Today we received word that the Lyric Theatre had been successful in our application to the Garfield Weston Foundation for a Weston Culture Fund award. We are delighted to be one of 100 organisations across the UK to receive such a grant.
This investment in the Lyric at this time is absolutely crucial, and enables us to invest in the strategic development of the theatre; setting us on the right course for building our resilience and sustainability for the future.
With the investment from the Weston Culture Fund, we will prioritise two major areas of work that will have most impact for the Lyric and for our audiences: making critical improvements to our digital infrastructure, capacity and output; and adapting key education and outreach activities for our young people, particularly those most in need of our support.
As a key part of the arts ecosystem in Northern Ireland, the Lyric has a clear responsibility to the wider sector and the freelance artists who make up this sector – we are currently the largest employer of freelancer theatre practitioners in Northern Ireland with over 450 freelancers employed by the theatre each year.
With the support from the Garfield Weston Culture Fund, we can start to plan our recovery to live performances, and importantly the role of digital within the live theatre experience. For as long as social distancing restrictions remain, traditional models of programming and producing need to be re-imagined. We believe we can harness digital to explode the barriers faced by many people and communities in accessing culture, whether those barriers be financial or geographical, racial, psychological or generational.
Through a focused effort on our future sustainability and resilience, the Lyric can begin to recover from the huge losses due to Covid-19, and continue to deliver our long-term strategic vision: to be a creative hub for theatre-making, and a shared civic space for all.
Thank You Garfield Weston Foundation for your support.