THE future of a community performing arts group is bleak unless a last-ditch funding bid pays off.
Bago Magic Performance Group is seeking a financial lifeline from the community and business circles to boost its bottom line because of dwindling grants.
It needs an extra $15,000 by October or the next show will be the group’s final curtain call.
The arts-based organisation focuses on ensuring accessibility for all people, enabling those with a disability – and others without disabilities – to take part on stage and behind the scenes.
Bago Magic Performance Group president Jan Dark said the group made an immeasurable difference in people’s lives.
“They have gone from being shy people too frightened to go on stage to now wanting to be on stage, and their confidence is just amazing,” she said.
A $5000 grant from the state government is on the way, but more money is needed to secure the arts group’s future.
Mrs Dark said if the group did not get about $20,000 by October it would have to close down by the end of the year.
Ongoing support to end the cycle of reliance on uncertain grant applications is the aim.
Bago Magic Performance Group member Bennett Powell has been in about eight shows and is the group’s barista.
“Bago Magic adds to my life,” he said. “If Bago Magic wasn’t here, we would be lost.”
The group has grown from seven to 45 members in the 11 years since its launch.
The next show, scheduled for November, is based on the Roman Empire.
Group members hone their skills in visual arts, drama and music during regular workshops at Port Macquarie’s Bourne House, or Bago Mansion as they affectionately call it.
Group member James Kennedy spoke about the importance of Bago Magic.
“It’s about mixing with other people and getting to know new faces,” he said.
Grant funding and workshop fees have kept the group afloat over the years.
Coordinator Mariet Ludriks said the group was now seeking community support.
“If Bago Magic is not going anymore, it will be devastating for the members,” she said.
Mrs Ludriks and financial administrator Helen Payne have agreed to work on a volunteer basis until further notice.
To offer financial support, phone 0409 909 395.