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Local entrepreneur launches Crowdfunder to support the arts in Poole town centre

Author: Online Stories Published: 27th January 2021 11:18

 

Pen Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art gallery due to open in Poole's Kingland Crescent, has launched a Crowdfunder appeal to support struggling local artists.

The Crowdfunder was started to help Pen Gallery reach its aim of becoming a recognised community art hub in the south, giving people the opportunity to access art free of charge. The funds raised will allow volunteers to work at the shop, to support Emma in this mission, as well as provide art supplies and the necessary furniture and lighting, which all allow the exhibition space to remain free for artists.

To date over £6,000 has been raised, with a fundraising target of £10,000 to reach within the next week.

Emma Rowland, the entrepreneur behind Pen Gallery, wanted to open the space after she was made redundant last year, as a result of the ongoing pandemic. After five temporary jobs in 2020 alone, Emma put forward her vision for the gallery to Legal & General (L&G), and she was awarded one of ten available units. Pen Gallery joins nine other units and will receive two years free rent and no business rates as part of the first phase of L&G's regeneration scheme for Poole town centre.

Emma explained: "The support I have received to date has been truly overwhelming. It is reassuring to know that Pen Gallery is something that the community wants to see on Poole high street. I think that now more than ever, people are wanting to shop locally and support small businesses.

"As a non-profit, crowdfunding is a great way to create awareness of what we are doing in Poole and offer rewards for peoples' donations. It has already brought me closer to many of my suppliers and has introduced me to wonderful people in the area. I am truly blown away by everyone's generosity, considering how difficult 2020 has been, especially to those in the arts."

Pen Gallery aims to be a community space, to showcase creatives and nurture local talent. The unit will be split into two areas; the back will be used as a free exhibition space and the front will be a shop containing local art, ceramics, clothing and homeware. All profits will be reinvested back into the gallery to ensure the exhibition space remains free to the public.

Emma hopes the gallery will be able to open next month, depending on the government restrictions in place. To find out more information or to donate please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/pen-gallery.

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