YORK printmaker Jane Duke and ceramicist Beccy Ridsdel are organising a £10,000 fundraising campaign to boost the “big challenge” of bringing back York Open Studios in 2021.
“Are you a fan of York Open Studios?” they ask. “Cancelling this year had a huge effect on our finances, so we’ve started a GoFundMe to help us make next year brilliant! If you could donate, even a small amount, it would make a huge difference to us and all of our artists.”
Doors shut by the Covid-19 lockdown, York Open Studios 2020 was to have featured 144 artists and craft makers at 100 studios and workshops on two April weekends.
Jane and Beccy say: “In 2020, the timing of the Coronavirus lockdown meant the event was cancelled at less than a month’s notice, by which time the entire year’s budget had already been invested in marketing and publicity.
“With virtually no income from sales commission, and having refunded or credited artists and advertisers, the volunteer committee now face a huge challenge in bringing York Open Studios back in 2021. We need your help.”
The organisers continue: “If you are a regular visitor, we would like you to consider donating the money you would perhaps have spent on petrol or fares coming to see us this year.
“If you have never been but would still like to support the art community, we would very much welcome your donation.”
York Open Studios is run by volunteers and is entirely self-funded, paying for itself by commission on sales, entry fees from artists and the sale of advertising space in the printed directory.
In 2019, nearly 49,000 individual visits were recorded at the annual event, a highlight of the York art calendar that is completely free to attend.
“We will be here in 2021 celebrating our 20th anniversary,” say Jane and Beccy. “Many of our artists already have pledged to return, but your support now will help us ensure the festival is as bright, full and visible as ever.
“Your money will be used to promote and publicise the event and to produce printed maps, guides and signage, so visitors can plan their weekends and find our artists. We are already preparing York Open Studios 2021 and by donating now you can help us to move forward with confidence. Thank you!”
York Open Studios 2021 will take place on April 17-18 and April 24-25 with a preview evening on April 16. To make a donation, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/york-open-studios-2021.