1,175 individuals and organisations in the region awarded Covid-19 support funding – from Porthcurno in Cornwall, to Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire and Ventnor on the Isle of Wight
The Arts Council has announced that £8.5 million has been awarded to 873 individuals and 302 independent organisations across the South West through the Covid-19 emergency response package, thanks to the National Lottery and Government.
Announced in March, the Arts Council’s emergency response package was designed to help alleviate the immediate pressures faced by artists, creative practitioners, arts organisations, museums, and libraries over summer – supporting them as they continue to serve their communities during this crisis and affording them the time to stabilise and plan for the future.
- 1,175 individuals and independent organisations across the South West receive £8.5 million
- £778,200 of funding has been made to Black and minority ethnic individuals and Black and minority ethnic-led organisations in the South West
- £927,200 of funding has been made to D/deaf or disabled individuals and disabled-led organisations in the South West
Supporting independent organisations
£50 million of the Arts Council’s emergency response package was available to support organisations outside of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, with £6.5 million awarded to 302 organisations across the South West.
Ensuring equitable access to funding, and a continued commitment to diversity and inclusion, underpinned the guidance for the emergency response package and funding priorities. Over £678,600 has been invested to support 31 disability-led organisations across the South West, almost £600,000 has been awarded to 25 Black and minority ethnic-led organisations and over £3 million of funding has been awarded to female-led organisations.
Organisations who received funding include:
- CARGO (Charting African Resilience Generating Opportunities), an independent project in Bristol led by leading Black British creatives, has received £21,500 to deliver a package of teaching resources for Key Stage 3 pupils to learn in a creative way about pioneering leaders in black history. CARGO produces content which enables the public to engage with hidden narratives of resilience and leadership within British African history. The funding will be also be used to prepare and plan for a mobile immersive exhibition, and to enable CARGO to retain its freelance Project Manager for a further six months.
- Ventnor Exchange, a creative arts hub and social enterprise on the Isle of Wight, has been awarded £8,000 to cover core staff costs, as well as providing leadership and support to the community through digital mentoring, training, opportunities and creative projects – including an audiobook for children. Ventnor Exchange is inspired by the culture and people of the Isle of Wight, combining theatre with a record shop and a craft beer bar. All profits are used to fund projects that develop the cultural offer of the area and opportunities for young people, from street art commissions to producing the Ventnor Fringe, the island’s largest arts festival.
- Patchwork Studios, a community-focused organisation with an emphasis on youth development in Cornwall, has been awarded £26,495 to complete their three community spaces (a performance venue, recording studio, and an art gallery), which will generate much-needed income when lockdown lifts. Patchwork Studios is also using the funding to host online art classes, music lessons and open mic-style sessions to support young and vulnerable people during lockdown. The funding is enabling them to pay urgent operational costs to ensure they’re there for their community in the long term.
The Arts Council has awarded 873 grants totalling £2 million to individual artists and creative practitioners across the South West. In addition to this, £4 million was distributed across the country to a series of Benevolent Funds supporting cultural workers, including musicians, stage technicians and conservators.
Almost £182,000 has been awarded to individuals from a Black and minority ethnic background across the South West, with £248,6000 directly supporting D/deaf or disabled applicants. Crucially, many applicants from underrepresented groups were receiving Arts Council funding for the first time.
The grants announced today cover the first two elements of the Arts Council’s £160 million emergency support package. £90 million was also made available to support National Portfolio Organisations, with decisions on this funding currently underway.
Phil Gibby, area director, Arts Council England, South West, said:
“We’re proud to have turned this emergency funding programme around in such a short space of time, with the help from our partners in Government and from our team members working in their home offices. Arts Council has been able to award these grants at a critical time, to so many brilliant artists, creative practitioners and cultural organisations who suddenly found themselves in a difficult position due to Covid-19.
“The creative and cultural sector helps to generate the local economy, provides jobs, improves people’s wellbeing and helps us to make sense of the world. And like so many other sectors, it has never faced a challenge of this scale which is why we are pleased to make this funding announcement today, in the knowledge that this funding will not just keep the lights on but will also connect many people at this challenging time.”
Steve Banks, a musician and educator based in Bristol, said:
“This funding is a fantastic support, enabling me to continue with creative projects planned before lockdown whilst adjusting effectively and positively to new conditions. Rather than only conceiving how this could be achieved, I am able to actually move forward and make things happen with immediate rewards alongside significant long-term benefits. It also represents a belief in my work from ACE, for which I am extremely grateful and find tremendously motivating.”
Jack Whitewood, director, Ventnor Exchange, said:
“We believe every part of the country deserves access to cultural activities and that everyone needs opportunities to be creative and express themselves. Our idyllic surroundings disguise high levels of poverty, with our neighbourhood in the bottom 11% most deprived areas of England (IMD 2019) and we passionately believe grassroots organisations on the front line are best placed to make real and lasting change.
“Arts Council England’s support of small organisations like ours at this critical period has made a huge difference, ensuring we can continue to engage with our community during these unprecedented times, and adapt quickly to safeguard core staff.”
Tom Ogilvie, director, Patchwork Studios, said:
“We are incredibly thankful and humbled that the Arts Council have chosen to recognise the worth and potential of our community venture at such a critical time. As a small team of musicians and artists who have dedicated ourselves to creating inclusive spaces unique to our area, it’s heart-warming to receive this vital support at such a pivotal point in our development. The overwhelming community support that we have received has been the catalyst to this progression, and we could not be more grateful to the Arts Council for enabling us to bring our ambitious visions for the future of Patchwork Studios and Garrison Gallery into fruition for the benefit of all we serve.”
Charles Golding and Lawrence Hoo, directors, CARGO, said:
“This emergency grant enables CARGO to sustain its crucial activities throughout the summer. These include delivering an innovative set of verified teaching resources which will equip learners and educators creatively to engage with inspiring hidden narratives of black leadership and resilience.”
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