, they will receive something a bit extra: VIP seats; pre-order tickets; a mention in the programme; elevation to demigod like status.
The Donor Scheme at Kardomah 94 is a little bit different: it exists to not only serve the participants but also, the needs of the community. Each proposal is considered on its merits and decided upon by the donors. With each donor paying into a central fund, they then have a hand in the curation of the programme.
As a direct result of the Donor Scheme, Kardomah 94 is able to host a wide range of events for small community organisations, charities and individuals, throughout the year. In this way those communities, who ordinarily wouldn’t frequent arts venues, can benefit from the top class facilities and other services that Kardomah offers. Their events have added value, scope and appeal and all who attend will experience the unique vibe, that has seen Kardomah 94 grow in popularity over the past few years.
Recent beneficiaries of the Donor Scheme:
‘I am an active supporter, ambassador and fan of Kardomah – my donorship for last year (2014) supported an evening where local young band Breeze were able to launch their first CD. It was one of the very first events that Kardomah hosted and there was a fantastic atmosphere.’ Jan Brumby Chief Executive For Entrepreneurs Only
‘I have received tremendous support from the local business community. I recorded my album, Nothing Left, at Fruit Trade Music studios, the Donor Scheme facilitated the shooting of the video for the soon to be released single, Christina Smile. We were made very welcome and had everything we could ever need – from stage, lighting, projection screen and sound system, through to great food and coffee. The City Of Culture in waiting has a lot to sing about.‘ Michael Phelan Singer/Songwriter
‘Freedom Road Creative Arts have been shown an immense level of generosity; the young people have quickly settled into their new environment and the support from the Kardomah team has been fantastic. FRCA will stage their first show at Kardomah 94; an X Factor style competition sponsored by the Donor Scheme. The young people will be performing in a new and exciting performance space’ Ian Bolton FRCA Project Coordinator
‘The Griffin Primary School evening was of particular benefit as it attracted parents into town who soon relaxed into the venue’s atmosphere after being on-edge in new surroundings at the start. The children just lapped it up.’ Mal Scott Owner Kardomah 94
Getting new people into a venue is paramount for audience development, to achieve sustainability, in order to reach long term goals. Anything that seeks to break down barriers to participation must be viewed as a positive move by the venue and for arts in Hull.
This is not just about attracting those sections of society identified as having little or no interest in the arts. There are many who would describe themselves as having an art background, or an arts related job, whose minds are filled with dread at the mere thought of entering theatre spaces.
Theatres have suffered from stigmatism in the past for catering exclusively for the well-to-do middle classes. They were thought to contain all manner of social mores and etiquette and subsequently are often viewed with suspicion.
Theatres and the arts more widely, have to encourage interaction and participation, from every demographic. Hull’s plans for City of Culture 2017 and more importantly the legacy built after the year-long celebration, will be judged very much on whether wider participation, from all sections of society has been achieved.
Kardomah recognises this and regularly programmes music events and film screenings alongside the live performances, in order to attract different audiences: thus breaking down yet more barriers. Once you have attended one type of event and seen at first hand that it really is a space for all, you are more likely to attend another. The Donor Scheme is just another way that Kardomah 94 supports its vision of creating a warm, welcoming venue in the heart of the city for everyone to enjoy.