A PLEA to support the arts in Darlington has been issued as another creative hub gets set to close its doors for good.
The owner of the town’s Cafe Create today begged Darlington residents not to give up supporting the arts as she prepared for a final season of events.
Jo Land has managed the arts hub, nestled by the Civic Theatre on Parkgate Chambers, for more than two years.
The venue has played a pivotal part in keeping the arts alive in Darlington following the controversial closure of the town’s arts centre – from staging the town’s annual Literary Festival and running arts-related events to providing a home for community groups and the Darlovelo cycle hire initiative.
Ms Land, who also sits on the committee of Darlington for Culture, cites the current economic climate and an out-of-centre location as reasons behind the impending closure, set to take place in July.
However, she remains committed to supporting culture in all forms and has called upon the town’s art lovers to join her in revitalising the local scene, which she says still has a great deal to offer.
She said: “I have enjoyed running this place and meeting so many different and interesting people.
“This space might not be here but the events won’t stop and they will carry on in other venues.
“There are lots of things people can get involved with to support the arts. From getting out there to events and exhibitions to volunteering to help groups like Darlington for Culture.
“Supporting local schemes and events will help make a difference to the arts thriving in Darlington.”
She added: “It has been difficult for artists since the closure of the arts centre and that’s been a massive blow and the wrong decision on the part of the council to close it.
“However, the way people rallied around afterwards with regards to the arts has been heartening to see and I want to encourage people to carry on supporting artists and local traders.”
Before it closes, Cafe Create will host a number of events as part of Darlington Literary Festival, which takes place throughout May and runs alongside the town’s annual arts festival.
For more information and a full programme of events, visit cafecreatedarlington.org or darlingtonforculture.org.