Current Issue #478

Crowdfunding bid to save Urban Myth show

Crowdfunding bid to save Urban Myth show

Want to help save a piece of South Australian youth cultural history?

Want to help save a piece of South Australian youth cultural history? Urban Myth Theatre Company is turning to its supporters and alumni to keep its newest youth production afloat, as the Unley arts institution faces an uncertain future. Today, the company unveiled a new crowdfunding campaign to raise $7,250 towards covering venue and production costs for Warren, the company’s newest production a year-and-a-half in making. Fifty of Urban Myth’s younger students will participate in Warren, a new play by Sean Riley scheduled to be performed at the end of September before the company’s latest financial woes threatened the performance. While the future of the company remains in the air, money raised will keep Urban Myth at its home (the 100-year-old theatre The Goodwood Institute) for the duration of the run. Any extra money will be devoted to providing tutors and venue space for the company’s Term 4 youth theatre programs and sessions, which have been provisionally cancelled until funding is secured. Former creative director and CEO of Urban Myth Glenn Hayden announced the group’s likely closure in August, but an outpouring of online support from Urban Myth alumni and supporters reignited hope for a positive outcome. A recent snap rally saw parents and students past and present flock to the steps of Parliament House last Saturday to lobby for Government intervention in the struggle, although Government sources have remained non-committal. Earlier announcements by Urban Myth marked September 15 as D-Day for the company, with members likely to liquidate should no new injection of funding be forthcoming. With the new Pozible campaign set to continue until September 26, and a review from Carclew Youth Arts soon to be released, that date may yet be postponed. The August announcement marked what seemed like the end to an extended period of financial uncertainty following a 63 percent funding cut from the Australia Council in 2011. While a shift in location to the larger Goodwood Institute last year introduced new revenue streams for the company, shrinking sponsorship opportunities and unforeseen OH&S costs in updating the new venue took their toll. More than 10,500 artists, 160 plays and 100,000 audience members passed through Urban Myth’s doors throughout its 34-year history through its many school-age and senior programs aiming to foster social growth, confidence and an appreciation for the arts in young people aged seven to 27. Urban Myth’s “Save Warren” campaign is running until September 26 at pozible.com/project/185761

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