Whatever way you spin it, 2020 has been a long year. At Clean Break, we’ve had our share of trying moments and we know from our cherished Members that most of them have found this year very challenging. However, we are proud that we have found a way through it, continued to deliver our programme to our Members and across women’s centres; to make groundbreaking art and remained true to our core values. None of this would have been possible without you, our wider community. Thank you for sticking with us while our building and theatres were closed and through your own undoubted pressures.
Our Members: We want to thank you for your resilience, the care that you have shown one another, your patience while we helped you to access our online programme, your courage to embrace that offer, your brilliant presence at our webinars and online events and for sharing your voices as artists through our project, 2 Metres Apart.
Our Funders: From the funders who know us, to those that are new to us this year; thank you. It is no exaggeration to say that without you we would not still be standing, and in a healthy position today. We would like to take this moment to say an additional thank you to the Cultural Recovery Fund, Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, National Lottery Community Fund, London Funders, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Arts Council England and Rank Foundation, who all provided transformative emergency support.
Our Staff Team: We are so proud and grateful to our team of exceptional women for their hard work, kindness and the immense skills they have shown in 2020. This year you helped to steer the organisation through furloughs, the epic achievement of reopening the building, a total reimagining of how we speak to audiences and engage with Members and triumphant diligence in achieving the financial sustainability of Clean Break. You’re amazing!
Our Artists: We’ve made two films, recorded an audio drama, made new commissions, developed our pipeline of plays, and worked with over 24 writers and artists to help us interpret this moment. You’ve delivered numerous sessions to our Members, adapted your practice in imaginative ways and continued to show your absolute dedication to our mission and vision. You are the backbone of the company. Thank you.
Our Partners: The strength of working together with partner organisations has been one of our greatest highlights this year. Alongside other women’s organisations in London, we have formed the London Women’s Services Alliance; with our academic partners, we have offered seminars, launched our archive and undertaken research; and with our arts partners, we have sent 200 messages of hope to women in prisons, created new digital work and provided much valued mutual support.
Our Volunteers and Patrons: Our volunteers always offer essential support, but this year that pool expanded to include more artists, Patrons and friends who gave their time by offering masterclasses, becoming creative buddies and mentors, speaking on panels and supporting our Development campaigns. Special thanks to Maxine Peake who was the voice of our BBC Radio 4 Campaign and Zawe Ashton who fronted our Big Give Campaign.
Our Trustees: Between multiple extra meetings, invaluable insights and steady support, our Board has been incredible this year. We thank our Trustees for their commitment, faith and kindness, particularly our outgoing Chair Kim Evans and our incoming Chair Alison Frater.
Our gratitude is abundant, and we will be channelling that into a new, hopeful year which we are approaching with optimism, emboldened by all you have done, big, small, immeasurable for Clean Break this year. Wishing you all a healthy and peaceful festive season and see you in 2021.
Anna, Erin and Róisín.