Dramatic Need Closing Statement

11th November 2020

Dear Dramatic Need community, followers and supporters, It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to tell you that, effective from 31st December this year, the Dramatic Need board of trustees has decided to close the charity permanently. By its very nature, the financial security of a non-profit entity such as Dramatic Need is always precarious. The world is politically and economically a different place from what it was when Dramatic Need was founded in 2007. An increasingly difficult fundraising environment coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic has placed all of our funding revenues under unsupportable strain. As a charity, our survival has depended on a very strict funding cycle based on creative fundraisers as well as a limited number of grant-giving trusts. As a charity operating overseas from our place of registration we are not eligible for UK government assistance. In this, we are not alone We had carefully planned, for May of this year, a large-scale fine arts fundraiser and podcast to be launched simultaneously. However, the global pandemic has made the hosting of theatrical or fine arts fundraisers all but impossible and as South Africa and Europe face further possible lockdowns, it seems that we are unable to form any reliable fundraising plans. Our financial reserves will run out at the end of this year and, after lengthy discussions, and given such an uncertain future, not only in fundraising and the arts, but in terms of our on-the-ground operations, the decision has been made to give our team as much notice as possible so that they, and we, can support our students through this change as best as possible. As such, we will finish our final student programming on December 4th of this year, 13 years and 5 months after we first opened our doors. Our arts equipment inventory and vehicles will be shared between two local charities with whom we have been working for several years. After almost 14 years running Dramatic Need this is a very sad letter for me to have to write, but I am immensely proud of what we achieved, from the three art centres we built, to the 46 schools we supported annually, to the eight years of daily after-school arts workshops and the 40,000+ Rwandan and South African children that came through our doors over the years to take part in our volunteer programmes and workshops. I know what we did changed many young lives irrevocably for the better, and I would like to thank you all for the considerable part you played in making it happen.

Image 1:  Friday Boys Visual Art Club, June 2012 Image 2: Drawing Workshop with Lucy Jane Turpin, September 2019 Image 3: The Piet Patsa Community Art Centre, July 2011 Thank you. Kea Leboha Amber Sainsbury Chief Executive Officer

#DramaticNeed #creativechange #artseducation #charity #nonprofit #covid19

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England and Wales Charity Number: 1119443

England and Wales Company Number: 06051122


South Africa Non-Profit Company Number: 2017/212994/08

USA 501(c)(3) Foundation Number: 82-1037862


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Dramatic Need is a registered charity and company in England and Wales, numbers 1119443 and 06051122 respectively; a registered non-profit company in South Africa, number 2017/212994/08; and a registered 501(c)(3) foundation in the USA, number 82-1037862 


Official Patron: Her Excellency, Dr. Lindiwe Mabuza, former South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.


Board of Trustees UK and South Africa: Ms. Vanessa Garwood, Mr. Phil Drew, Mr. Simon Oakes, Ms. Amanda Lambert, 

Mr Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Mr James Mullighan and Ms Helia Ebrahimi. 

Board of Trustees USA: Ms. Aubrey Henderson Siegel, Ms. Amanda Lambert, Ms Holly Noland Dunlap.