We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the Wren Music extended community, following our urgent appeal for donations to get us through this summer.
On 30 June, we launched our Bridge the Gap fundraising campaign to raise £7,500 – and within 48 hours, we’d reached our target. Without your support, Wren Music would not have survived to September 2023. Our 40th year would have been our last. So we’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s donated to the campaign.
Launching the appeal, Wren Music Treasurer Hugh Sutherland explained that funding opportunities had disappeared, and that the charity’s future was “on a knife-edge”. He said: “We do not want to commemorate our 40th anniversary this year by closing down.”
In previous years Wren Music was able to lead EU-funded projects through the Erasmus+ scheme, which helped to bridge the gap during the summer months. But this is no longer an option following Brexit, and the UK Government’s replacement Turing Fund does not support the kinds of projects we run.
Wren Music CEO Marilyn Tucker said: “Unlike some other arts organisations, our musicians and office team are employed week in week out, all year round. This means that most of our costs are the same for every month of the year. But our income goes up and down: contracts with schools and community groups are paused for the summer months.
“We are so grateful that so many people felt they wanted to help Wren Music to stay open. Although we have met the bare minimum target, any further contributions are greatly appreciated.”
Marilyn said changes are being made so there is no summertime ‘gap’ in future years: “We are in the process of reshaping our community arts programme and our general activities. This includes securing additional year-round contracts, more core funding, and new ways of generating income – like new schemes for hiring out our resources and equipment.”
The success of the appeal means Wren Music can plan for the new term for the arts programme in September and other events. And the team has lots of new ideas for ways to connect more people together through folk music. Marilyn said: “We’ve outlined a carols project to link together the three folk carolling traditions of Devon; we’d like to recruit music volunteers to help with a site-specific production at a rural foundation for people with special education needs or disability; and we’re developing the idea for a ‘Folk Requiem for Lockdown’, to create a new participatory music show which helps the members and audience to process the emotions and the impact of the events of 2020 and 2021.”
Since our launch in 1983, Wren Music has worked with tens of thousands of people of all ages in communities across Devon, introducing them to traditional music and connecting them with each other. We’re delighted that this work can continue.
Wren Music Development Officer Amy Wilson said: “To reach our target within two days was amazing. Most of the contributions came from people in Devon who are part of our Wren Music community. We can now look forward to all the upcoming events that we’ve been planning for, including some exciting new projects.”
Ideally, Bridge the Gap needs to raise £12,000 – and we’re well on the way to achieving that. To donate via our secure giving page, please visit our Bridge the Gap page on this website. Thank you for your support.