I led a team meeting recently of senior staff from Lincoln Drill Hall where we started to put together ideas for an upcoming fundraising campaign. As we discussed the elements that could go into this campaign it became increasingly clear that what we were discussing in essence was value. What is it that we are offering to communities across the city, and more crucially, what is it that would be lost to Lincoln if we weren’t there to do it?
Sitting at the centre of the organisation is the performances programmed into our space, currently around 300 a year. We could look at the loss of this programme in one of two ways. On the one hand people might think, ‘so what?’, there are plenty of other places to see performances in the city. But look at it from another angle. Included in those performances are 4-5 weeks of youth theatre, with young people having the chance to perform on a professional stage every year. There’s also our annual pantomime, playing to over 14,000 people annually including a large number of children experiencing live performance for the first time.
The programme is important and does have a positive impact on people, but for this fundraising campaign we believe that we need to articulate that we mean more than this. We want to tell proper stories of where we’ve made a positive impact.
For people like Beryl, who used to come to dances in the 1940’s and now comes to see her granddaughter in youth theatre and can’t bear the thought that the memories she holds dear of her times with us will be lost to future generations.
For people like Mick, a Tour Manager who worked here with Fairport Convention who researched family history and made a connection with a family member stationed in the county with the RAF during the war and whom he believes spent one of his last days on earth at a dance here at the Drill Hall. A proper connection across generations.
We need to talk about the impact we made on Kieran, a young aspiring DJ struggling to find opportunities to pursue his dream, and for whom we provided the chance to do that. He’s now the resident DJ at our regular Butterfly Club nights.
We need to talk about the impact we have on hundreds of disabled adults and young people by providing a crucial social outlet for them to develop friendships and confidence through our Butterfly Club Nights and Dreamland Drama.
We need to tell the story of those who have had opportunities to work here and then gone on to achieve so much more. The intern who is now running a major county wide arts network, the project worker who recently worked on the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics are just two that spring to mind.
These are just some of the stories and we’re working hard to find more. To capture and tell these stories. Lincoln Drill Hall has been run as a registered charity now for eight years by Lincoln Arts Trust, proud custodians of these generations of wonderful memories created by our work.
Eighteen months ago we adopted the strap line Changing Lives, Changing Place, Changing Perceptions. We firmly believe that this is true. We do this on a daily basis. As we develop this campaign in the coming weeks we’ll strive to tell the stories of our impact that prove that this is what we do. We want to hear from people about your stories, how your venue has made a positive impact on your life. You can contact us via our website or through our Social Media channels.
I believe that Lincoln Drill Hall really does mean something to people, a meaning that goes far beyond simply selling tickets for a show, but providing truly memorable experiences that can last a lifetime. Here’s to building generations of new memories for the future. This is your Drill Hall. #YouKnowTheDrill