Resources for Artists and Freelancers
Artists, freelancers and others within the creative community have been badly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and we’ve compiled an evolving list of resources for anyone looking for information, advice and support.
It’s by no means a comprehensive list and information is constantly changing, so we’ve made it an open document that you can add to. It also comes from a number of different sources, and we’d like to acknowledge the work of our friends at Exeunt, who have an excellent sector specific list on their website.
Artists and freelancers are also invited to our online drop-in sessions, which now take place on regularly on Thursdays at 6-7pm. More information available here. We’re also backing the GM Artist Hub, alongside other organisations across Greater Manchester – please see the link for more information.
- Arts Council England
- Independent Theatre Council
- HMRC Covid-19 help line for self-employed and businesses: 0300 456 3565
- ACAS: an independent organisation that gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice.
Online networking and resource sharing
- Theatre Industry Corona Virus Facebook Group
- Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses
- This Virtual Music Directory offers advice on how to live-stream music events and has live calendar of live music streamed events to watch
- Free digital advisory sessions for artists from Artsadmin
- Outdoor Arts Info, Questions & Advice Facebook Group from OAUK
- Producer Ruby Glaskin’s spreadsheet helps you do a simple risk assessment on your freelance income
- Employment and Support Allowance can be claimed by eligible freelancers from first day of illness.
- Universal Credit is suspending the minimum income floor; you don’t have to go into a job centre.
- Useful guide on applying here
- There’s a dedicated HMRC helpline for freelancers and businesses who are worried about paying their tax
- The Music Venue Trust is offering live advice for Grassroots Music Venues to try and sustain them through the impacts of COVID-19
- Petition: Include self-employed in statutory sick pay
- This spreadsheet of Lost Earnings of Arts Freelancers due to COVID-19 is trying to keep a log of all of the changes affecting arts freelancers month-by-month, to show the impact COVID-19 has on livelihoods
Grants and funding
- The Government have announced £1.57 billion investment in the culture & heritage sector. More news on how this will be distributed soon.
- The Theatre Artists Fund are providing one-off emergency grant of £1,000 to those working in the theatre sector – find out if you’re eligible and apply here
- The Artist General Benevolent Fund financially supports professional artists in need and their dependents living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland who cannot work or earn due to accident, illness or older age.
- Film and Television Charity offer advice and one off grants for urgent and immediate financial assistance for those in the film, TV and cinema industry
- Equity Charitable Trust, Educational grants for professional performers to retrain and re-qualify in a different field, alongside one-off welfare grants for those who find themselves in critical need
- Help for Musicians, Offering musicians Health and Welfare grants, Creative development grants – plus help for those with long-term illness
- Live Events PSA Stagehand Welfare and Benevolent Fund, small grants to help tide people over or retrain for those who work in the live event production industry
- The Theatrical Guild offers financial support, access to counselling, training sponsorship and welfare advice to those working in all areas of theatre
- Actors Benevolent Fund for professional actors, actresses and stage managers Financial assistance for those unable to work due to injury, illness or old age with household expenses, including a regular weekly payment and contributions towards bills and sometimes assistance with one off payments for items such as disability aids or kitchen appliances
- Turbine Theatre is running online fundraiser Funds for Freelancers
- Frazer Brown is matching donations on stagily-named arts fundraiser Last Year’s Rent
- More creative nomenclature at Scottish artists’ fundraiser Wan Mair Tune Fund
- Wales Arts Review is fundraising for emergency bursaries
- SOLT has set up a microsite for affected performers with links to charities and other bodies who can help
- The Manchester Artists Coronavirus Hardship Fund been set up here
- Liverpool Artists Coronavirus Hardship Fund here
- Hull Artists Coronavirus Hardship Fund here
- Swoop: simplifies and speeds up access to loans, grants and equity funding for business in the UK and Ireland
- Prince’s Trust Grants for those aged 16 – 30 Studying less that 14 hours a week, unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week for course fees, tools, equipment or uniforms for a job or qualification, job licence fees and transport to a new job until your first pay slip
- Royal Variety Charity for all people that have worked professionally in the entertainment industry, financial assistance, plus residential and care home
- The Royal Society of Musicians – All applications to the Society are considered in confidence. Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors.
- Axis Web 50 x £100 awards for members that are facing significant financial hardship and who are unable to work, disabled, a carer, on low income or freelance
- PRS Member’s Fund Provide support and advice to PRS members (7 years or £500 of royalties) and their families, who may be struggling financially, physically or emotionally and are in need of help.
- Dance fund: Financial grants to dance professionals of all ages
- Authors’ Emergency Fund, grants of up to £2,000
- Stage One has announced grants of up to £5,000 for producers who have previously undertaken a development programme with the organisation (if you can’t access the article DM us on twitter)
- Help Musicians has launched a Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, putting up £5 million to help musicians pay ongoing household expenses. Eligible musicians will be able to apply for a one-off payment of £500.
- Acting for Others: offers emotional and financial support to theatre workers
- a-n Artist Bursaries: Time Space Money, plus financial support for artists and arts organisers
- The Actors’ Childrens’ Trust gives money and advice to actor-parents and their children
- £200 Emergency fund for Musical Union members
- Bridging the Gap is offering bursaries for freelancers and small or community-based arts organisations
- Grants of up to £10,000 are available from Youth Music for music-making organisations affected by COVID19
Paid Creative Opportunities
- Superbia offer grants of up to £1000 for LGBTQ artists in Manchester
- Art Rabbit regularly update this page with open calls and opportunities
- And sign up to the Art Council’s mailing list for more
Social and creative networking
- Online Queer Party every night of the quarantine 21:00 – 00:00 – Club Q
- The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing
- Clubcommission Berlin and Reclaim Club Culture have launched the world’s “biggest digital club”. Different venues around the city host the stream, starting at 7 PM each night. As well as DJ sets and live performances, there are discussions, presentations and films related to club culture. Viewers are asked for voluntary donations, which will go towards supporting the roughly 9000 nightlife employees currently left with little or no work. Head to the website for more info.
MIF Drop in for Artists and Freelance Creatives – A forum for chat and support, regularly on Thursdays at 6-7pm.
MIF Facebook group for Artists and Freelance Creatives – A place to share information, useful links and discussion.