Artquest and covid-19 / coronavirus
Resources and artist-led projects responding to the coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic
Last updated 24 March 2020 – will be updated regularly
Key messages from Artquest
- Stay at home – do not endanger yourself or members of your community by leaving home unless urgent and unavoidable. If you must leave home, stay at least 2m away from other people. If you think you have symptoms – a persistent, new, continuous cough and a fever – check the NHS website.
- Artquest are paying all freelance artists for committed projects, even if they are unable to complete their work at this time. No projects are cancelled – all projects are postponed.
- New projects are in development to support artists who have lost earnings due to cancelled work or unemployment, to maintain community amongst artists in London, to support artists experiencing self-isolation or social distancing, and to signpost to existing resources and projects of use.
Official advice and announcements
- NHS Coronavirus / Covid-19 advice
- World Health Organisation announcements
- Caring for people with Coronavirus (with special instructions for those who are immunocompromised)
- UK Government Coronavirus announcements and advice
- UK Government support for small businesses
- BBC News explainers on coronavirus
- UK Government announces ban on evictions from any rental property during Coronavirus pandemic
- Open letter from Creative Industries Federation on a Temporary Income Protection Fund for Freelancers
Arts Council England
Released 24 March 2020 – emergency measures and a £160m funding package including:
- £90 million available to NPOs to ‘reboot their creative work, but we also understand it may be required to alleviate financial pressures on NPOs’. In addition, this round of NPO funding will continue until 2023, with the next round of applications opening in 2022 (originally scheduled to open autumn 2021)
- £50 million available to organisations that are not in receipt of regular funding from Arts Council England. Organisations who have applied to National Lottery Project Grants are welcome to apply for this support.
- £20 million of financial support available to individuals to sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months.
A number of organisations are surveying artists about their working conditions and loss of earnings to advocate to Government for better support for freelancers – tell them your experience to help with this work
- Creative Industries Federation survey (17 March 2020)
- Redeye coronavirus survey
- a-n coronavirus / covid-19 survey
Education, creative entertainment and other activities
- edX – free online learning and college lectures (USA)
- Women’s History Month Virtual Film Festival – free viewing of films from 1-31 March 2020
- The Social Distancing Festival – showcasing work by artists whose projects have been postponed or cancelled
- United in Isolation – an information hub for creatives during COVID-19 crisis
- Do Think Share – creative activities for everyone for two weeks from 23 March 2020
- Singing for Better Breathing – warm-ups and singing for those wishing to improve breathing health and wellbeing by singing
- 30works30days – month long project by 12ø collective for artists to submit a new piece of work daily during April
Networks for support and against isolation
- #CreativeNetwork – daily online Zoom meet-up (9.30-10.30am) for anyone connected to the arts and culture hosted by Voluntary Arts
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid groups – volunteer network of local support organising for the most vulnerable in our communities – also on Twitter
- Tips from free online conferencing tool Zoom on effective remote meetings
- Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses
- UK Theatre Industry Corona virus support group -includes helpful links and information to freelancers who have lost work
- Covid-19 Outdoor Arts Information, Questions & Advice Forum
Ad hoc financial support and hardship fundraising
GoFundMe campaigns have been started for creatives and artists in Hull, the West Midlands, South West and Essex, with likely more around that we’ve not heard about – tell us if you’re missing any so we can promote it here.
- Artists Support Pledge – artist Matthew Burrows idea to encourage artists to buy work from each other, up to £200, and use some of the proceeds to support other artists
Organisation coronavirus information pages
Many support organisations in the arts have prepared information pages for artists working in different media or practices
- UK Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources List – UK-focussed collection of links to resources to help freelance creatives and artists during the current COVID-19 pandemic
- Manchester International Festival Resources for Artists and Freelancers – evolving list of resources for the freelance creative community who might be looking for support and guidance as a result of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19
- Live Art Development Agency – for performance and live artists
- People Dancing – dance practitioners working in participatory settings
- Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance – wide range of articles and resources for personal wellbeing and what’s going on around the arts
- Nailsea Town Council – local council creative hub network near Bristol
- Engage – from the national association of gallery education
- Arts Professional – CovidCulture resources page
- DACS have pinned a tweet for useful resources
Much has been written about how we’re not going back to ‘normal’ after all this – some articles about what the future might hold as a result of social distancing and the lack of preparedness for pandemics
- Flatten the curve, grow the care – collective note-taking effort to document and learn from the organising of solidarity in response to the urgency of care precipitated by the pandemic of Coronavirus
- Nothing is going to be the same again – Jonathon Shafi outlines the scale of the challenge facing us – and how the Common Weal think tank plans to meet it
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