The future of the arts may seem uncertain right now, but Hamilton's The Meteor theatre says that despite the challenging impact of Covid-19 it is intent on remaining a space for the community to share in creative experiences.

For now it is struggling to pay ongoing costs with no income and is reaching out to supporters and the public for donations to get it to Alert Level 2 when guidelines indicate the theatre will be able to host smaller scale live performances.

Meteor manager Deborah Nudds says: "When lockdown was announced we cancelled all non-essential spending.

"However, the theatre continues to have ongoing operational costs during closure that we have no income to cover, and it's this support we've been requesting through grant applications and donations.

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"We are looking at innovative ways to use the space during the various alert levels, including some live-streaming of local arts," she says.

"With so many cancellations we'll be collaborating with some of our established Waikato artists to connect with their audiences once we can host performances again."

Meteor audience builder Hannah Mooney says: "It is critical to maintain our audience in this time of uncertainty.

"We've continued to be active on our social media, with daily posts about our creative community and beyond.

"It's important that people know where we're at and how they can help The Meteor.

"Since lock-down began we've celebrated Meteor MVPs, highlighting those who support The Meteor in various ways whilst also putting the call out to the wider public encouraging them to be like our supporters by making donations or buying a Meteor 'brick'."

Nudds says the generosity of community funders is more necessary than ever before for The Meteor to continue to operate.

"We've recently received a grant from Trust Waikato during the lockdown and we are so grateful," she says.

"The support to all the vulnerable non-profit groups in our community that Trust Waikato and other community funders provide is so appreciated by our team."

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With the financial support of the government's wage subsidy, community grants and the goodwill of their suppliers The Meteor hopes to be able to safely re-open for the public as soon as they can.
"Audiences will need assurance that attending events is safe and we'll need to communicate the measures taken in response to Covid-19, says Nudds.

For example, physical distancing in the Black Box, maintaining hygiene levels and minimum contact for bar/cafe service.

"We don't know how people will behave, they may not want to come and sit in a dark room with strangers, and Covid-19 will definitely impact on attendance by older members of our audience," says Nudds.

"There'll be an initial fear, but this will eventually be overcome by people's need for community and connection."

Opportunities for members of the public to support The Meteor are available through The Meteor website.

Online donations can be made or there is the opportunity for people to buy a 'Meteor Brick' to be added to their Victoria Street supporters wall.