News

An update from our Artistic Director

Fri 12 Jun

 

Though we know some of you will be attempting to get back to work and a degree of normal, and our friends who are key workers have never stopped, unfortunately it's clear that we won't be able to reopen for some time yet. Before we can reopen a number of measures need to be in place, including clear public health guidance for events, and that's not yet available.

We have been continuing to work on rescheduling events to next year, and today are saying out loud for the first time that we will be definitely closed to the public until September. If we haven't been in contact with you already regarding rescheduling or refunds, please be assured we will be in touch soon for any events between now and then.

Closure for six months means that we will have lost half our income for the year. The continuing restrictions on activities and social distancing are having a devastating effect on the whole of the cultural sector, including all your local theatres, music venues, galleries and festivals.

As a charity and social enterprise any money we make on gigs, clubs and bar sales is reinvested in our work with young people and artists. Thousands of artists each year, a huge network of freelance practitioners, technicians, creatives and suppliers, as well as 52 staff are dependent on our continued existence as a venue.

If you are able to donate the value of your refunded tickets we would be hugely thankful. You could also join us as a member, supporter or patron. Or if you would like to give us some cash (think of all the money you've saved by not drinking pints at gigs!) as a one time only donation you could support our #SaveOurVenues campaign.

We hope that the powers that be will understand that the whole of our sector, as well as other industries adversely effected by COVID-19, need continued financial support. Otherwise we and other venues, vital places to come together to share stories and good times when they return, could be lost forever. Please do write to anyone you think might have influence.

Matt Burman

Artistic Director, Cambridge Junction

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Supporting Cambridge Junction 

These are unusual times. Closing our doors to the public wasn't part of the plan for 2020 and we are doing everything we can to support visiting artists and our staff. If you are in a position to consider making a donation or becoming a member this will be a great help, thank you.

We are also part of the Music Venue Trust's #SaveOurVenues campaign.

At Cambridge Junction every little really does help. As well as the great work on our stages, our building is usually bursting with activity - young people exploring the arts, projects with local performers, and apprentices getting their first opportunities to learn their trade. Your donation will help us spring back to life when our doors re-open.

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Things you can still get involved in whilst we're closed...

 

  • FREE Arts & Craft Activities

Our doors maybe closed at the moment – but we still have some fun arts and craft activities for your family to take part in. Download the activity sheets and show off your creative skills by taking a photo of your finished work – don't forget to tag us in! more info

 

  • We Want Your Films!

Whilst we’ve had to postpone our Big Trouble, Little Pictures film festival, we are still looking for film entries. We will be selecting some of our favourites to share via our social media channels over the coming weeks. The deadline is Tuesday 30 June 2020, 6pm. more info

 

  • METIS presents: Love Letters to a Liveable Future

In collaboration with HOMEmcr #Homemakers we have commissioned this new project from Metis Arts that explores our dreams for a future beyond lockdown and how we might make those a reality. Could this crisis make another world possible? What do we miss about our old lives and what would we like to replace and transform? more info 

 

  • Anna Brownsted presents: Week Nine

In collaboration with HOMEmcr #Homemakers we have supported this new project from Anna Brownsted. Created via long-distance collaboration in makeshift home studios across the UK, US and Estonia, Week Nine is lockdown escapism for you and your headphones…a story within a story within a surreal reality. more info 

 

Help limit the spread of COVID-19 by keeping up to date. You can find advice and resources by visiting Public Health England’s website HERE

Statement from Cambridge Junction

Wed 10 Jun

In stating our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Cambridge Junction acknowledges that we can do more to tackle racism as an organisation. We have been taking time to educate ourselves, and are making a commitment today to do that work and take steps in becoming actively anti-racist.

We will:

  • Provide unconscious bias training for our staff and board members, and support in becoming anti-racist, with a recognition of the continued work this requires
  • Detail our commitment to anti-racism in our contracts and policies
  • Promote awareness and share information through our social media, in support of organisations working to tackle racism and colonialism
  • Share regularly the actions we are taking to tackle racism, and host and engage in conversation with artists, audiences and our local communities 
  • Hold ourselves accountable and listen 
  • Be open to criticism when we get things wrong, learn from our mistakes, and take action to change
  • Work harder to make our staff team more representative of the communities in which we work
  • Develop audiences to be more representative of the programme that we present 
  • Further reduce barriers in our recruitment processes that may favour white candidates
  • Nurture, support and platform the work of artists of colour, through our programme, commissioning, creative learning and community projects 

This statement and outlined actions have been created using a resource created by Layemi Ikomi, Aye Ikomi and Eibhlin Jones, a tool with which to challenge organisations (www.thewhitepube.co.uk/blm). We have used this to challenge ourselves and want to acknowledge their labour in this. We recognise that white-led organisations often ask Black people to educate us and that this is work that we need to take responsibility for ourselves, and are making a commitment to do so. 

This statement is only a beginning. We will continue to be transparent and update on our activity and our ongoing commitment to combat racism as an organisation.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to have a conversation with us about this statement or the work of Cambridge Junction, please do get in touch (email Artistic Director, Matt Burman

Like the deserts miss the rain

Mon 4 May

It’s seven weeks since we closed our doors. This is a time of uncertainty for so many people and right now one of the few things we know for sure is that we really miss you all.

With most of our staff furloughed, those of us who can keep working are focused on what we can do for you now, and how we ensure we can reopen - whenever that may be - with all the energy we can, and with our programmes and operations guided by the principles and warmth of welcome I know you expect of us.

Here's an update on what we've been working on behind closed doors and how you can continue engaging with Cambridge Junction...

 

 

Creative Learning

Cambridge Junction continues to be committed to inspiring young people, supporting artists to make new work and bringing together people to share experiences and understand the world around us in new ways.

We are delivering weekly sessions online for Total Arts, our disability arts group, and are about to launch sessions for Junction Young Company, who will be receiving masterclasses led by artists Hannah Jane Walker and Drew Taylor.

Inspired by family shows that were to feature in our spring season, visual artist Sophie Cullinan has designed creative craft activities for families to take part in while at home. You can download the activity sheets from our website and show off your creations by sharing and tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Though we’ve had to postpone Big Trouble Little Pictures, we’ve got a FREE guide for young people with instructions for making your own movies at home. We will be selecting some of our favourites to share via our social media every fortnight, so keep an eye out for when they go live.

We have just launched BINGE which brings together acclaimed artist and performance maker Brian Lobel and The Kite Trust, Cambridgeshire’s leading organisation working with LGBTQIA+ young people and you’ll be able to see the resulting work at the end of May.

And our younger audiences can share their views with News News News Reporters Club, based on one of last year’s Stobbs New Ideas Fund commissions by Andy Field and Beckie Darlington.

 

Artist Development

Artist development is as important now as ever and we’re continuing to support artists and companies to make new work.

Over the last few weeks we’ve hosted online workshops delivered by independent producers supporting more than 100 artists looking to apply to Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund.

We’re partnering with HOME in Manchester on the Homemakers project and will be working with our associate artists Anna Brownsted, Hannah Jane Walker and Zoe Svendsen on online pieces that you’ll be able to see and hear at the end of May. These projects will be made at home under lockdown and will respond in different ways to the current situation.

After working through more than 180 applications, we’ve selected projects by creative producer Adam Carver, and choreographer and writer Alexandrina Yewande Hemsley and dance producer Nancy May Roberts for this year’s Vision Mixers producer development commissions, and the 2020 Stobbs New Ideas Fund commissions will be from theatre and performance company Quarantine and circus artist Symoné. We will share more on these projects over the coming months.

 

Thank you

We continue to work with our partners Cambridge City Council to support their vital and urgent work to ensure community resilience and with all our funders to ensure we work together to find solutions for us all as we move through these strange days and weeks. We want to express our solidarity with all key workers, our friends working on the frontline in the NHS, the people keeping us fed and watered, from the independent food shops to the supermarkets, to the postal workers, refuse collectors and local authority staff; thank you thank you for all you are doing for us.

Many thanks to anyone and everyone who has been able to support us over the last few weeks. You can do this is lots of different ways, from simply connecting with us on social media and telling us what you think, to donating the value of refunded tickets, or buying membership for yourself, or family and friends.

We’re only really at the beginning of a process of ensuring we survive the impacts of lockdown and we have significant challenges ahead. We will need all your love and friendship to get us through this.

See you somewhere down the road…

 

Matt Burman

Artistic Director, Cambridge Junction

 

These are unusual times. Closing our doors to the public wasn't part of the plan for 2020 and we are doing everything we can to support visiting artists and our staff. If you are in a position to consider making a donation or becoming a member this will be a great help, thank you.

At Cambridge Junction every little really does help. As well as the great work on our stages, our building is usually bursting with activity - young people exploring the arts, projects with local performers, and apprentices getting their first opportunities to learn their trade. Your donation will help us spring back to life when our doors re-open.

Staying creative during lockdown

Fri 1 May

At Cambridge Junction, we’re no strangers to doing things differently, and if there is one thing that these uncertain times have taught us all, it’s that we are all adaptable creatures who strive to find creative solutions in challenging times.

We are passionate about providing some of the most vulnerable young people in our society with creative opportunities. It is one of the most rewarding parts of our work to introduce young people who have already overcome significant challenges in their lives to world class artists and artistic experiences. We know that now, more than ever, it’s vital we stay connected, to support those young people, whose lives may feel even more difficult, both now and in the future.

Our reduced team are working hard to ensure that we stay in touch with participants, artists, audiences and the wider community to share creative activities, continue to inspire young people and have a little fun along the way.

Below is some information on our current Creative Learning projects and and activities. We hope you can find a way to engage and please do spread the word with your friends, family and colleagues.

Beth Bailey

Producer: Creative Learning, Cambridge Junction

 

Total Arts and Junction Young Company

Projects with our two young companies will continue. We are delivering weekly sessions online for Total Arts, our disability arts group, and are about to launch sessions for Junction Young Company, who will be receiving masterclasses led by artists Hannah Jane Walker and Drew Taylor. In addition, we will also be hosting Junction Young Company watch parties for some of the fantastic content available online, followed by guided discussions led by our artist associates.

 

Free online craft activities

Our popular Hands on Happenings are continuing and inspired by family shows that were to feature in our spring season. Visual artist Sophie Cullinan has designed creative craft activities for families to take part in while at home. You can download the activity sheets from our website and show off your creations by sharing and tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

We want your movies!

Whilst we’ve had to postpone Big Trouble, Little Pictures film festival, we are still looking for film entries. There is a handy FREE guide to download that provides step by step instructions to making your own movies at home. We will be selecting some of our favourites to share via our social media every fortnight, so keep an eye out for when they go live.

 

New project launching this week

Also launching this week, BINGE brings together acclaimed artist and performance maker Brian Lobel and The Kite Trust, Cambridgeshire’s leading organisation working with LGBTQIA+ young people. Brian is working with Kite Trust to teach young performers how to craft a performance based on their obsessional love of boxsets. This virtual performance festival that will be aired in late May, will see young people use their expert knowledge in content to help solve people's problems and, most important, connect during a time of isolation.

Cambridge Junction / Art as Unusual

Wed 1 Apr

Together we are living through the most difficult of circumstances and I continue to offer you strength and solidarity at this time.

I am writing today to all our audiences, residents, associates, board, stakeholders and staff with an update on how Cambridge Junction is working to ensure we best weather the short and longer term impacts of the pandemic and lockdown.

We are hugely grateful for the continued and emergency support of our funders, Arts Council England and Cambridge City Council, as well as that of the many trusts and foundations, companies and individuals that make our Creative Learning programmes for young people with complex need possible. We have been incredibly moved by the understanding and generosity of our audiences, members and supporters. Many people have donated to us the cost of tickets refunded due to cancellations and postponements of hundreds of performances and events, and others given us donations or joined us as members and supporters. Thank you one and all.

We remain committed to supporting artists and as far as we can will be paying fees to them for cancelled performances. We are continuing conversations with our associate artists about ways we can help them through this and are committed still to commissioning work. It is more important than ever for us to continue and grow our support for artist and producer development in what are uncertain times. We are meeting our Troop members online and looking at how to help them access emergency funding from Arts Council England. We want to be a constant friend and collaborator through all this.

We are continuing to support Total Arts, our regularly meeting group for young artists with profound and multiple learning difficulties, and meeting with them online to make work together and provide even a small amount of respite to their parents and carers. We are exploring how to share the fabulous Total Arts Film Festival - Big Trouble Little Pictures - digitally, so look out for some cracking new films made by young people from across Cambridge and Cambridgeshire over the coming weeks. We will also be sharing tools for making your own films at home and creative activities for you to do with your families while spending the longest of times together at home.

As you will no doubt understand and be aware we are unable to present shows and events at Cambridge Junction for the time being. You will see on our website that shows since 17 March and the majority across the next few months have been cancelled or postponed. Where events are not showing as postponed either we are still catching up with updating the website or in discussion with agents and promoters to reschedule dates. I'm sorry we can't give any clarity right now as to when we might reopen but be sure that you will be the first to know when we can tell you more.

As an organisation, only 20% of our income comes from funders; for the rest we are reliant on income from ticket sales, our bars and philanthropy. So you can appreciate that being closed for even a few weeks will have a massive impact on us. We are not alone in this of course and businesses across the arts, hospitality and retail sectors are facing enormous challenges.

In order to be poised to reopen with all the positive energy and vibrancy that you expect of us, we need to take difficult and significant steps. Closing the building on 18 March was the first of these. The team have been working from home since and ensuring we do everything we can in working together with artists and partners through this first phase.

As of 1 April, we are furloughing the majority of staff, both contracted and casual. I'm not going to pretend I knew what furloughing was before this situation, but essentially it means that due to the pandemic, we have a large number of staff who are unable to work but whose services we want to retain and ensure are paid through this period. We are grateful to the government for enabling the funds necessary for this. However necessary this step, it is particularly hard, as our team is so strong, supportive of each other, and passionate about our audiences and our programme. 

We are keeping a skeleton team of staff working to ensure we can stay in contact with audiences, process refunds and payments to artists, deliver our vital Creative Learning programme and continue to drive our plans for whatever comes next. 

This is a time of immense uncertainty and we are, like many others, thinking hard about and working towards how we respond and work in a future environment that might be very different. What we and you can be sure of right now is that we remain constant to our principles, that we will once again be the place where art meets life, and that audiences, artists, young people and community are what we care about above all.

You can contact me if you have any questions and I or one of our team will get back to you as soon as we can.

 

Matt Burman

Artistic Director, Cambridge Junction