We are sorry to share the news that we will be taking a break from hosting a free summer art installation at The Coro this year.
Over the past three years our August exhibitions have been a highlight of the year for both the public and our team. They’ve been a genuine success story, creating a real buzz around town all summer, drawing people in to Ulverston from much further afield, and generating additional footfall and secondary spend for the other businesses around town during the busy tourist season.
Born in the middle of the Covid pandemic, our summer installation was a way to try and restart cultural life when government restrictions were still in place and ordinary productions with reduced audience sizes simply weren’t viable. We opened the building up to a large-scale, free to attend, public art exhibition with a view to creating a safe but exciting and enriching cultural experience for people to enjoy after a long lockdown. Such was the response to that first exhibition, we decided to make it an annual feature. The cost of our first summer exhibition in August 2020 was completely covered by donations from members of the public. While not the case the following summer, public donations still helped cover them majority of costs.
August 2022 was a different story. While we attracted similar visitor numbers, public donations dropped off dramatically.
With the original free entry/public donations model no longer viable or reliable, particularly in the current financial climate when everyone is feeling the pinch, it’s clear a new approach is necessary and we’ve therefore taken the difficult decision to have a year off to consider what this may be.
We are committed to art being accessible and affordable for everyone, and we’ll use this time to assess how we can make this a sustainable and permanent fixture of Ulverston’s cultural calendar in future years.