As many of you know, following the announcement on Monday to avoid all public spaces we took the decision to close the Fiery Bird until we received further advice. As more information has been received we are writing to advise that bookings and gigs are cancelled certainly until the end of April. We took this decision primarily for the safety of our customers and volunteers many of whom or their families have underlying health conditions as does our Co-Founder, Joe.
The contracts we deliver for others at events as a way of finding musicians paid work and are other sources of income that contribute to the project and support our community work have all been cancelled for this year. This leaves us and our future, in a very vulnerable position.
Obviously this is a very sad situation all round. I’m going to list below the factors that we must consider which causes us issues and where we can demonstrate the strength and benefits a social project such as ours can bring to the community in such vulnerable times.
Even if our venue is closed we have so much work to do for the future which can be a time to really to see this stage through to help embed a community venue and grass roots arts in our community. Our team’s efforts to get us where we are mustn’t be lost and it’s important to keep the team involved and working together and welcome new members virtually as much as we can, not just to keep the project now but to also be there for each other and our community through this difficult time.
We ask if people have time or resources available to consider if they can support us, however are very aware that people have worries and want to know how we can support you too.
As well as a live music venue Phoenix Centre/Fiery Bird has always been a place/activity where people who otherwise would not go out can be welcome. There may be people who are very isolated now and need connection. Suggestions welcome on how we can encourage people to use all arts and creativity to find solace and connection, we also have members/volunteers with expertise in so many areas that might be able to help people and a shape of what we can do to support our community and each other through this. Many of our musician friends are live streaming performances, so we don’t necessarily see a gap that we need to fill there but other ways we can get people together even if sharing music and chatting or other things in a virtual group.
Community led businesses are at the heart of the places they serve and can respond quickly and compassionately to the needs of people where they are based. When this blows over we will be able to be part of building our community back up in resilience and hope and welcome people to help us do this based on our core principles and values of being a community driven, equality and ethics based, welcoming project.
Over the next few days and weeks as more information becomes available we will be working towards this bright future and hope that you will be aware that your time, compassion, skills and intelligence is much valued to make that happen. Joe is still working full time because he has vulnerable clients as well as working on this and I am working to try to get our future secured and some major funding in place so we welcome ideas with our purpose embedded in them that people are prepared to drive forward.
THIS PROJECT HAS SEEN ADVERSITY MANY MANY TIMES IN ITS TEN YEARS – IT WAS BUILT ON IT AND ALWAYS COMES OUT STRONGER – AND WE KNOW THAT WE CAN SURVIVE THIS WITH EVEN MORE RESOLVE TO BE A PLACE WHERE EVERYONE CAN EXPRESS THEMSELVES. BEAR WITH US WE ARE WORKING AS HARD AS WE CAN IN THE BACKGROUND BUT WHATEVER HAPPENS KEEPS YOUR SPIRITS HIGH AND REACH OUT IF YOU NEED HELP
Take care of yourselves you are very very valued
Elaine & Joe