Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown, many businesses have been forced to shut down, and many organisations to halt their operations – including the Baxter Theatre, based at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
The Baxter Theatre is the most active theatre in South Africa, presenting more than 3 000 performances a year; however, it was forced to stop operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am sure you will agree that when this pandemic is over, the arts will play a significant role in finding meaning, healing, and bringing communities together in celebration of our humanity,” said Lara Foot, Baxter Theatre chief executive. “It is extremely difficult in these times to find a sizeable annual grant from any individual or business, and this brings me to our carefully considered drive to ensure our sustainability.”
“When this pandemic is over, the arts will play a significant role in finding meaning, healing, and bringing communities together.”
Foot is appealing to theatre lovers everywhere to “buy the Baxter a cup of coffee every month”, which means contributing R30 per month, or R360 per year, and to help it reach 30 000 contributors by sharing this initiative with friends and family.
“We need to accumulate 30 000 donors over the next year. This would amount to approximately R10 800 000 per year. I do not see our theatre operating functionally until early 2021. We have to raise R5 000 000 to get through this year. The Baxter’s very existence depends on this amount.”
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March. The intention of these drastic measures is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected. Although South Africa has recently reached a peak of COVID-19 infections, the country is expecting a surge in positive cases in August.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
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In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.