Update 25 March 2020

To all our customers and supporters

The impact that the coronavirus is having on us all is extraordinary. Our 23 museums, galleries and arts centres are all closed. This closure was initially planned to be in place until early April, but as the situation has developed and following government advice, our museums, galleries and Hampshire Wardrobe will now remain closed until 19 April at the earliest.

We have taken the difficult decision to cancel our summer season of shows, classes and workshops at our three arts centres – Ashcroft Arts in Fareham, Forest Arts in New Milton and the West End Centre in Aldershot. While we can’t open our venues in the traditional way throughout this period, we are keen to work with our visiting artists, customers and community to explore creative ideas for how we can keep the doors open to you virtually.

As we move into a new and unknown period together over the coming weeks, with all our norms disrupted and adapting to a new way of living, we hold firm to the belief that culture and the arts are now more important than ever in uplifting our spirits. Although we cannot maintain our normal, physical, social contact, culture offers a virtual community that we can all belong to.

Our creative, dynamic team here at the trust is working hard to pull together a new programme to make sure that we still bring you the very best of arts and culture in Hampshire, wherever you are.

You may already have seen live streams of our exhibitions and there is much more to come! Watch out for our new blog which we’ll be launching next week – here, we’ll be sharing a variety of history and heritage, classes and workshops, education and activities, news and articles, all in virtual form to keep you entertained. As our new lockdown offer evolves, make sure you stay connected on our social channels.

Finally, as an arts and heritage charity, we are like so many people and businesses facing uncertainty in our future funding given the current situation. We are appreciative of the continued support and generosity of all our customers and supporters. Any donation you can give will help us keep people connected.

Thank you all and stay well.

Yours, Paul

Paul Sapwell
CEO, Hampshire Cultural Trust