Above: past project by resident group.
What happened to all the materials and equipment?
After providing free storage for several years, Derek Binchy needed his space back in 2022, but long before then we had misgivings about the volume of materials and equipment that was left unused. Much of what we had was donated by people involved in theatre, music and visual arts. The rest was purchased out of the proceeds of fundraising events that were supported by the arts community in Cork and further afield. When we needed to empty the warehouse we could have sold it, but took the decision instead to give it on loan to arts and culture groups in Cork and Kerry. Our reasoning was that whoever bought it would probably sell it on at a profit, and not keep it for use in the community arts sector. Also, the money we would get for it would be paltry compared to the cost that other groups would have to pay to buy it. So, from September to December 2022 we used social media to invite groups in the city and county to come and borrow what they were interested in using. We also asked for groups and individuals with available storage to hold on to materials and equipment that groups had no immediate use for. This was a complete success with nothing needing to be disposed of.
What has been happening since the building was sold?
All of the materials and equipment was put into storage, kindly provided free by Derek Binchy, former chairperson.
The Artistic Director Bertrand Perennes and Building Manager Eoin Gallagher with the help of a number of CPH supporters and board members spent two and a half years searching for alternative premises, and appealed to Cork City Council for assistance. Times had changed and property was more valuable and in demand, so there were fewer property owners ready to let their premises to us at a nominal sum. Four properties looked promising, but one after another they were recognised as either not viable, or they became unavailable.
During the COVID_19 lockdown we had time to reflect and realised that if we are to survive we have to take the hard decision to raise funds to buy our own permanent home. Since the middle of 2021 we have consulted with CPH supporters to confirm that our mission is still valid, co-opted new members to the board, prepared a strategy to fundraise, and updated our website in readiness for the next steps of our exciting journey.
What groups and organisations took the materials and equipment on loan?
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
Richmond Revival, Fermoy
Castlegregory Community Arts and Theatre Group
Tracton Arts Centre
Cyclone Repertory Company, Kinsale
Circus Factory, Cork
Community Theatre Network, Dunmanway
We are very grateful to Pawel Wroblewski, Eoin Gallagher, Emma Carolan, Jack Smiles, Ciaran O'Connor, Bertrand Perennes and Marcus Bale who took material and equipment into storage for us that was not immediately needed by groups.