As we write this, Forest is leaving Bristo Place. We’re taking out the lights, the food, the amps, the chairs, the paperwork, the kitchen sink. When you walk past 3 Bristo Place on September 1st, it will be empty. We’re all a bit emotional about this. But we can tell you one thing:
Read on to find out how you can be part of making Forest continue and come back better than ever.
We want to stay in our 8 years home at 3 Bristo Place. So right now we’re running a huge pledge drive – the biggest arts funding pledge drive ever run in the UK – to raise 100,000 pounds by October 1st. That’s enough to put down the deposit on a mortgage that’ll be enough to buy our home. But we need your help. We need your time, your energy, and yes, your money.
The post below this one is a press release with lots more detail and loads of amazing messages of support: read that, and also read the campaign page for more of the history and arguments. But this is Forest’s letter to you, Forest. You are Forest. Forest needs you.
When we buy this building, it will be yours. It will be a huge, inspiring, open access arts and social centre. It will be run collectively by everyone who’s involved in it. It will be free put on your events, and free for other people to attend them. There will be artists facilities run at cost. There will be amazing parties. There will be extraordinary theatre, visual art, music, performance, dance, live literature, and everything else. Made by you. There will be burritos. Made by you. And the building all this will be housed in will be owned by Forest. By you.
And also know this. If the worst happens and we don’t reach our target, don’t make that mortgage, we are still coming back. If not to 3 Bristo Place, we will find another home. We’re coming back.
Here’s what you can do to be Forest, and to help Forest return:
PLEDGE YOUR MONEY
Go to our WeFund site and click the pledge button. Think hard about what you can afford, and what it would mean to you for Forest to own 3 Bristo Place. Give what you can. There will be presents for you.
We will only take your money if we reach our £100,000 target. That’s how the pledge system works. So when you pledge, you’ll be doing it in the knowledge that hundreds of other people are pledging also, and that you’re working together to buy the building.
If you’d like to give money directly to us anyway, you can do so on our JustGiving site. And if you’d like to talk about investing larger sums of money, or arranging a simple loan, and want to know more about what you’d be buying into, then please email email@example.com to talk. We have a business plan in development that we’re happy to share with you.
RUN A FUNDRAISER
We also need people to donate their time, energy and skills. (Forest doesn’t believe in making people feel guilty for not having money – we’re a free space – so if you can then give in this way instead). A lot of Forest volunteers are very tired right now, and we’re having to work hard to get a lot of paperwork in place. We will be running big, exciting fundraisers ourselves, but we need you to help with your own ideas.
From cycle marathons to dance parties to buy-a-square-inch artworks to street corner bucket shaking, we want you to take the initiative and make us some money. We’ll help publicise and organise it and do whatever we can to support it. But we want you to seize the initiative.If you want to discuss an idea or find help for a plan, post about it on our community bulletin board or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve spammed our email address books, we’ve sent a message to half of Twitter, we’ve stalked Facebook to death, we’ve bent our uncles’ ears until they bleed. You are a living, breathing, internetting, communicating organism. Tell everyone you know why Forest matters, and why they should dig deep for Forest. Tell them in as many ways as you can, and then remind them. It’s extraordinary what happens when word spreads, goes viral. We need to harness that power of a hundred people telling a hundred telling a hundred. So go do it now!
STAY IN TOUCH
We will be holding regular meetings and sending regular updates through as many mechanisms as possible. But for the next few weeks we will not have a physical home you can come to to find out more. So it’s important you stay in touch. We want to stay in touch with you. Here’s what to do:
* Check this website regularly
* Join our community bulletin board
* Join the mailing list by emailing email@example.com
* Follow @foresttweets on Twitter
* Join our Facebook group
We’re coming back. And even when it looks like we’re away, we’ll still be doing some incredible things. There will be parties. There will be creativity. There will be fundraisers. There will probably even be burritos. Stay with us.
Thanks for everything you’ve done so far, Forest. This is the final push. We will get there. With you.