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Hawk’s Well Theatre Renovation Update

Hawk’s Well Theatre Renovation Update
11 December, 2017

At the start of the year it was announced that the Hawk’s Well theatre has been successful in securing €550,000 in capital funding from the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD. This money has been pledged but will only become available once the same amount of money has been fundraised by the theatre. Fundraising initiatives have been ongoing throughout the year and the theatre would like to thank the public for their support to date as €130,000 has been raised so far this year. 
West Coast Orthodontics have just come on board as renovation patrons of the theatre. The theatre launched a new ‘Renovation Patron’ scheme earlier this year.  Michael Flatley and AIB recently became renovation patrons along with a number of individuals and families and the theatre is delighted with the response to this scheme to date. Individuals, families or companies can contribute to the renovation fund by becoming renovation patrons and donating funds across various levels of support. Renovation patrons will be acknowledged in perpetuity within the extended building and will become a permanent part of the Hawk’s Well history. 
This season the theatre had a wonderful raffle prize on offer thanks to Ireland West Airport and Ryanair. A winter sun holiday in Lanzarote was won by lucky Ailish Kerr whose name was picked at the panto. The theatre hosted a fundraising auction, Lots at the Well on Thursday 19th of October at 8pm which raised €9,000 for the renovation fund. Businesses and individuals all over Sligo and beyond donated a fabulous selection of intriguing items from artworks to unique experiences, which went under the hammer on the night with proceeds going to the renovation fund. The theatre would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported this event, donors, buyers, performers and everyone who helped to make it such a great success.
The theatre’s annual Sligo Sings event also raised money for the renovation fund this year. This popular programme aims to get the whole of Sligo singing and has already fostered the growth of many new choirs. This uplifting event in November is a major celebration of the choirs’ achievements. The theatre hosted two ‘Sing for the hell of it’ sessions this season which are open to everyone and anyone who likes to sing. These fundraising sing alongs are hosted by choirmaster Dave Flynn and are great fun with proceeds going to the renovation fund. Three more Sing for the hell of it evenings planned for early 2018 will also support the fund. 
A number of artists and groups also running fundraised for the renovation fund. This season alone local group, Man in the Moon Productions, presented Shaun Purcell’s musical ‘The Raven Beckons’ for two nights on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th of October with the profits from the show going to the Hawk’s Well renovation fund. 
Popular musician Kieran Quinn’s project ‘Our Place’ is also raising funds towards the renovation fund. Kieran has been focusing on his song writing and was supported in this with a short residency at the theatre.  Our Place is original songs inspired by Sligo released as a new album in November.  Featuring a host of collaborating singers and musicians, an EP featuring the Six Songs for Sligo, in aid of the Hawk’s Well Renovation Fund was launched at the theatre on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th of November and copies of this EP can be purchased at outlets all over Sligo including Shells Sea Side Bakery Café, The Little Cottage Café, Liber Bookshop, Thomas Connolly Sligo, The Record Room Music Shop, Lyons Café & Bakeshop, Sweet Beat Café, Knox, Cosgroves Centra Maugheraboy, Murrays Larkhill Sligo Centra Strandhill and Hawk's Well Theatre.
Liam Lawton and his band will perform at the theatre on Saturday 24th of February with proceeds going towards the renovation fund.
In order to raise funds €1 has been added to the price of all tickets sold. Through the development levy, fundraising events and donations from the public, along with pledged money from Sligo Council, Sligo BID and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht the theatre will be in a position to complete renovations within three years’ time.
The plan to renew and regenerate the theatre will ensure its future for many years to come. The proposed improvements and redevelopment at the site will transform the theatre into a stunning arts centre, providing a visitor experience that is lively, accessible, authentic and interactive. It will have the potential to transform the theatre into an artist hub in the North West and will be a major attractor of visitors to Sligo, creating a coherent experience that is innovative, authentic and transformative. It will help to strengthen the region’s strategic positioning in Irish tourism markets and will highlight the wealth of the arts and cultural activity in the county.
Key elements of the project that underpin this vision are:
 - A landmark renovation of the existing theatre’s entrance and foyer space to create an accessible and inviting building for one and all
- An upgrade of the auditorium to bring it in line with modern day theatre standards.
- Implementation of essential flood prevention measures.

Renovation cannot start however until funding has been secured. 
Jane Parsons, Fundraiser at the Hawk’s Well is delighted with the response to the fundraising campaign so far. “For every €1 the public donate, this will be matched by the Department so if you are donating €100 to the theatre, this will become €200,” adds Jane Parsons. “The levels for our renovation patrons scheme start at €1,000 and go up to €5,000 but we are delighted to receive any donation at all from the general public, no matter how small. In 2018 we will continue to fundraise and we will be embarking on the design stage of our renovation plans. We hope to be able to share our vision for a renewed theatre shortly.”
If you would like to support the theatre’s renovation fund please contact Jane Parsons at the Hawk’s Well Theatre jane@hawkswell.com

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