Local performer calls on the community to save arts venue as many close down

The Jolly Brewer on Broadgate.

A crowd funding page in aid of an arts venue has been launched to combat the closures of Lincoln arts venues.

This follows the recent announcements of the closure of venues such as the Usher Gallery, Drill Hall and now the Jolly Brewer.

Creative Director and Event Coordinator of Women In The Arts (WITA) Gemma Baker, has launched a crowd funding page to buy the Jolly Brewer and make it a community run arts venue.

She wants to continue to use the facility as a public arts space and convert the rooms above into studios and a communal kitchen.

The aim is to raise £400,000 to buy the venue although if this is not met, other spaces will be considered.

If there is still not enough funds to buy a venue the money will go to local arts projects.

Gemma Baker has recently formed WITA, stating that Lincoln has a huge artistic community, which is growing at a vast rate.

She said: “The Jolly Brewer is such a vital space for local creatives, it puts on live music, poetry, open mics and festivals.

“Lincoln has a thriving and varied arts community that sits under the radar of the council, and goes largely under-valued and ignored.”

Gemma Baker coordinator of the crowd funding, performing live, sent by Gemma Baker.

Gemma continued: “I believe that the arts is not a luxury, but a right. Art helps us understand ourselves and the world around us, it spurs change and connects people.

“We should not have to fight for the arts but it increasingly seems like we have to. We are the future of Lincoln as a culture and creative UK hub.”

Gemma Baker started her performance career at the Jolly Brewer and strongly believes in the support of local art facilities as they help to start creative careers.

The supportive and welcoming space has helped to create lifelong performers. The now world-touring Jack Broadbent musician used to perform frequently at the local pub on open mic nights.

Gemma Baker performing live at the Word Theatre, sent by Gemma Baker.

She added: “I hope this campaign raises awareness of the need for a proper arts venue. There has been talk of it for years in Lincoln but not very much movement.

“Other cities have great examples of community run venues and pubs and I think Lincoln would benefit hugely from such a space.

“We can make real change if we all stand together, and I think that is something that the people of Lincoln are great at.”

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