Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

 

We’ll be updating this list of resources and opportunities as we find them.

If there’s something you think should be included, please let us know via – info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk

 

[Last updated 3 April 2020]

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Calling all artists and those working in the visual arts sector…

Last week, Arts Council England and HM Treasury announced emergency sector support measures to help visual arts workers affected by COVID-19. We are keen to develop our understanding of the impact of these measures upon the visual arts sector. The Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) has built a survey with Earthen Lamp, a-n The Artists Information Company, ArtQuest, AxisWeb, CuratorSpace, DACS, Artists’ Union England, Guild, and Engage, and are looking for your help.

As key sector support organisations working to support the visual arts in its broadest sense, we want to understand how to best to deploy our capacity and resource over the challenging weeks, months and years ahead.

How has this pandemic disrupted your practice? Do you feel that enough has been done to help?

The research will inform our approach to sector support collaboration moving forward, coalescing around the needs of a future visual arts sector that is changed as much for the better as recovered to the status quo.

Fill in the short survey HERE.

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Groups

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.

Artist Edie Jo Murray has started a Slack group for West Midlands artists.

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) have set up a Facebook Group for those marketing during these difficult times.

 

Government support

HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses and the self-employed concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Government announced in the Budget in October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply in the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. In response to Coronavirus, in the Budget on 11 March the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. Information on this Business Rate Relief an be found here.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has launched a dedicated website providing the latest information for West Midlands businesses hit by the Covid-19 crisis. The site provides a bespoke resource for businesses seeking up-to-date advice on how to deal with the pandemic as well as what financial support is available and how to access it.

 

Funding/Opportunities

Arts Council England have announced that £160 million of emergency funding is being made made available for organisations and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis. In order to apply, you need to register with Grantium by Friday 3 April 2020. A written guide to setting up an account can be found here, a YouTube video on setting up an account can be found here.

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.

Herefordshire community groups, charities, and collectives can still apply for My Place grants of up to £2,000 from Herefordshire’s a Great Place. “This funding might not solve the problems we’re all facing right now, but it could be a little light at the end of tunnel. Grants can be used to commission artists & creatives to make new work or run arts activities across Herefordshire. The arts activity doesn’t have to happen until much later in the year, but it could be a lifeline for Herefordshire-based creatives right now. Maybe you want to support your village hall, a community or small group near you?”

Axisweb have started a hardship fund for “any member experiencing financial hardship – unable to work, disabled, a carer, on low income or freelance – is eligible to apply.”

Creative Black Country are offering small creative commissions of £500 – £2000 for projects that develop creative activity with and for local communities in the Black Country to make connections and support local people during these extraordinary and difficult times. Inspired by the positive responses around the world from balcony singing in Italy to digital choir platforms and #lockdownkitchendisco, they are looking for creative responses to the social distancing challenge which bring fun, joy and creativity to local people in the Black Country, and keep people connected.

Disability Arts Online have set up a new fund to commission digital content from disabled artists working in the UK. Deadline: Monday 6 April 2020.

Arts Council England and BBC Arts have announced a new £250k Culture in Quarantine fund to help artists create new video, audio and interactive works from self-isolation.

The Coventry City of Culture team and The Heart of England Community Foundation have released a Coronavirus Resilience Fund wishing to support those in the community for whom the cancelling of public events has hit the hardest across Coventry and Warwickshire. This hardship fund will support arts organisations and individual artists to help them through this difficult time. The maximum grant size for organisations is: £1000 and the maximum for individuals, £500.

CuratorSpace is developing a new (free) service for artists who have experience delivering workshops. This service will allow them to set up, organise and promote online courses through CuratorSpace to their international database and social media following. The service will be made available for free for 6 months to support artists who are struggling to make a living due the loss of income from face-to-face workshops.

To help support a-n Artist members whose livelihoods have been impacted by Coronavirus Covid-19, they have brought the application process forward for the next round of a-n Artist Bursaries, and are also announcing new funding for artists and arts organisers who make exhibitions happen.

We’re offering 10 Micro Bursary opportunities for West Midlands-based artists and arts professionals to share their experiences of the COVID-19 crisis – case studies & points of view around practice in these exceptional times. Deadline: 4pm, Wednesday 15 April 2020.

 

 

Reading

Information and guidance for artists and arts organisers from a-n.

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) have released a list of resources with links to AMA support, sector & freelancer tips and guides, and funding body advice. They have a free webinar on Crisis Comms planning coming up.

UK Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources List – A collection of links to resources to help freelance creatives and artists.

Coronovirus Tech Handbook – virtual event resources and advice.

10 Tips for Cultural Organisations for COVID-19 – via Counterculture.

Useful resources for the attractions and travel industry – via Rubber Cheese.

The basics of surviving and thriving for those suddenly forced to network entirely online – by Sonia Boué.

Exploring art under self-isolation in Birmingham (and beyond.) A nice piece from James Kennedy on plans for art spaces in the region to present work online.

 

Misc

The Creative Industries Federation is offering free membership for the next 6 months. “We are only as strong as our membership and we need creatives from across the country to join us at this time of crisis for the sector… join us as a Creative Industries Federation Member free of charge… so we can support you with relevant news and updates whilst you navigate the challenges of the ongoing Coronavirus emergency.”

Arts Professional are removing their subscription paywall for all Covid-19 related news, resources and content to support arts workers.

Arts producer Laura Sweeney has shared a downloadable Lost Earnings Log template which could help with applications for financial support.

Cultural organisations are rushing to get content online – Chris Unitt has started to put together a list of what organisations are doing in one place. Please fill in his spreadsheet with links to performances, tours, talks, classes, games, etc.

The #CovidCreativesToolkit, ‘a set of curated mostly free & open source resources to support creative practitioners (artists, makers, curators, designers, hackers, educators, facilitators, etc) who need to migrate their practice onto digital places & spaces, and don’t have time to mess around.’

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