Available arts funding over COVID-19

Actors benevolent fund

The Actors' Benevolent Fund is considering applications from professional actors, actresses and stage managers who have contracted COVID-19, or are self-isolating because they are unwell with coronavirus symptoms, and applied for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance (or, are already in receipt of any means-tested benefits).

No deadline.

BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine to Support Disabled Artists

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, BBC Arts, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland have launched a new Culture in Quarantine commissioning round to celebrate the work of disabled, D/deaf and neurodiverse artists. 

Ten established disabled artists will be commissioned from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to create new video or audio works to be published on BBC platforms in 2021. BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine wants to hear from the full diversity of exceptional and established disabled artists, working in any discipline. There is no specific editorial brief: projects can – but do not have to – creatively respond to the disabled experience of living through the pandemic and from £3,000 to £8,000 (ex. VAT).

Deadline: 12 noon on Tuesday 12 January 2021.

BFI: Production and Development funds

BFI are committed to supporting the independent industry as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll, and are working to ensure the industry can continue to thrive on the other side of this crisis. Their website contains details of all the BFI Funds across shorts, features and talent development that are currently open. This includes some changes to criteria to respond to the crisis. All Funds are processing applications and awarding funds as quickly as possible.

British Council: Climate change and COP26

The British Council is inviting applications for creative commissions that bring together art, science and digital technology and offer innovative responses to climate change. The commissions will be part of the cultural programme in the build up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November 2021. 

The British Council is inviting collaborative applications from individuals and organisations in the UK with partners from eligible countries and states overseas. 

You can apply for up to £50,000 to realise your creative idea and it is looking for projects which stimulate truly global conversations, bringing people from different countries, cultures and communities together to understand each other’s perspectives and to work together on creative responses and solutions to climate change. 

Deadline: 13 December 2020

Community Fund: Reaching communities

This programme now focuses on funding projects and organisations helping communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. It can fund activities in England supporting people affected by the crisis, and if your organisation is struggling financially because of the impact of COVID-19. Given the emergency, they are looking to award funding between £10,000 and £100,000 to cover six months of expenditure.

No deadline.

Dance Professionals Fund: Emergency Funding

Support via the Dance Professionals Fund is directed toward freelance dancers across genres including ballet, contemporary, Black and Asian dance and hip hop including those with portfolio careers, e.g. choreography, whose work would normally include employment in the subsidised dance sector. Their grant to support COVID-19 related applications has now closed, however the emergency funding is still open.

No deadline.

Directors Support Scheme

The Directors Support Scheme offers emergency help to directors in acute need and is designed for short-term support. Grants are expected to be in the region of £500. For those in need of long-term, continuous assistance, contact the Foundation directly.

No deadline.

Equity Benevolent Fund

If you are a professional actor or stage manager, Equity Benevolent Fund can provide up to £350 to help towards rent and bills.

No deadline.

Finnis Scott Foundation Grant

The Finnis Scott Foundation was established under the Will of Lady Montagu Douglas Scott (Valerie Finnis) in 2006.

The Trustees can make grants of up to £10,000 for any charitable purpose, but their present policy is to focus grant-making in the areas of horticulture and plant sciences, as well as art history and the enhancement, conservation and preservation of art.  Previous grants have been awarded to Bermondsey Art Group, Pallant House, Milton Keynes Art Gallery.

Deadline: 4pm on 18 December 2020.

Foyle Foundation

The Small and Main Grants Scheme has re-opened for new applications from 1 June and following revised criteria for support reflecting the impact of COVID-19. The focus will be to make one-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability. Charities who have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum can apply for between £1,000 and £10,000.

No deadline.

Help Musicians Financial Hardship Fund: Phase 2

Help Musicians’ second wave of financial hardship support will help professional musicians who were ineligible for government emergency safety nets or unable to survive on what they receive. For those who are eligible, to the extent that funds allow, the charity will offer grant payments for the period 1 June to 31 October, to top up Universal Credit payments where relevant. Where an applicant does not qualify for Universal Credit but is still experiencing significant financial hardship, an assessment will be made based on individual circumstances.

No deadline.

John Coates Charitable Trust

Open to UK-registered charities and with Wandsworth as one of its priority areas, this trust supports the arts. Trustees meet twice a year and generally grants are awarded for one year and range between £5,000 - £10,000.

Deadline: 4 December 2020 

London Community Response Funding - Wave Four

The London Community Response is taking applications for grants of up to £10,000 to help groups support Londoners affected by COVID-19 over the next six months. In this wave of funding, the priority is to support equality and inclusion, groups who have a strong reach to people at high risk of negative impact from COVID-19, and smaller organisations. Applications will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Deadline: 5pm Thursday 3 December 2020

Mayor of London: Culture at Risk

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a new emergency £2.3m fund to support culture and creative industries at risk due to the impact of coronavirus. 

This is an unprecedented and critical time for London’s cultural life, putting London’s night-time economy and culture and creative industries at an increased risk. While this fund will help some of the most fragile parts of London’s culture and night life, we are working on options to support businesses that do not have industry hardship funds or access to Government support. If you or a business you know is in this position, we urge you to register with our Culture at Risk Office.

The site also contains a detailed list of resources and funding opportunities.

National Lottery: Awards for all

This programme now focuses on funding projects and organisations helping communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. It can fund voluntary or community organisations for activities in England supporting people affected by the crisis. Given the emergency, it is looking to award funding of £300 - £10,000 to cover six months of expenditure.

No deadline.

Power to Change: Community Business Renewal Initiative

The Community Business Renewal Fund provides grants to community businesses in England affected by the COVID-19 crisis to adapt, renew and rebuild their business so they can remain financially viable.  The fund, of between £10,000 to £20,000, is aimed at organisations delivering services in their local community to support those who have been most affected by the crisis.

Deadline: each round will have a short application window of 3 hours as they expect a high level of demand. Round Two: Tuesday 12 January 2021, 10am to 1pm.

Society of Authors: Author emergency fund

Applications are open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects for whom author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income. The funds are available to all who author works in various forms including all types of writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others. Grants are likely to be up to £2,000 and designed to meet urgent need with the possibility of review as the situation continues. 

No deadline.

Theatre Artist Fund

The third round of applications is now open. Whilst it is understood the current crisis has affected everyone across the entire theatre ecology, this fund has been set up specifically to support freelancers whose professional theatre role has a direct influence on what is seen on stage. To apply for a one-off emergency grant of £1,000, artists are invited to fill out an online application form (via Survey Monkey), which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Deadline: 12pm on Friday 20 November 2020.

Theatre Trust: Theatre Reopening Fund

Grants of up to £5,000 to help not-for-profit theatres across the UK to make COVID-19-related adaptions and prepare for reopening.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, Theatres Trust has repurposed its small grants schemes and offering up to £5,000 to support theatres to cover the additional costs of reopening after several months’ closure. The Theatre Reopening Fund will support building improvements and purchasing equipment that will support the theatre to be able to open viably and safely. It will not cover revenue costs. Priority will be given to those which demonstrate how the project will support the theatre’s safe reopening.

No deadline.

The Eaton Fund

The Eaton Fund Trustees have made grants to fund art materials, items of equipment and exhibition costs, such as framing, available. Grants are restricted to artists and students working in the visual arts fields, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, print-making, photography, and video installations. They do not give grants for the performing arts.

No deadline.

The Elephant Trust

The Trustees’ main objective is to support new work.  Grants have usually been limited to £2,000, but with the addition of the Shelagh Wakely Bequest some larger grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded. Priority is given to artists in the fine arts and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions.

Deadline: Midnight 25 January 2021.

The National Archive: A Scoping Grant

A Scoping Grant funds a report that incorporates expert advice on a range of areas relating to collections management and the development of your collection. The Scoping Grants programme awards up to £3,000 of consultancy including expenses, which will fund a collection assessment and report. Scoping Grant awards will be paid directly to the consultant once the assessment report is delivered. This report will also include analysis of its overall condition, significance, existing and potential use, levels of access, and existing documentation, and a conclusion with recommendations about next steps and development goals for the service.

Deadline: 12 noon, Monday 11 January 2021

The Turbine Theatre: Funds For Freelancers

The Turbine Theatre is a charity offering unique financial support for freelancers working in the creative industries. If you’re in need of financial support then all you need to do is email submissions@paultaylormills.com with a few sentences about your situation. All emails will be kept completely confidential. The board will draw funds every ten days depending on how our fundraising efforts are going and will prioritise donations at their discretion.  

Thriving Communities Fund

This fund will open on 23 November and will be delivered by Arts Council England. The fund will provide grants of up to £50k for partnerships led by voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups and organisations to increase these community activities, particularly across arts, nature, physical activity, financial wellbeing, health and care, and support for people impacted by COVID-19.  The Thriving Communities Fund will run alongside the NHS Charities Together Community Partnership Grants worth £30 million across the UK, which enables a lead NHS Charity within every Integrated Care System across England to fund community partnerships which increase support for people impacted by COVID19, maximising their potential.

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 8 January 2021 for Thriving Community Fund. Check the website for more information about the NHS Charities Together Community Partnership Grants.

Youth Fund: Incubator Fund

Grants of £5,000 to £30,000 are available to businesses, collectives, and not-for-profits working in the music industries. The fund is designed to help open up access to sustainable careers in music for people aged 18-25, particularly those who are underrepresented; and to support creative employers to innovate and incubate new and diverse talent.

Deadline: Closed. There will be a second phase of funding in February 2021.

Youth Music: Various Funds

Through their various funding programmes, Youth Music invest in music programmes for children and young people, and work that helps organisations to diversify and be more inclusive. Programmes funded by Youth Music work with children and young people of all ages, from babies and their families through to young adults up to the age of 25, using the power of music to support musical, personal and social development.

Their Fund A programmes offer between £2,000 and £150,000 for high-quality projects that will help achieve a musically inclusive England.

Deadlines: Friday 4 December 2020 (for Fund A). 

Other opportunities

The Dots is a professional network for the people and teams that don’t wear suits to work. They connect, support and champion the people, teams and brands that make ideas happen. Get credit for the projects you’ve worked on, network, collaborate and land your next dream job or client. Regularly updated collaboration call-outs for creatives.

The above is not an exhaustive list.  For more information, the following organisations offer detailed resources and guidance for artists:

Additionally, Wandsworth Council, Good Finance and Artlicks offer a cohesive list of other funding sources and current opportunities available for artists and the volunteer and community sector. This business support finder helps to see what support is available for businesses.

If you have any questions or want any help with your applications, contact Anneke Kuipers on Anneke.kuipers@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk