8:18am Tuesday 24th April 2012
By Elena Cresci
FUNDRAISERS for York’s floating arts centre project have reached their target – now all they need is a barge.
The fundraising for the Arts Barge Project has now passed the £5,000 needed to begin work on a permanent floating arts centre.
Organisers are now on the hunt for the perfect barge to host the project, which had a successful trial-run last June.
Earlier today, The Press reported that the project had raised £4783.45 and was closing in on its target, and this morning the £5,000 figure has now been passed.
Marcia Mackey, one of the organisers, said: “The great thing now is that people can see it’s becoming a reality.
“Our aim is to create something everyone can get involved in and which would be a real asset to the community.”
York Arts Centre was founded in 1968 in the old St John's Church in Micklegate, as the first of its kind, but closed shortly after its 30th birthday.
Since then, nothing has replaced it as a dedicated focal point for community arts in the city centre.
Following the success of last year’s Arts Barge project at the Skeldergate Mooring, organisers have been working non-stop to found a permanent project in the same mould.
Ms Mackey said: “We really owe our thanks to the council and to city council's arts and culture officer, Gill Cooper. It really gave us a chance to show what this kind of project would offer to the community.”
The project is completely not-for-profit and separate from the organisers’ day jobs.
Ms Mackey said: “We’ve all got pretty full-on jobs, so this is something we’ve been organising in our spare time.”
The organisers say they still hope to raise more money, to surpass their target, and will also now concentrate on finding the right barge to house the arts centre.
Ms Mackey said: “We need to make sure we don’t get any old barge - it has to be perfect.”
If anyone knows of a barge which would work well for the project, measuring about 80 feet in length and 18 to 20 feet wide, then they should phone Ms Mackey on 07880 821110.
To donate to the project, visit http://www.pleasefund.us/projects/the-arts-barge-project
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