September 14, 2021Updates

Artist Support Statement

Tēnā koutou kātoa. Ngā mihi nui mō tō koutou manawanui i tēnei wā.

On behalf of the Basement Theatre whānau, we send this statement to update our communities on the position we are taking in regards to live performance operating under new Alert Level 2 guidelines.

As our communities will know, the government recently announced a new set of guidelines for the delivery of live events under Alert Level Two (L2). These guidelines, which include reducing indoor gathering limits to 50 people with physical distancing, will mean that under L2 most live events will not be financially viable.

Of most concern to Basement Theatre is what these updated guidelines will mean for the wellbeing and financial sustainability of live performance artists and their production crews. If we as a venue and a place for professional development are unable to offer viable opportunities, and other places are unable to do the same, we believe the short and long-term impacts on artists themselves and in turn our wider ecology, will be significant. Artists - the lifeblood of our industry and yet the most financially vulnerable - will be set to face further challenges and uncertainty under these circumstances.

Along with a large list of other arts organisations across Aotearoa, The Basement Theatre Trust has signed an open letter that was sent to the government on September 14, calling for them to increase their financial support for artists and arts sector infrastructures. This letter is just the beginning of the actions we believe need to be taken to assure financial resilience for artists and the infrastructures they rely on.

In addition to being part of this national call to action, we also commit to taking action within our own organisation that will help to mitigate financial loss for artists delivering work in our venue under L2. We know that at this time, walking our talk is more important than ever, and we want to activate the strategic commitments we have made to artists to the extent that is possible and viable for us at this time.

Basement Theatre supports the increased restrictions that the government has made in an effort to keep us all safe in the wake of the Delta variant. We also commit to upholding the new L2 guidelines in our venue to a high standard, deepening our manaaki, and ensuring our communities are safe and comfortable when they are with us. We also want to do what we can to help artists make it through to the other side of L2, with their practices and their wellbeing intact.

- CAT RUKA, Basement Executive Director