The New Art West Midlands team is shifting the way we work over the coming weeks, in response to Government advice and supporting the efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19. During this difficult time, we are working with our partners to postpone and where possible reschedule our face-to-face activities and opportunities (see further information below).
We will redirect the focus of our next round of Micro Bursaries (a go-and-see resource in previous years) towards evidence gathering around the impact on artists’ livelihoods caused by the Coronavirus outbreak and the unprecedented measures taken to slow the spread of the disease.
Shortly we will open this as a paid opportunity, inviting artists and arts professionals to share experiences of the current situation – case studies, points of view and thought pieces around practice in these exceptional times.
Alongside, we are undertaking some research to run over the course of the next few weeks to gather information on the precarious position of the visual arts workforce – those working in freelance capacities and dependent on the prevalent gig economy. Watch this space and please engage.
Together we hope to build an evidence base to use to advocate for artists and arts professionals in a position of hardship over coming months and to gain a better understanding of the economic position of the keyworkers as the sector looks towards recovery. We are in conversation with Arts Council England to ensure that the evidence we collect is as useful to the sector as it possibly can be.
In the meantime, we are not going anywhere. We will continue to champion and support artists, arts professionals and culture across the region. If you need to reach us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via our social media channels.
Further guidance and support is shared below, including Arts Council England’s latest update and MAIA’s fundraiser to support West Midlands’ artists. Please continue to share your opportunities, news and work with us – and most importantly, stay safe.
Craig, Anneka and Annabel x
Some useful resources:
Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses is a growing Facebook group and support system set up in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the self-employed – many from the creative industries.
MAIA have launched a fundraiser to provide hardship funds for artists, cultural workers, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts. Donate or find out how to apply here.
The arts community in the USA is mobilising fast to organise support for artists during the crisis. These resources, shared by Arts Council on Twitter have an international focus, and are not only relevant for American artists.
HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses and the self-employed concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus.