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Hackney Empire, London

#SaveHackneyEmpire campaign raises £40k in the first week

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 2 July 2020, Last Updated 3 July 2020

Last Thursday, we shared that Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe had launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Hackney Empire survive the impact of Covid-19. Within one week, the campaign has raised over £40,000.

Hosted by the Mayor of London Pay It Forward and backed by comedian Alan Davies, actors Sam West, Richard Wilson amongst many more, the campaign has attracted support from over 800 individuals and aims to raise at least £100,000 towards ongoing running costs to safeguard Hackney Empire’s future.

Donations have ranged from £5 – £5,000 and for gifts of £500 and above donors can dedicate a seat in the venue’s Grade II*listed auditorium.

Over 85% of Hackney Empire’s funding comes from box office and though the pandemic has created huge financial challenges for them, they’ve continued their incredible work with young people by taking its activity online and providing support and engagement for hundreds of young people made more isolated by the lockdown.

Earlier this week members of the Hackney Empire team came together in a special socially distanced photograph to support the venue’s crowdfunding campaign #SaveHackneyEmpire.

Hackney Empire Fundraiser. Photo by: David Monteith-Hodge

The striking image, taken by David Monteith-Hodge, features Artistic Director Yamin Choudury, staff members and young people who have taken part in Hackney Empire’s award-winning Creative Futures programmes on the stage in front of an empty auditorium. All participants were wearing facemasks and maintained social distance at all times.

Artistic Director Yamin Choudury said: “We have been overwhelmed with the phenomenal success to date, of our #SaveHackneyEmpire crowdfunding campaign. It’s given us the chance to reach people from across the Capital, the country and in some cases from across the world, who love this incredible organisation and venue, and who want to help us keep it open.

“The pay it forward scheme has enabled us to harness the huge amounts of goodwill that there is for Hackney Empire and turn that into the funding, that will help to see us through these uncertain times. It’s giving us the best chance of reopening our doors for music, for comedy, for theatre, for young people and of course for Panto in the years to come.”

If you’d like to donate or learn more about the #SaveHackneyEmpire crowdfunding campaign, please click here.

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