Tuesday, April 7, 2020

How closed venues can help the vulnerable during the pandemic | Music Ally

So many concert and cultural venues are closed at the moment, with their owners wondering whether they’ll be able to ride out the period until lockdowns end and punters can return.

Here’s something that could be interesting to think about in the meantime though: a guide for cultural venues on how they can support homeless and vulnerable people during the pandemic. It’s the work of London venue Union Chapel, together with the Museum of Homelessness and With One Voice.

Among its suggestions: donating tinned and dried food supplies if they have cafes sitting idle; acting as a drop-off and storage hub for food and clothing donations; offering up kitchen facilities for food preparation or acting as food banks; offering the use of vans or trucks to distribute food and clothing; and putting artistic content associated with the venue online to raise money for homelessness centres and food banks.

The guide warns venues not to open up communal spaces as night shelters “however well-intentioned that may be – it will increase the spread of COVID-19”.

While this is a UK story, these simple but powerful ideas could be just as relevant to venues elsewhere in the world. The guide suggests that a venue’s first step could be reaching out to smaller, grassroots groups helping homeless and vulnerable people in their area, to find out what they need.


Image by Gallks / Shutterstock.com

Stuart Dredge

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