We believe that well-managed theatre and arts buildings can transform societies.
In many communities – from the heart of the city to the local town – cultural venues such as theatres, cinemas, art galleries and museums are the only indoor gathering places still open to the public.
They are repositories of civic pride and collective memory.
Well-managed, they are living, inspirational buildings that act as true cultural and social hubs for their community and drive economic regeneration.
“There is a visible difference in places with a vibrant arts community. I see people looking for places to park, stores staying open late and restaurants packed with diners […] the business day is extended and the cash registers are ringing.”
– Ken Fergeson, chairman and CEO, NBanC.
Cultural venues need to be places in which people wish to congregate regardless of the programming, because they contribute vitality, depth and cohesion to civic society.
Well-programmed, they open a global perspective in a very local setting.
For their audiences they can offer escape from the everyday, and become natural places for celebration. They draw disparate individuals together to form a microcosm of the society in which they stand. They should be busy, uplifting and open to all.
Indispensable cultural venues should nuture artistic talent, and provide career development paths for artists. They provide platforms for performance across genres. They should give artists and creative people a reason to stay, and help them become ambassadors for their community.
The economic benefit of cultural venues is substantial and well-documented. From accommodation providers to taxi services, restaurants to painters, stationery suppliers to cleaners, cultural venues have a serious economic footprint that makes a real difference to their communities. Well-communicated, these economic impacts play an important part in consolidating the importance of the local theatre, art gallery or museum.
A healthy cultural economy championed by urban cultural venues transforms the social fabric of a community, attracting inward tourism and giving visitors a reason to return – as well as making local streets safer, more vibrant, and more friendly.
For local and national governments, working towards a healthy, sustainable and strong cultural sector has innumerable benefits, raising tax receipts and offering significant political leadership opportunities, as well as contributing to the happiness and long term health of the population.
All of our work is informed by the value we place upon the indispensable place of theatres, art galleries and museums in our civic life. We’re here to make sure that future generations can enjoy them as much as we do.
“The theatre has always been, and still is, the principal place of public amusement, and, though its character has greatly changed, and its frequenters are no longer of the class who once gave it its chief support, it occupies too prominent a place in the social organization of our great towns to be overlooked […]. It is the universal desire to see the bright side of the world, and to travel out of ourselves into the airy regions of poetry and romance.”
– Unsigned, Putnam’s Monthly Magazine of American Literature, Science and Art, New York: February 1854