At the beginning of the pandemic we asked you to help us keep the doors of Outhouse open and you responded with so much generosity that we were able to do just that. There were times over the last 20 months, like many others, when the ‘doors’ were online, but we still managed to keep them open, providing much needed support for the Outhouse community. By taking part in the annual Arthouse auction, you have helped us raise vital funds that will be used to make sure the lights are on, the community spirit prevails and that the doors remain open.
In living through these last months, the pandemic has forced each of us to reflect on what is important to us. I know many of us have a new-found depth of appreciation for the role of art and creativity in our lives: This has been so important in sustaining us all and as a source of inspiration during these difficult times. Again this year we had a high quality of work, as evidenced by the fact we had twice as many buyers this year compared to last, with strong interest and demand across the board.
The generosity of each of the more than 150 artists who participated is also hugely appreciated, particularly during what continues to be such a difficult time for the Arts sector. We are delighted to be able to partner with such a diverse range of talented artists, and in supporting the auction, you are also helping to secure the future of the Arts in Ireland. Most artists received 50% of the hammer price from each piece, while a number generously waived any of their proceeds.
In total the auction’s final bids reached just over €64,000, with ca. €25,000 being returned to the artists, meaning we will raise just under €30,000 for Outhouse once the cost of running the auction itself has been accounted for. This is money that is badly needed to stay operational through this continued period of uncertainty, until our café, theatre and meeting rooms can buzz again.
The pandemic has prompted Outhouse and many other charities to reflect on how our services and offerings may need to adapt over the coming months and years. Outhouse is, and will always strive to be, a vibrant, safe, welcoming space for the LGBT+ community, and this remains central to our work. In 2022, we will be reviewing and developing our strategic plan for the coming years to ensure we can continue to deliver vital services for the LGBT+ community in Ireland most effectively.
If you would like to learn more about the work that Outhouse does, please sign up to our mailing list and newsletter HERE. We promise not to bombard you but rather provide you with updates, offer opportunities to become involved and of course keep you informed about Arthouse.
Finally, a very special thank you to those central to the organising and running of the auction: Myriam, Martin, Mirthyani, David, Karen, and all the staff of Outhouse.
With continued support from the artistic community and the public, we look forward to see you back next year. Until then, on behalf of all at Outhouse, wishing you a joyful and peaceful festive season and best wishes for 2022.