Plans for a digital art revolution at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre have received a major boost thanks to a £500,000 funding pledge from Arts Council England (ACE).
The funding will improve the quality of experience in the main theatre and cinema screens with new sound and projection equipment for film and live streamed performances.
The project will also allow the centre to present digital visual arts for the first time at the Brewery site, introduce green screen and digital playback facilities into the studio classroom to improve the quality of classes, workshops and performances and offer a regular programme of specialist film in a new screening space.
Called the Brewery Digital Upgrade Project, the funding will radically improve the way the Brewery presents its huge range of screenings, live-streamed performances and exhibitions and result in a step change in the variety and ways the centre delivers its impressive range of Creative Learning classes.
The investment in technology will result in the creation of a new digital learning hub and open studio, where residents of all ages can use state of the art equipment and learn to create new and innovative art and film.
Brewery Chief Executive Richard Foster said: “The Brewery Digital Upgrade will propel the Brewery into the 21st Century. The funding will improve the experience of visiting the centre for virtually all our customers and allow us to offer a new range of learning experiences for people of all ages. We are also exploring ways in which digital technology can reach isolated residents unable to travel to Kendal and we will ensure we improve the experience for customers with special needs when they come to enjoy our events”.
“The Brewery has always been praised for the low levels of public funding that supports our programme. We generate more than 75% of our turnover ourselves and this Art Council funding will allow the organisation to become more efficient and route more of our income into the amazing programme of performances, events and learning opportunities we offer.”
The Brewery now needs to find match funding from a range of trusts, foundations, donors and will be launching a public appeal so the project can go ahead in spring 2019.
Arts Council England’s Area Director North Sarah Maxfield said: “The Arts Council’s Small Capital Grants help to ensure that organisations have the right buildings and equipment so that they can continue reaching new and broader audiences, to ensure that everyone is able to access arts and culture.
“I am proud to see that in this round of funding we have been able to give £3.6 million to support 11 organisations from across the North to achieve their ambitions to improve how they deliver arts and culture to our communities.”
The Brewery is one of ACE’s National Portfolio Organisations.