May 2020 News

Thursday 30th April 2020

Out of the Blue are working with our partners to ensure we continue to do all we can to support the health and wellbeing of our staff, studio artists and the local community. Much current concern is about lack of income, so we are doing what we can to provide support where we can.
We have opened up the Out of the Blue Drill Hall cafe kitchen to work in partnership with the SCRAN Academy to provide free healthy meals to vulnerable people and those who are isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic. By opening up the Drill Hall Cafe kitchen for meal preparation we are enabling food distribution to those in need in the whole of Leith. We are grateful for project support from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund, via Development Trusts Association Scotland.

While the majority of our staff are currently furloughed, many of them are taking part in voluntary work to support their communities. We are very proud to work with such committed people who are supporting our communities to recover. Likewise, many of our studio artists are also finding ways to continue to make and share creative work and in our next update we hope to be able to highlight some of that activity.

We appreciate there are many people and organisations in dire need. We are pursuing all avenues open to us in order to secure the additional funding that will help ensure that all of our spaces can weather this storm and survive. However, the emergency funding is limited and there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure enough to cover all of our costs over the period of closure. The longer the current conditions continue, the greater the risk that we face. While we look forward to reopening as soon as we can, any reopening will inevitably be phased and the impact on some of our spaces, such as the Bongo Club, may continue for many months.

So we are asking all of our supporters to help if they can, and in whatever way they can. So far we have raised £5,000 from donations, which is helping us continue to sustain Out of the Blue and offer studio rent payment holidays to those artists and organisations who require it. Thank you to all who have donated. Your support is appreciated and we are touched by the messages of support that have accompanied them. However, the challenge we face is substantial and the prospect of months of disruption means that we must continue to find ways in which to protect the financial sustainability of the organisation.   

We know that many of you will have nothing to spare, but if you can make a donation, however big or small, it will help us in ensuring that Out of the Blue is here for another 25 years, doors open and welcoming everyone who needs a place to do their thing.

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