Crowd Funding to the rescue: Rumah Sanur

As we all know, the local economy has tanked to unbelievable levels since Coronavirus made its disruptive appearance mid-March this year. Nobody was prepared for the economic situation that was to follow. But the big question is, how do you get to the other side? How do we keep our businesses open if there isn’t any cash in the kitty?

Many businesses have had to close since March, leaving thousands of employees on the streets, most without any means of support and having to return home around Bali, Java or even further afield. Within this backdrop lies Rumah Sanur Creative Hub, a co-working event space, restaurant and bar that, like many others, went from 100 to 0 in five minutes flat had some hard questions to answer. Tragically, they also had to deal with the loss of one of the founders of the space, Ayip Budiman, who suddenly died just before the virus curfew took hold of the economy.  At that point, the popular venue in Sanur had to close its doors.

Rumah Sanur has been known as a space to learn, share & showcase creativity, a centre of collaboration for makers/thinkers/artists/innovators from across Indonesia & around the world, and a home away from home for many. It is a place to connect with new people or old friends. It would surely be a shame to see it gone.

According to part of the management team, Rudolf Dethu, over the last five years, Rumah Sanur welcomed over 32,000 people through its doors each year, held 450 events and workshops for over 6,000 attendees annually & has partnered, one way or another, with over 200 organisations.

Jakarta’s Ruangrupa hanging out at Rumah Sanur.

Rumah Sanur and its remaining management decided that they weren’t going to go down easily and had a brainwave of an idea. They have asked for help from their own community in order to keep the lights on and the doors open for the next few crucial months of operation while the economy is expected to remain flat. Crowd funding was the idea it appears to be working.

The Beat spoke to Rudolf Dethu to ask what happened at Rumah Sanur since closing.

Dethu: We gave most of the staff leave but kept four employees, the main admin and security staff and kept it ticking over.

And what has happened since then?

After the initial shock, we started to use the venue as a distribution place for essential food for Covid-19 affected people around Denpasar. We held some acoustic digital concerts, podcast shows, virtual masterclasses and small workshops.

And how did the crowd-funding idea come about?

My work colleague, Summa, and a good friend, Lavinia, and myself. Thanks to those ladies.

And how has the response been?

In the first week of the campaign, the community has rallied around Rumah Sanur to help generate a third of what’s needed to keep the show running till late this year, about six months. We shall be running with a very small team, but we still need more help to get us over the line.

Dethu, with the hat, and some of the Rumah Sanur faithful.

And what do donors get for their money? Free beers?

Ha. The donors will receive different kinds of rewards, depending on the amount of donation they give. From an invitation to the grand re-opening of Rumah Sanur, a custom watercolour portrait, till a VIP concert with The Hydrant. There are a few prizes and rewards available. Check the web page below.

Why do you think your community is prepared to dig deep for Rumah Sanur?

It seems Rumah Sanur is still close to the hearts of many people, those who consider Rumah Sanur like a second home or like family.

I think it’s a great idea and I am sure there’ll be more venues trying it. I wish you all the best with it. Is Rumah Sanur still open as usual or what is the plan?

We’ve been open since May. But most staff are still on leave (except the four I mentioned earlier). No big events, only charity events (essential food distribution, public fridge, both working with some local and global foundations; also digital concerts, virtual masterclasses, etc).

If you would like to help out this possibly essential community space in Sanur check below….

In Indonesia you can donate via our Kitabisacom campaign.
If you are overseas donations can be received via Paypal
or via Bank Transfer (please note donations as ‘Rumah Sanur Crowdfunding’)
Account Number: 145 0011 016 454
Swift Code: BMRIIDJA
Bank Phone: +62361.281017.


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