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Issue 325 – Black Swan Arts statement regarding cuts to Arts funding

Somerset and Men-dip Councils are two of only three councils in the UK to have cut Arts funding completely.

The consequences for Arts organisations in Frome are severe. As reported this week, these cuts play poorly with national funders such as the Arts Council who have used them as a reason to deny funding to the Merlin theatre.
While the substantial donations to our 25th anniversary appeal demonstrate the strong local support for Black Swan Arts, Trustees have so far been unsuccessful in finding a replacement for core funding for future years. Therefore I have had the unfortunate task of issuing a number of redundancy notices this week. This is especially upsetting after a year where our staff have put so much into re-invigorating Black Swan Arts.
We are closing the shop and the office. We expect a new shop to open shortly. The gallery, Divas Café and the studio shops remain open as usual, and the Round Tower is available to the community to rent for meetings, performances and workshops.
This action has been necessary to keep Black Swan Arts financially viable and preserve it for the coming years. The funds we are raising through the 25th anniversary appeal will be used to keep the gallery open and to continue programming inspirational exhibits.
I hope you will join me in acknowledging the hard working staff we have sadly had to let go, and may I ask for your continuing support. Black Swan Arts, the Merlin theatre and other arts organisations in Mendip need your active support more than ever.
You can donate to our 25th anniversary appeal at uk.virginmoneygiving. com/charities/blackswan
Luke Wilde,
chair of trustees