NORPA team have continued to work hard to rebuild their venue, following the devastating floods in Lismore almost three months ago. The support of the arts community has been instrumental.
Update: June 27– Twelve weeks after the flood, NORPA staff moved back into their restored office space. The staff had an IKEA day – which became two days – to assemble desks, bookcases, drawers and the other essential elements of a functioning office. At the same time, the telephone system was installed and NORPA is now functioning with more than one telephone.
There is still work happening on site with lifts and the kitchen still being worked on and will hopefully be up and running by 7 and 8 July, in time for NAIDOC@NORPA.
Opera Australia is working on a Gala Fundraising Concert with NORPA, scheduled for Thursday 27 August at Lismore Town Hall. The organisation will be working with its Regional Touring company of 22 singers and players ar working to present a greatest hits concert.All proceeds will be directed to NORPA.With a combination of in-kind and cash donations, the Opera Australia Benefit Performance, and lease financing NORPA is only $25,000 short of the total fundraising goal needed to fully restore to pre-flood conditions. The final push before30 June is to raise the money to restore the studio spaced used for rehearsing new work and delivering NORPA’s education program.
As at 16 May, 120 donations had been received from industry, individuals and arts organisations, including Sydney Theatre Company, Circus Oz, Queensland Theatre, Performing Lines NSW and WA, NSW Arts on tour, Merrigong Theatre Company, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, RAA, The Listies, Intimate Spectacle, the small theatre company Lab Kelpie, The Farm, Andy and Jill Griffith of The Treehouse series, the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority NT and AMPAG, with Musica Viva’s donation matched by Australian Music Foundation.
These stellar supporters have come up with a range of creative ideas to raise money and support:
ACO Collective will donate their $10,000 performance fee for a concert they are giving at NORPA in September, back to NORPA ‘to help them at this difficult time.’
Opera Australia is working on a Gala Fundraising Concert with NORPA, scheduled for Thursday 27 August at Lismore Town Hall. The organisation will be working with its Regional Touring company of 22 singers and players ar working to present a greatest hits concert.All proceeds will be directed to NORPA.
Sydney Dance Company included a donations appeal at their Artist Talk, featuring Rafael Bonachela, company dancers and theOrb creative team, in April.
Bangarra is working with its dance floor supplier to help NORPA replace their sprung floor in their studio.
Entry to Australian Dance Theatre’s recent Rough Draft,which shares the creative process of new performance works showing in Adelaide, was bydonation, with all proceeds going to support NORPA.
Circa have offered a free community performance for the area, to be held in the future.
NORPA is so much a part of the community, that even while they are struggling to survive themselves, they are thinking of others. Together with Circus Oz, they have donated 100 tickets toModel Citizens, Circus Oz’s new show, to Lismore Helping Hands community group to distribute to families and individuals affected by the flood. Circus Oz and NORPA also held free ‘beginner’ workshops for school students in the area. Circus Oz will hold a number of regular workshops where the proceeds will go to NORPA.
A good number of industry individuals, freelancers and art organisation staffers have made personal donations, and arts companies, including Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Theatre Company, Circus Oz, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Musica Viva, Belvoir, RAA and APCA have reached out to their connections via electronic newsletters, social media and other networks to spread the call far and wide.
Patrick Healy, General Manager of NORPA, is deeply thankful.
‘We have through in-kind, leasing and funds raised so far managed to get enough to cover our box-office, telephone system and venue hire furniture. So, while NORPA might not be totally on its feet, we are definitely going survive.
I am most proud of two things that have stemmed from the flood: One has been to work alongside an heroic team that has not let up in our fight to survive. And, the second is to have received the amazing support from people, like you, dedicated to the arts sector.’
The fund raising appeal is supported through Creative Partnerships Australia’s Australian Cultural Fund. This ensures that all gifts over two dollars are tax deductable.
We still have a way to go to meet NORPA’s rebuild goal, so while the support they have received so far has been inspirational, they are not out of the woods yet. Please help by digging deep and donating or raising support and awareness in whatever way you can.
For more information, visit the fundraising website at http://bit.ly/2p7IsTq
Editor’s note: Story prepared by Gillian Handley who has also donated her fees to the appeal.