Stroud International Textiles - SIT – is taking the initiative! With further cuts to the arts announced by the new government SIT faces an uncertain future. Over the past 5 years they have become a beacon of international excellence within contemporary textiles; supporting emerging talent, enhancing education, supporting artist led initiatives boosting tourism and the local economy with our annual festival and year round programme. This blog has covered many of their events - well they now need our help. Here is their appeal notice:
The 2010 festival brought an estimated total of £140,000 to the District through visitor spend. But our future is not secure. The political and financial climate is a concern for all arts organisations, with key funders reducing or totally withdrawing their support. Therefore it is imperative that we become more self sufficient with income from diverse sources and not solely from public funding. Sustainability is our key focus in realising our ambition and matching accordingly, our income and capacity.
We now turn to you to help us reach our initial fundraising target of £35,000. SIT is actively seeking help from regular funders including Stroud District Council and the Town Council, and we continue our round of applications to organisations such as Arts Council, but is also appealing to regional businesses and to the public who play a pivotal part in securing its future. Your donation will be invested in ensuring the continuation of the annual festival and the development of our quality participation and education work through to 2012. In supporting our unique organisation, artists/makers, young people, 15,000 annual visitors (2010) and local businesses will also benefit. By supporting SIT you will not only be supporting local artists and young people but also helping to ensure that our unique organisation can achieve its ambitious target of establishing Stroud as the UK's Centre of Excellence for Contemporary Textiles. This will raise the profile of the District and attract growing numbers of spending visitors from outside the District and abroad.
We have a target of £25,000 to reach by the middle of September to ensure the festival can proceed and the remaining £10,000 to carry out the year round programme must be in place by December 2010.
How can you help? All donations of whatever size will be gladly received and help to ensure that the excellence and innovation that has become our hallmark will continue. Those who are able to make the most generous donations can be assured that their investment will be acknowledged publicly. If the 13,000 individuals who attended the festival were to donate £10 or become a Friend of SIT we would not only have secured the 2011 festival but we will have begun to ensure ongoing success for 2012 and beyond. If only half of those visitors could support us we still would have secured sufficient money to pay for the 2011 festival.
If you can support us of course we would be delighted to meet you and discuss in more detail. Please contact our Director, Lizzi Walton for further details. All our supporters will be invited to special events during the Festival, meeting participating artists, honoured guests and Patrons.
“There has never been a more important time to engage people with the arts and craft skills. Education through the arts touches people – creatively and emotionally – in ways that conventional methods of teaching rarely do”.
A detailed Case for Support can be downloaded from our website: www.stroudinternationaltextiles.org.uk/
This is now an urgent appeal for immediate support but SIT also recognises that in order to survive in an uncertain future for the arts, we will have to increase and maintain our sustainability over a long period. As a successful organisation looking towards the future we at SIT feel this to be a responsible way forward. You can donate online by going to the website and click on the DONATE TO SIT page.