$1.7 million to raise by Monday ~ theatre notes

Friday, May 16, 2008

$1.7 million to raise by Monday

Doing an Usher here - but the press release says everything. Just received from La Mama:

One of Melbourne’s oldest and most fondly regarded theatres, La Mama, has occupied the iconic building in Faraday St in the heart of Carlton since 1967. For the last 40 years the building has been rented from a local Melbourne family. The Matriarch (and much-loved La Mama supporter) Rose died late last year and the Executors of her Estate notified La Mama that they wanted to sell the building offering La Mama first option.

Yesterday the Executors of the Estate accepted La Mama’s offer of $1.7 million however they stipulated that they have until 5pm Monday 19 May 2008 to lock in the funds. Otherwise the building will go to Auction threatening La Mama’s home.

Since first being notified of the sale early this year, La Mama has raised over $140,000 primarily from industry members and is currently in discussion with a number of Government organisations and philanthropists. The Melbourne City Council has also made a commitment of support to raise funds. However La Mama still needs additional major support from large stakeholders, organisations and philanthropists to secure its future in the unique space that is so integral to the theatre maker’s and audience’s experience.

Longterm Artistic Director, Liz Jones, is extremely grateful to all community members who have committed to supporting La Mama’s fundraising activities. She is making an urgent plea to anyone who would like to make a substantial contribution to contact her preferably before Monday 19 May.

La Mama was founded in 1967 by Betty Burstall after she visited La Mama in New York. Integral in the birth of Australian theatre in the early 1970s, it continues to nurture new, vital and unconventional talents and as a result continues to play an intrinsic role in Melbourne’s diverse artistic life.

La Mama has been an incubator for many big names in Australian theatre with its Alumni including national icons such as Jack Hibberd, David Williamson, Cate Blanchett and Richard Frankland to name a few.

To make a donation or for more information on how you can help secure La Mama’s future please contact Liz Jones on tel. 03 9347 6948, 0412 909 077 or liz@lamama.com.au. Any contributions, large or small, will be gratefully received.

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