There’s been some great and inspiring outbreaks of kindness all over the internet this week, demonstrating just how amazingly selfless and supportive the arts sector is. So many brilliant people and ideas, giving us a glimpse of how humans can shine in a crisis, how much better we are when we work together, and how this worrying time could actually sow the seeds of – or even prototype – a better world.
Here’s what Talking Birds is going to do to try to help support our colleagues, friends and collaborators in the arts as we all try to navigate some of the immediate challenges this shifting landscape is throwing up. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s what we can do now.
- We are aiming to postpone and reschedule, rather than cancel, our upcoming work, and we will be paying all contracted freelancers.
- We will be making a small payment of £100 to each of the freelancers who we were planning to contact (but now won’t be contacting) about doing an outdoor arts gig or two for us in the next few months.
- We will be re-connecting with our former Nest Residents to see how they are doing and to find out if there’s anything we can help support them with in the next few weeks.
- We will be convening a virtual meeting of the F13 network of independent Coventry & Warwickshire artists to keep us connected, share information and evolve new ways for members of this vitally important network to continue to support each other.
- We will be putting out a Nest Virtual Residency call for artists who are self-isolating or working from home and want to explore models for how a residency at home connected to remote support and mentoring might work.
- We will be available to chat (by phone/Skype/email/Whats App) to Coventry artists/small companies to help them think about future projects and/or to read draft funding applications.
- We will be looking for creative ways that we can offer paid work to our regular collaborators and/or locally-based creative practitioners.
- We will not hold any companies to Difference Engine bookings for events that have to be cancelled.
- We will share work from the archives, blogposts, resources and conversations online with anyone who is interested (starting with the list below).
Here’s just a few of the great initiatives that have caught our eye so far this week – please do share any others you’ve seen with us and we will do a round up blogpost with them all on before too long.
- A four point proposal “to any wise person, any public or private institution who genuinely ‘cares’ about visual artists, and who has power and resources to protect and sustain many artists in a time of great peril and into the rocky decade ahead”. http://www.padwickjonesarts.co.uk/do-it-all-for-artists-sake-now/
- MAIA’s West Midlands Artists Coronavirus Impact Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/WM-artists-coronavirus-fund
- Pete Ashton’s proposal to support independent businesses that cannot survive social distancing: http://blog.peteashton.com/1584480400
- Food Covolution’s round up of Coventry’s indie food businesses and how we can continue to support them: https://foodcovolution.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/coventry-independents-current-state-of-play-17-03-20/
Arts Council England’s Guidance can be found here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19