London Ticket Bank scheme will be cultural food bank for those on low incomes – Yahoo! Voices

A new scheme will launch in London next year to offer free cultural activities for those struggling with the cost of living.
The Ticket Bank will act as the cultural equivalent of food banks, aimed at helping those with low incomes to access music, theatre, comedy and dance.
The scheme will work by offering around 1000 unsold tickets per week for events across London to those who can’t afford to purchase them.
To find those who need access to low-cost tickets, the scheme will partner with organisations such as Centrepoint and the Trussell Trust which runs UK food banks.
Launching in January, tickets will be available for free or as a “pay what you can” type variation.
“Art is a human right. And the tighter things get with people’s finances, the more they will be squeezed out of art,” said Chris Sonnex, the man behind the new scheme, in an interview with The Guardian.
Sonnex is the artistic director of Cardboard Citizens, which “aims to create space for people in society through engaging & unlocking the life-changing and unlimited possibilities of theatre and arts”.
“There are brilliant people putting together food banks and heat banks, but that doesn’t give humanity its basic needs from a soul point of view,” he explained.
Sonnex believes ticket prices are one of the biggest blockades on those wanting to access the arts.
He continued: “People who are suffering as a result of the cost of living also need access to community, entertainment and things that warm the soul.
“If people are going to the theatre, [at least] they’ll be warm for a couple of hours,” he added.
So far, seven London venues such as The Roundhouse, The National Theatre and the Barbican have signed up to the scheme, with more expected to join in the new year.
The organisers hope that other cities in the UK will replicate the model to create similar opportunities.
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