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Masterworks in Giving Tuesday appeal

Tom Butterfield, founder and creative director of Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

An arts organisation has appealed for help to go green, one lightbulb at a time.

Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art said it wanted people to donate to its solar campaign for today’s Giving Tuesday.

Tom Butterfield, the founder and creative director of Masterworks, said: “Keeping the lights on is a costly matter.

“This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking people to donate to our solar campaign.

“Installing solar panels and LED bulbs will reduce our electricity bill by a whopping $28,000 a year.

“Crucially, this will allow us to offer more art education programmes, and offer bursaries for students to experience the value of art education. We’re building this initiative lightbulb by lightbulb, which cost $30 each.

“Help us reach our goal of 170 LED lightbulbs so that we can spend those electricity savings on community programmes that make an impact.”

Mr Butterfield said he hoped members of the public would support the new stage of the building’s development.

Mr Butterfield launched the non-profit organisation more than 30 years ago and it is now celebrating a decade in its Botanical Gardens home in Paget, once an arrowroot factory.

The gallery was set up to provide a place to showcase art and artists inspired by Bermuda’s beauty.

He said: “When we built the museum at the former arrowroot factory, we had the community step up and provide us with over $10 million for the building to be refurbished and repurposed into a state-of-the-art museum.

“At the time, solar panels were very expensive and we had to make the decision not to install. As we look towards the future, we are looking at ways to increase the budget for art education and outreach, and reduce our environmental footprint.”

Giving Tuesday was inspired by the American trend and follows the US Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It is aimed at encouraging individuals to support charities and not-for-profit organisations in the community.

A Masterworks spokeswoman added: “The museum is a vital educational and cultural resource for Bermudians, and visitors, young and old.”

She said donations can be made online at www.bermudamasterworks.org or over the phone on 299-4000.

Volunteers will collect donations today at locations around Hamilton.