Watts Gallery Trust has temporarily closed Watts Gallery – Artists' Village in response to the developing situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) to protect our visitors, community, volunteers and staff and in line with public health guidance.
The current situation is affecting many charities, and for us, the loss of income from visitor admissions and group tours, the shop, tea shop, commercial gallery and events puts our charity at great risk. Based on a four month closure, we face a deficit of at least £200,000 in our finances this year.
Watts Gallery Trust is the custodian of an extraordinary legacy, one that combines a unique campus of listed Arts & Crafts buildings, an internationally important collection and a social mission to deliver Art for All, the founding ethos of G F and Mary Watts who believed that access to art transformed lives. This is at the heart of everything we do today. In 2019, we worked with 15 charities, community groups and prisons, and 60 schools, offering art and creativity to 31,000 people including the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community.
At the turn of the twenty-first century, our founders' Art for All legacy was at risk of being lost, but through a herculean effort and the extraordinarily generous support of many donors, the charity rescued and reinstated Watts Gallery and subsequently reunited the original Artists' Village with a commitment to safeguard its future for the next hundred years.
We are once again facing a mammoth task, to plug the punishing gap in funds that will arise from our enforced closure. It was to G F Watts's most famous work, Hope, that a generation turned to when it was first displayed and that we turned to in 2004 to guide us on our mission to save and recreate Watts Gallery – Artists' Village. Now, we return to this iconic image - in more recent times a focus for Barack Obama who saw in the image a shared 'audacity to hope' - to ask for your support in helping us to save this national treasure so that it may continue to inspire, engage, delight and support the community that it serves for many more years to come.
We are asking you to give us hope in 2020 by sending us a donation. Thank you.