Why does Q need $150,000?
The vast majority of Q’s income is earned from hosting performances and providing hospitality. With COVID-19 we lost 85% of our revenue overnight but we can’t cut our costs by the same amount. We have already taken pay cuts, reduced our staffing and stripped back expenses to bare bones but there is a deficit. Although our venue is dark, we’re still hard at work taking care of the building and preparing for next year.
Who owns Q?
Q is owned and operated by a charitable trust on behalf of the artists and audiences of Auckland. Q was built thanks to more than a decade of effort from the performing arts community and leading citizens. Auckland Council, Foundation North, Lotteries Grants Board and private donors paid for Q to be built.
What about a loan?
Q is a charitable trust without deep pockets. We don’t generate the surpluses that would allow us to service a loan.
What about Creative New Zealand?
CNZ has never funded Q’s core operations and as a venue we aren’t eligible for much of their emergency funding package.
What about other funders?
Funders have processes and timetables that limit their ability to respond quickly to Q’s immediate need. We’re looking into all possible funding avenues but are unlikely to have access to any funds until much later this year.
What about Auckland Council?
Auckland Council are our major funding partner. Over the last year we have been working with Auckland Council staff to put Q on a more sustainable footing and a plan was due to go to a Council committee in April but COVID-19 has delayed that. Auckland Council continue to stand alongside Q with financial and other support, but they cannot do it all – especially in the current crisis.
What about the government wage subsidy?
Q has accessed that for our people but it is only a subsidy, finishes in June and doesn’t address the other costs of keeping the building going until we are able to fully reopen.
Can’t you just turn off the lights, lock the doors and stop the costs?
We have already wound back costs dramatically but there are expenses we can’t turn off like insurances, maintenance and other overheads. We have significantly reduced our staff costs but although we’re closed for performances we still have work to do. It takes anywhere from 6 to 18 months to book and plan a season of performances with contracting, ticketing, marketing, technical management all essential functions that can’t be turned on at short notice.
What will Q be doing for the rest of 2020?
We may be able to stage some events but mostly we will be preparing for our 2021 season. The coming months will be an opportunity to consider what changes we need to make to Q in a post COVID-19 world. We’ll use the time to take care of our building and there is plenty of business as usual happening as refund tickets to cancelled shows and manage bookings for next year and beyond.
What does the future look like for Q?
We hope to be able to reopen fully in early 2021 when we have a great programme of work lined up. In a world where there will be far fewer international artists visiting Aotearoa, Q will be more vital than ever. Until then it looks like Q’s doors are likely to be closed for much of 2020 unless restrictions ease and we can stage some events.
Why is Q so important?
Q is more than just a venue. We’re a home for multiple arts festivals, theatre and dance companies as well as independent artists. The need for Q was identified after more than a decade of studies dating back to the closure of the Watershed Theatre in the mid 1990s. The flexibility of our spaces makes them exciting and their sizes are right for local artists. Our bar and café make us a meeting place for artists and audiences. Our programme and audiences reflect the rich diversity of Tāmaki Makaurau.
Would it matter if Q closed permanently?
Dozens of arts companies and hundreds of artists would be negatively impacted if Q had to close permanently. There is nowhere else quite like Q for audiences to go in Auckland. Amongst other things, this period of lockdown has reminded us of the power of collaboration and our deep human need for connection with others. Q makes our city a better place to live.
Is my donation tax deductible?
All donations over $5 are eligible for a tax credit. You will be sent a receipt automatically after you donate.