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Sting and Dame Margaret Barbour to be Sage Gateshead Covid-19 Patrons

The rock musician, Sting, and Dame Margaret Barbour, the philanthropist, have been announced as Patrons of Sage Gateshead’s Covid-19 fundraising campaign, Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance.

The news was announced as the campaign, which was launched in June and aims to place art and culture at the heart of the region’s recovery, reached £200,000 in public donations. This represents 20% of the charity’s first year target.

Sting and Dame Margaret Barbour are both long-time supporters of Sage Gateshead. Sting recently supported the Sage Gateshead’s Stand Up for Sage Gateshead campaign, which highlighted its plans to reconfigure the seating arrangements in Sage One to allow for standing gigs and a more diverse music programme. Dame Margaret has supported Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, since before Sage Gateshead was built in 2004.

The Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance campaign forms part of a wider initiative, A Future for Live Music in the North East, which aims to explore with audiences, musicians and communities what the future of music should look like.

Sting said:

‘Sage Gateshead is a vital and irreplaceable part of musical life in the North-East. It’s a world-class venue that attracts musicians from across the globe, nurtures the next generation of musicians from our region and does amazing work with communities.

‘As a result of the global pandemic, they’re now facing significant financial challenges. I’m delighted to be able to support their current three-year campaign as a Patron and I hope they’ll bounce back from this crisis to make live music a major part of the North East’s recovery.’

Sage Gateshead Managing Director, Abigail Pogson, said:

‘We are grateful that the government has recognised the importance of the arts as part of the recent £1.57 billion announcement. The cultural sector generates £32bn for the economy a year. Just as importantly, cultural activity is part of our national life, contributing to our wellbeing, education and social lives.

‘However, we know that government support is only one of the ways in which we will get through this crisis phase and into recovery and we’ll need to work very hard ourselves to close the significant financial gap we face. Our own fundraising efforts remain a top priority, therefore, which is why we are doing everything we can to advance them.

‘I am so grateful to Sting and Dame Margaret, as friends of Sage Gateshead, for pledging to walk alongside us during this very challenging time. I am also hugely thankful to every single person who donated in support of Sage Gateshead during the campaign so far. We have been so overwhelmed by the support.’