The Victorian Cultural Preservation Fund is a concept for a community driven investment portfolio that would seek donations in order to acquire places of cultural and historical significance to the people of Melbourne and Victoria. The Fund would be formed as a coalition of community campaigns and grass-roots startups and would ultimately serve as your one-stop-shop for historical and cultural preservation. As ‘save’ campaigns pop up around the state at a forever increasing rate, the battle for the spotlight intensifies, ‘pull-power’ diminishes and the likely success of such campaigns is thus jeopardised.
Funding is actually one of the biggest hurdles for grass-roots campaigns. People don’t donate to grass-roots causes because they don’t know the people behind them (ie. a Facebook page or online petition); there is no repute and so there is no confidence or guarantee that the money donated will actually go towards a good cause or a real outcome. The same applies to garnering celebrity/high profile endorsements. Many community campaigns face a huge struggle trying to engage celebrities mainly because the people behind the causes are perceived as ‘nobodies’, “who’s John from Save The Building? Why do I care?”. It takes time for brands to emerge and to earn the trust and respect of their customers. ‘Save’ campaigns are ‘reactive’ and ephemeral and thus the time spent building rapport may well require more time than the duration of the campaign itself. Hence by bringing all the campaigns under one banner we may build a strong ‘brand’ and identity that people are familiar with and that people trust. In turn we may garner more permanent support both financial and via endorsement and ultimately see the advent of real outcomes.
The VCPF, as it may be known, would rely on private donations for funding. The funds would go towards legal representation and professional historical research. Funds would also go towards investments. Any acquisition made by the VCPF would then be leased out to private operators and any lease terms would require a tenant to maintain a building or place’s heritage fabric to an acceptable level. The VCPF agenda would be to preserve places that are important to the cultural fabric of Melbourne and Victoria. While its primary focus may be on places for the arts, it may also expand to sporting facilities and even retail premises that are of historical or heritage value.
At this stage we are working on developing the concept and engaging participants and parties whom may be interested in this community coalition.
Feel free to write to us with your thoughts.