Posts Tagged ‘ Fundraising ’




Dearest Friends

As we gear up to Christmas, Baz can’t wait for 2013 and all it will bring.

Lots has come together these last few months, and we’re delighted to fill you in on our exciting developments in one big go. Here goes!


After announcing our production of Prophesy, opening on February 5th for 4 weeks in the wonderful Blackall Studios on Leonard Street, we are thrilled to announce that tickets are now available, and can be found via TicketWeb.

As with Macbeth, we would like to offer you, our friends, the chance to book directly with us to save pesky booking fees. Please contact with PROPHESY TICKETS in the subject line if you’d like to find out more. We sold out our final few weeks of Macbeth so please do book early as we’d hate for you to miss out.


We are also delighted to announce our talented cast, we’re thrilled to have them join us:

Natasha Broomfield
Leila Crerar
Geoffrey Lumb
Katherine Newman
Mark Weinman


Why not visit our new improved website, where you’ll find info on the show including our flyer, updated pictures and news, and our revamped education arm which will launch in the next few weeks.


Finally, we need to ask you kindly if you’d be able to help…. Call it an early Christmas for us perhaps; it’s the season of goodwill and just think how warm & fuzzy it will make you feel. We are asking you to follow this link and see if you could help make our 2013 even better. We would be utterly grateful.

We look forward to seeing you in February, and many many thanks for all your help and support.

With love for a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

The Baz Team xx

Exciting News


At BAZ, we’ve always explored the bond between theatre and sport and over the course of these last few weeks it has never felt more evident.

We are inspired by the training and discipline of athletes and their ability to react in the moment in their strive to perfection; something we try to emulate and instill in our team as we develop the work we’re passionate about.

We saw this quote on the weekend and we felt proud. Our own ‘anything is possible’ happened this weekend too, our hard work and grafting paid off, as we received an award from the Arts Council to secure our production of PROPHESY, and to further develop our Education work and our training.

We couldn’t be more excited and invigorated about what this means and what it allows us to achieve. Many thanks to all who have given their time, expertise and support to us over the years, we are incredibly grateful.

The Value of Art


This week Baz has twice been reminded about the Value of Knowledge within the arts.


On Saturday we spent an exhausting 4 hours sat around the table that was acting as the Baz office and scrawled over flip charts with marker pens as we were led through an energising and focused brainstorm by a fundraising professional. We have been lucky enough to have secured knowledge and advice from some incredibly talented and skilled professionals over the last couple of years whilst we have stared up adoringly and lapped up every word. Frankly, we’ve been shameless – bribing a fundraiser, a PR creative, a musician, a School Drama Head, a website designer, a programme designer, a social media expert and countless other talents with coffee and wine as in order to pick their brains and benefit from their generosity. And each time they agree and share their knowledge with us I almost pinch myself… Infact, no… I really do pinch myself. Because their skills and knowledge are so valuable. Not just in terms of our appreciation, but in a monetary value to us both that increases our worth, and a value that is placed on their time. These lovely people are trained and skilled in something that they trade with on a daily basis in their day jobs. It gives them a value as employees, and the more they’ve trained and the more experience they have, the more valuable they are. To then let us in and share that skill so freely catapults us past the hard graft they’ve undertaken to learn their trade straight to the rewards that we reap, and that’s a big ask. I wouldn’t walk into a hairdresser and ask for a free cut and blow-dry for nothing just because I was a bit cash-short that month.


There is a value in skill and there is a trade and a transaction required if we aren’t able to pay for them in a conventional way. This may be bottles of wine, or large shouted thank-yous, mentions and recommendations and constant promotion, free tickets, or the promise of payment properly next time – all sealed with eternal gratitude and the promise of a warm fuzzy feeling in return. We must ensure that this is not forgotten and that we honour it in return in order to build and nurture these relationships that as an industry we so often rely on.


But we must also remember that equally there is a value in our own artistic work that as a community we often forget and can all too easily find it being taken advantage of. Actors/musicians/writers/directors (and a whole host of other artists – delete as appropriate) often find themselves working for free and asked for large favours that no-one would consider asking of friends and colleagues in other disciplines and industries. As a company, Baz are determined that an honest day’s work should be rewarded by an honest day’s pay and a large part of what we do is an attempt to urge artists to remember the skills they possess and the value they hold – beautiful skills that have been developed over years of study and training and that should be celebrated and protected, not exploited. That’s not to say we shouldn’t always be looking to help and support each other, just that we should also ensure we are not taking, or being taken, advantage of.


We have recently been lucky enough to join forces with People at Play, a collective of multi-disciplinary companies that are working out of Pimlico Academy and attempting to establish a way of supporting each other, trading our valuable skills and paying back to the community who allow us to use their space for free. On Thursday we were reminded again about the value of artists and the need to share and appreciate each other’s skills as we all freely debated how this would be achieved and revelled in the opportunity to mould and influence such an important scheme. We may not all do it the same way; we may assign different values to our skills, and we all have different things we can trade in return, but we must always ensure that trade is completed, honoured, and respected if we wish to continue to use it.


And on that note, I’m off to thank that lovely fundraiser again….

Baz To-Do List….

Isn’t it always the case that everything lands on your desk at the same time? Looking at my weekend to do list, I wish things could be more evenly spaced. But then, where’s the fun in that?

These next 2 weeks BAZ has to achieve the following….

• Cast and contract our lovely actors

• Raise a final £3,000

• Promote Poetry competition and collate entries to pass to Wendy Cope and Lachlan MacKinnon

• Get our draft programme back from the designer and make amends

• Pass programme and ad/sponsor list to the media company to start selling space

• Meet with PR company to check we’re on track

• Confirm the teachers attending the Twilight session happening on the 12th September

• Write thank you letters to recent donors

• Announce and find musicians for pre-show set

• Meet with Arts Council

• Hold our first production meeting

• Draft the Macbeth press release

• Arrange ticket confirmations

• Write and send out newsletters

I’m sure I’m missing something….. I swear I’m a couple of bullet points short….. nope. It’s gone. Rubbish.

But it’ll be fine…. Really. It’ll certainly be interesting. When the action point from Wednesday’s meeting was ‘let’s just get some more money’, Sarah calmly yet decisively stated ‘Yes, let’s just do that’, as if it was the most simple thing in the world to achieve that we just overlooked. We dissolved into giggles. She seemed so sure, we have made that her action point. When we met on Tuesday I’m assuming she’ll have ticked that one off… Or coloured in one of her weird little triangle thingies she draws next to points.

Looking at the above and knowing that’s just a fraction of what to come, it’s exciting. I don’t know about you but I love a good list. Sometimes, in order to really make myself feel better, I add things to the list I’ve already done, just so I can tick it off.

Yes, let’s just do that.

FLYERS!!! It’s the flyers…. I KNEW there was something else.

A Circus Life

Sometimes I pick up some spare ignored fruit I bought in a misguided moment from my dusty fruit bowl and attempt to juggle. Each time I’m utterly shocked I can’t do it. I feel like I spend my whole life juggling metaphorically and I’m pretty sure I share that thought with you and countless hundreds of people who must juggle on a daily basis (minus the stripy trousers and red nose), surely gaining a party trick out of it is only fair compensation? Juggling a work/life balance, juggling children and relationships, juggling work priorities, we all have something to juggle.

Baz has its fair share of juggling and jugglers; from poetry competitions to education workshops, selling advertising space to arranging parties, negotiating venues to writing letters – not to mention having to pay the bills with other jobs, different projects and commitments that distract you from the juggle. Sometimes all this juggling detracts from why we started in the first place and what we are so determined to achieve. Once in a while as we get carried away keeping track of the million and one balls we have going round in the air we need to stop. Carefully get off the unicycle, put some of the balls gently down back in the fruit bowl and take a moment to pick up and admire the biggest ball of them all – the reason we started – our passion for making theatre. Sometimes this ball needs juggling all on its own, with our full focus and two steady hands to really appreciate it. And then, only then, we can start introducing the smaller balls once again, one by one.

Once they’re all back in rhythm we stop caring whether we can juggle some dried up granny smiths or not. We’re already all juggling even bigger things – and that’s a far more impressive trick.

Stripy trousers never suited me anyway.

Party time

Friday 29th July.

Day of the Baz Summer Party …


Awake.  Lie in bed panicking about whether I forgot to send the updated info sheet for printing.


Convince myself I did send it. I remember doing it. I do.


Do I?


I do.


Better just check …


Phone the venue to finalise equipment drop off. Phone local bars to finalise ice pick ups.


Remember haven’t ironed dress. Put iron on.


Realise info sheet has a typo on it. Rewrite hurriedly. Resend the now rewritten info sheet.


Remember iron is on. Iron dress before building burns down.


Alcohol, glasses, cleaning equipment, outfit and paperwork packed into gigantic travel case. Set off dragging it across London. Sweating.


Bus stop. Elderly couple in stitches at the size of my case. ‘Blimey! How much does that weigh? Let’s have a feel! Hope you’re not going far. Here love, you get on first!’ They giggle as I drag the case on behind me.


Elephant and Castle tube station. A labyrinth in the centre of which lies the enigmatic Northern Line northbound platform. Have hauled case up and down four staircases and numerous corridors. Lost.


Still lost.


More lost. Have found the exit twice. And nine staircases. I kick the case.


Ready to make Baz Kiss cocktails. All ingredients laid out. Measurements taken. Bottles ready.


First bottle of Baz Kiss finished. Beautiful. And tasty. We are a little high on success.


Second bottle proving more difficult. Proportions wrong. We are flushed. Liquid spills.


Realise we have been trying to put 85cl in a 75cl bottle. Start again.


Standing in queue at the bank to get change for float. Carrying £250 in my bag. Trying to look nonchalant. And poor. Now would be a bad time to get mugged.


Both cars loaded, lists ticked off, energy drinks consumed. Baz Team are go!


Bar set up, furniture rearranged, car gone for second pick up. Twine and pegs are the main concern, as it takes three of us to hang the gallery section (I feel I hamper more than help : ‘Bit higher’ ‘Really’? ‘Yes, higher’ ‘Let’s see…’ ‘Oh no, hang on. Lower. I meant lower’ ‘Right’ ‘Yeah’).


Car arrives back and it’s unload frenzy.


We have sound, lights, projections and ice. Finishing touches include starting off the Baz wall of comments. We go marker pen-tastic.


Bang on time the first guests arrive. I have a beer in one hand, a sandwich in the other. Excitement replaces nerves.


Party in full swing. Many brilliant friends and lovely strangers have made it. Good conversation is had, And Baz Kiss cocktails are going down a treat. I get a refill. Another one.


Four minutes to shut down. I want to do a last orders call. Amy Winehouse is playing. I respectfully wait until she has finished, swaying to the music. Grab a hold of the wall to balance myself. Turn off the music and scream a last orders call at the room. Everyone looks stunned for a second. I might have been louder than I meant to be. I smile and shrug. Down the remains of my cocktail.


Get out is happening, packing and cleaning and stacking and loading. Goodbye party time.


First car load gone. We can do nothing until it comes back. Settle into a good hearty discussion about politicians and the media.


Car has made it back and is fully loaded. Seems heavy so we remove a few beers. Think it’s best to drink them. Waste not want not.


Wave goodbye to the car. Start the journey home, dragging enormous case behind me. Brick Lane is a treat. Get stabbed in the calf by a high heel. I run the case over a man’s foot as revenge.


Fall into the flat and get out the sofa bed am staying on. We all look at the photos from the night. We drink water. We can’t stop talking.



Money makes the world go around

Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Money makes the world go around
It makes the world go ’round.

Sadly, last week we discovered we didn’t receive the Arts Council Funding we applied for. Despite an application assessed as strong throughout, and a strong recommendation to fund our project (with particular praise for our innovation, our company structure and our finance planning), it seems there just wasn’t enough to go around. The decision is bittersweet; to find out there was nothing we could’ve done to strengthen our application and improve our chances was tough to hear. There simply are too little resources to fund everything, which is indicative of the climate as a whole right now, and I’m sure we share our disappointment with many other worthy projects.

A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
A buck or a pound
A buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound
Can make the world go ’round.

So – where do we go from here? Well, we apply again! But with a 3 month turnaround on decisions over 10k, we’ve decided to put a corporate funding plan in place, and apply for a smaller amount which can be assessed in a shorter period. This means it’s all hands on deck as we look into other avenues to raise funds – we’re launching our schools work, with the help of the newly assembled Baz-Ed team, and have used the lessons learnt from the showing in April to reassess our budget.

Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money

Mainly, though, we need to find lovely companies and individuals willing to invest in the arts.

This is easier said than done – large corporate companies are notorious to infiltrate, so we’d like to ask you a favour and give us a helping hand in the following ways…

  • If you work in a company that may be interested in arts investment, please let us know who we should contact.
  • If your company has a team that deals with corporate responsibility, please could you let us know. We’d love to drop them a line and see if our work and ethos would sit nicely with theirs.
  • If you have a friend/brother/mother/cousin who works in this sort of area, we’d love to speak with them and pick their brains, please let us know.
  • If you yourself, or a lovely friend/brother/mother/cousin/fairy godmother likes giving and helping people achieve their potential and has an interest in the arts, please let us know.

With only 4 months to go, we need to act fast.

Marks … set … go!