November 24th, 2013 | Published in Blog
(Photo by M. Sweet.)
…and, of course, you need your money too: so here goes…
I’ll confess that I’m someone who rarely gets excited about Kickstarter projects and the like: “Give us fifty quid and we’ll give you a copy of the album we’re recording…” – its not massively inspiring. But perhaps I hadn’t come across a truly worthy project before: and this is most certainly the worthiest of projects. Many of you will have heard of the Cube, some of you will have had the pleasure of visiting, and some of you will have had the honour of playing there. I think I’m right in saying that all of the BtB janitors have played there at one point or another. For myself, I have seen many awe-inspiring performances there – particularly some great improv gigs (seeing Evan Parker and Chris Corsano together springs to mind); I have also graced the stage in various ensembles, most recently playing bass for the wonderful Jessica Bailiff. (I’ve also drunk urine-laced chocolate milkshake through sacking, there; in the name of ART.) It’s a wonderful venue, probably my favourite for quieter gigs. Its the kind of space that “we” need more and more, as “playable” venues increasingly dry up and disappear. With this in mind, the Cube has a wonderful opportunity in it’s grasp; in their words:
What we want to do
The Cube Microplex was a dream turned into reality. For nearly 15 years its all-volunteer staff have helped establish it as a progressive arts cinema and music venue with an international reputation. In 1998 we were given a 15 year lease that is now coming to an end. Our plan is to buy the building and become masters of our own destiny. After lengthy negotiations with our landlord, a price of £185,000 has been agreed. We have until Dec 31st 2013 to raise the full amount.
Why we want to buy it
The Cube has always been proudly independent of external funding, relying instead on income from the bar and the door. Paying rent to a private landlord was always a fly in the ointment. With ownership, the sum of the hard work carried out by volunteers will be directly invested in the building, equipment, programming, creative projects and education for our staff. It will enrich the experience of everyone who passes through the doors.
We have plans for better access for those with restricted mobility, a larger bar/lounge area, improved toilets, restored cinema seats and residency space for visiting artists. Walls need breaking down, ceilings raising – out of the bunker into the light.
How we’re going to do it
We have established a separate organisation, Microplex Holdings Ltd, a non-profit Industrial and Provident Society and Community Land Trust (CLT) whose charter is to secure and maintain the freehold of the Cube Cinema as a community arts space in perpetuity.
Because the Cube is run by the public we are turning to the public to help realise the dream, both for our volunteers, users, cultural partners and the whole of Bristol. This will be a huge amount of graft but the Cube’s history is strewn with challenges and it relishes this one.
So there you have it. In the words of Bob Geldof: “GIVE US YOUR FUCKING MONEY!”*
You could also donate through the THE FILM THAT BUYS THE CINEMA project. This is the construction of a “70-minute feature film comprised of one-minute takes, celebrating the Cube Microplex… Each minute is shot by a contributor who’s passed through the Cube”. Out of the vast list of contributing artists, you might well recognise Richard Youngs, Jandek, Jem Cohen, Heatsick, Josephine Foster and Stewart Home… There are various ways of donating to the project, here.
You could also win the Cube for a night! For only £10 you can buy a raffle ticket, and be in with a chance of your “dream private event, screening or party for you and up to 100 guests. Plus runner up prizes from a constellation of Bristol venues and artists.” Raffle tickets are available from the Cube, or online.
Money is hardly abundant for most of us, especially since we’re all tortured, starving artists; but this is a good investment in our collective future.
Think of it as a xmas present to your future self.
*n.b. Sir Bob Geldof never actually uttered these words.