Helen Rufus-Ward, Eastbourne Arts Circle chairman, explained: “This was the final instalment of £50,000 for the setting up of a new artworks purchase fund called The Towner Development Fund. This was promised in five instalments over five years.
“The Eastbourne Arts Circle raises funds by presenting high quality events including art and music lectures. These are usually held in the Towner’s purpose-built cinema, the building of which was partly funded by the Eastbourne Arts Circle who contributed £100,000.
“Due to building work, until April events are temporarily being held in the Locker Room situated behind the Towner Art Gallery in the Devonshire Park Quarter.
“This latest gift of £10,000 was made despite the charity’s reduced income after two years of lockdowns.”
They managed to continue delivering lectures whilst protecting the members of their charity, many of them elderly so therefore in the highest risk category.
“This was achieved by the transfer of live lectures and events onto Zoom for the period of the Covid restrictions. Thanks to our treasurer Sir Philip Anson a Zoom account was opened and online events commenced not without some comedic moments!
“The Zoom lectures were a great success, proving an ideal format for some members, especially those that are housebound, so much so that we plan to continue offering them from time to time.
“Eastbourne Arts Circle has a small committee of just seven individuals who consider the Towner to be one of Eastbourne’s most important cultural assets. They are proud to have played their part in the success of an art gallery that won the Museum of the Year Award in 2020 and is about to celebrate its centenary.
“Our next Zoom lecture entitled An Orchestra in Sussex: the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra with Nicolas Chisholm will be on January 28 at 2pm. Tickets £5. To book and see our programme of events please visit www.eastbourneartscircle.org.uk.”