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News - 4th of October 2022

PICA launches tongue-in-cheek fundraising campaign to replace its Performance Space seats 

PICA launches tongue-in-cheek fundraising campaign to replace its Performance Space seats 

On Friday 30 September, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) launched its new fundraising campaign – #PICANoNumbBums – to replace its “notoriously uncomfortable” Performance Space seats. 

Following years of painful reviews, labelling the seats “ungodly”, “excruciating” and “torturous”, PICA will finally upgrade the seating bank thanks to its new buy-a-seat fundraising campaign. 

The campaign pays homage to the many harsh, occasionally concerned, and just plain funny reviews that PICA has received over the years.  

Local Perth performers and regular PICA collaborators – including Grace Chow, The Last Great Hunt’s Jeffrey Jay Fowler, Ella Hetherington, Jacinta Larcombe, Sarah Nelson, and Renee Newman – joined the cause, performatively reading and riffing on a selection of the hard seat reviews in the style of Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘mean tweets’ videos. 

Acting Director Georgia Malone said: “For years, PICA’s been in desperate need of new Performance Space seats. They’re well known throughout the Perth arts community for being notoriously uncomfortable, and we’ve embraced this for our fundraising campaign.” 

For $1,000, people can ‘buy’ a seat in the Performance Space. To acknowledge their contribution, PICA will feature their name on a plaque on one of the new seats. Supporters can also donate an amount of their choice, with all donations going towards the $100,000 target to replace the 14-year-old seating bank. 

“We’ve already had an incredible response to No Numb Bums, with over $20,000 raised and fantastic feedback on the campaign. So many have suffered through those seats, and we wanted to create a campaign that played into this, would stand out and inspire people to get on board,” said Malone.

PICA’s history of fundraising began in 2008 and has focused on engaging with high-income donors alongside everyday arts lovers, who can become an Instant Philanthropist for $200 and above. 

“No Numb Bums continues this dual fundraising approach, offering an entry point donation of just $20 for those who would like to contribute but buying a seat is out of reach. PICA is a community, and that’s an important part of our approach to philanthropy,” said PICA Chair Mark Clapham. 

“Giving should make you feel part of a community, and in the case of No Numb Bums, that good feeling comes with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek hilarity.” 

PICA aims to meet its $100,000 target by late 2022 to commission and install new, more comfortable seating in mid-2023.

You can watch local performers read the seats reviews online and donate to #PICANoNumbBums at pica.org.au/no-numb-bums

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Sam Leung
Communications Manager
sam.leung@pica.org.au
08 9228 6307

About #PICANoNumbBums

The era of comfy bums at PICA is coming. Put your money where your bum is and usher in a new dawn of soft seats.

Buy a seat for $1,000

For a $1,000 a seat you can turn numb bums into comfy ones. To say thank you and recognise your generous contribution to the much-needed comfort of PICA patrons, we’ll add your name* to our new soft seats. Or get a group together and have fun debating what to call your shared seat.

Make a donation from $20

Donate an amount of your choosing, and your name will be celebrated on our website**, and, of course, in the hearts (and bums) of all who shall ever sit in the PICA Performance Space.

Patron Reviews

“Pls get better chairs!”
— Patron review, Jupiter Orbiting, 2019

“I understand budget constraints, but those seats are so bad, I really have to think twice about attending any show in the performance space.”
— Patron review, Electronic Concerto, 2017

“Seating in the venue was unbearably uncomfortable. It resulted in me not being able to be completely invested in the performance as my body was in pain towards the end.”
— Patron review, Unheimlich, 2021

“It was a wonderful performance, however, the seats were excruciatingly uncomfortable. We almost wondered if the discomfort was choreographed to increase a visceral response to the performance content!!”
— Patron review, Unheimlich, 2021

“I would have rated this performance a lot better if I were not so physically uncomfortable for the entire show. Hard seats, too close together, too low… by 10 mins in my body was screaming to move but the whole row was connected so I couldn’t even shift around for fear of rocking everyone. I was clock watching, bum and leg went to sleep, my partner got a terrible leg cramp and was also in silent agony. We are not even old! I had a headache for 3 days I’m sure from being in such a state of tension and pain. 100 x TERRIBLE SEATING! Show was pretty great.” 
— Patron review, Alluvial Gold, 2022

“Very uncomfortable seats. The most uncomfortable I’ve ever met.”
— Patron review, Alluvial Gold, 2022

“The chairs are the least comfy chairs I’ve sat in and really detracted from the theatre experience. I missed lots of info on the show just trying to sit comfortably :(”
— Patron review, Telephone, 2022

*All chosen seat names will be included at PICA’s discretion. So, please be kind and respectful of our patrons when picking the name that represents you.
**Amounts over $100 will be acknowledged on our website for five years

Image: No Numb Bums featuring Grace Chow and Jeffrey Jay Fowler (still), 2022, video: Edwin Sitt