Saturday 4th April 2020
Initiatives and Funding Now In Place
Over the last two weeks, following the sudden closure of pubs, clubs, theatres, galleries and concert halls, artists have been performing from their own ‘Live Lounges’ up and down the country. This has provided much needed entertainment for those of us who are missing our cultural fix, whilst also giving us the opportunity to see those acts that we may not have gotten to see, despite wanting to. It has also allowed us to discover new talent, widening our horizons.
Sadly, this entertainment by and large has been provided purely on the good will of the performers, out of love for their supporters, a determination to remain positive and to fill the gap where their concerts, shows or exhibitions should have been. To me, these are the unsung heroes of our society because they have soldiered on quite humbly, not asking for a dime in return.
It is great to report that this week has seen the start of a few initiatives and funding streams that will allow musicians, poets, writers, actors, singers, producers, artists, photographers to continue to earn revenue from their profession. The positive effect that the Lockdown is having on our civilisation is the very quick recognition of what matters in life and how pivotal arts and culture is to all of us.
As part of Wigan Council’s #BeKind campaign, we have put together a definitive guide as to what help is out there for freelancers and venues in Wigan and Nationally, as of 4.4.20.
Soundcloud has launched a $15m package of support for creators during the current Covid-19 crisis, called Repost by Soundcloud. It will offer professional marketing and monetisation services for a yearly subscription of $30. This allows independent creators to keep 100% of their Soundcloud royalties and 80% from other sources, whilst enjoying the benefits of distribution across multiple platforms. More information is provided in the article below.
United We Stream
United We Stream is the new Greater Manchester Combined Authorities’ streaming service that will broadcast home-grown Greater Manchester art, music and culture to audiences around the World. United We Stream was launched last night (Friday 3rd April) with Manchester’s international house music sensation, Solardo, with broadcasts planned to take place daily.
Following the blueprint of Berlin’s UWS, which was launched at the beginning of March 2020, and has already generated £700,000, GM’s United We Stream is the second area to launch worldwide and the first in the UK. This platform will allocate 70% of funds raised, directly into Greater Manchester’s night-time economy ensuring that music venues, restaurants, bars, freelancers and cultural organisations receive revenue to replace income that was halted due to the crisis.
Arts Council Emergency Funding
The Arts Council has announced £160 million of emergency funding is now available for organisations and individuals who will be adversely affected by the crisis. They have also made changes to their funding requirements to make this finance more accessible.
Good news for individuals, there is a £20m fund for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers and is aimed at:
- Visual Arts
- Combined Arts
- Museums practice
- Libraries (activity that helps deliver the Universal Library Offers)
Including choreographers, writers, translators, producers, editors, freelance educators in the disciplines and artforms, composers, directors, designers, artists, craft makers and curators.
Social Enterprises and Charities
Other Help and Guidance
- PRS Emergency Relief Fund
- Spotify Covid-19 Relief
- Specific website for advice for musicians during the Corona Crisis https://www.coronamusicians.info/
- Covid-19 Funding Directory A to Z
- Grants Online Corona Virus
- EmployGM keeping Greater Manchester working
Finally, it is up to us individually to support our local cultural heritage, by buying from our independent retailers and donating to live-stream events.
A new and exciting virtual world of culture is emerging, in which we all have an equal voice, let’s use it to our advantage.