Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Practivist of the Week - YOU! Help save The Forest Cafe!

The Forest Cafe is an Edinburgh arts community institution.  This is sort of oxymoronic in that no one involved would call it that, it is not funded like an institution, nor is it solidified in any way as such.  It is revered as one by the artists who have been showcased there and the people who have been lucky enough to see them.

The list of musicians, singers, poets and promoters I would not know if The Forest Cafe had not been among the pioneers of the Free Fringe movement in Edinburgh is easily in the hundreds.  Let me try some out on you:  Jonny Berliner, Kevin Molloy, Kal LavelleEd SheeranDavid Goo, Folk-A-Dot, Gideon Conn,  iKToms, Ali Whitton, Melv -- and so many more.  It would be heartbreaking for me to think about my life without the people I met there.

The Forest functions as a cafe, gallery, performance space, free Fringe venue, artist grant provider, record label, publisher, rehearsal space, darkroom, recording studio and just about anything else you might be able to come up with and propose to them.  It is an all-volunteer vegetarian collective.

Church Hall
Upstairs at 3 Bristo
The building in which The Forest resides is up for sale and the community is joining together to help them purchase the building.  This is both a radical and necessary move.  An old church, the architecture allows different spaces for different purposes - cafe/gathering space, gallery space and an upstairs with high-ceilings that feels like a sacred performance space.

Says Fundraising Co-ordinator Harry Giles:
"Forest's spirit of independence and free access has supported thousands of artists from across the world -- painters, musicians, poets, performers, and much else besides. It runs pretty much entirely on the love and dedication of the community, and that, to me, makes it an endlessly exciting and inspiring place to be."
LA's Brenda Petrakos at The Forest

This is not a last-ditch effort, but a proactive campaign to ensure the future a pioneering space that has served a community.  It is in fact a chance for The Forest to become even more independent, create more beauty and be even more meaningful in its community.

So how can you help?
Easy - click on any of the links.  You know you want to.

DONATE - This can be a one-time or a monthly donation - even a very small monthly donation.

SIGN THE PETITION - Speak out and be heard.

VOLUNTEER - Get involved!

And as always, pass the word along.  This is how we build a world that looks like us.

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