A Night of Coney: Ben Yeoh writes

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There are just three weeks to go until A Night of Coney, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and supporters so far. We can’t wait to welcome so many of you to Toynbee Studios on the 19th of July, from our Associates and makers from the Network, to Kickstarter backers and Friends of Coney.

It’s going to be a brilliant room full of co-authors (that’s you) playing The Homecoming (a brand new piece of mystery theatre), followed by A Dinner of Coney and dancing. So we can guarantee plenty of fun and games – and it’s all fundraising for our work with young people, with everything we raise doubled by the Arts Council through Catalyst: Evolve.

Ben Yeoh, the chair of Coney’s Board, is one of the incredible people helping to make this fundraiser happen. Read on to find out more about why that’s so important, in his own words – Ben writes:

Coney enriches humanity by its playful making. Big words from a little creature.

A healthy forest has some impressive ancient oaks. Theatre has some impressive old institutions. However for those institutions to continue to thrive they need to be pollinated and energised by more nimble, agile, smaller creatures. A playful, innovative creative creature like Coney.

This makes Coney  a crucial component of the performing arts ecosystem. 

Flitting from the tiny (undernourished singleton artists) to the mammoth (centuries-old institutions). Our playful makers nurture and challenge and innovate.

We form part of the argument for why art matters.  We shout it. We whisper it. We write it. We make it. We dream it. We play it. We sleep it.  We dare to dream more and we ask why not?

We increasingly attempt to cut across silos. Across the Arts. Across industries into education, digital, and the National Probation Service to name some. 

In this noisy, polarised, bite sized echo chamber of our world we try and gather people – all people – all diverse wonderful people and start a dialogue. A positive playful conversation.  We become the change we want to be, one playful rabbit step at a time. 

Like all small charities, we need to raise money, but we wish to do so in a playful way and along with the support of large institutions such as Arts Council and Foundations, we would like to engage directly with people who like and support our work.

If intrigued and new to us, or a long time support, please come for dinner and game and support us.

Ben Yeoh is a portfolio manager of equities for pension funds, and also a playwright. He chairs Coney, is a former chair of Talawa Theatre, and supports the autism charity, Focus West London. He keeps a personal blog at www.thendobetter.com

There are still a few spaces left to join us at A Night Of Coney – you can donate to join us on the 19th here.

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