Artquest and covid-19 / coronavirus

Past Project 2020

Resources and artist-led projects responding to the coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic

This page is no longer being updated: for the latest links, advice and information, see our temporary new home page.

Key messages from Artquest

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Arts Council England

All updates and responses to the covid-19 pandemic are on the Arts Council England website.

Released 24 March 2020 – emergency measures and a £160m funding package including:

  1. £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)
  2. £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.
  3. £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

Education, creative entertainment and other activities

Networks for support and against isolation

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

The future

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