Arts Council England: Outdoor Arts Sector Support Fund back to listing

As part of Arts Council England’s emergency funding measures, OAUK has been asked to distribute a fund of £500,000 to directly support individuals in the Outdoor Arts sector during this challenging time, who don’t qualify for other funds.

ACE is making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and has also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.

Of that funding, ACE is making £20 million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers, who will be able to apply for grants of up to £2,500 if they have a track record in publicly funded culture.

Looking at the broader impact the Covid-19 crisis is having on all parts of the cultural workforce, ACE is providing £4 million from that £20 million budget for grants to benevolent funds targeted at other cultural workers, working with Help Musicians UK, The Equity Charitable Trust, Dance Professionals Fund, The Theatrical Guild, OutdoorArtsUK, the Royal Literary Fund and a-n Artists Newsletter.

The Outdoor Arts Sector Support Fund

The Arts Council have made this fund available to OutdoorArtsUK to support freelance and self-employed individuals working in the Outdoor Arts sector, including street arts, carnival, street dance, mela and the outdoor festival context within funded, non-funded and commercial festivals. These freelancers are particularly affected by the seasonal nature of their work, making the vast majority of their annual income in the summer months.

This includes – but is not limited to – those identifying as professional and/or specialist artists (e.g. dedicated street performers, circus artists and aerialists, stilt performers, project directors) and technicians (e.g. riggers, projectionists pyrotechnicians, specialist designers and makers). This also includes outdoor programmers and bookers, technical and production staff, volunteer managers, participation and engagement leaders.

OAUK has been fully aware of the immediate and overwhelming problems caused by the Coronavirus pandemic across our entire cultural ecology. For the inherently seasonal outdoor performance sector, the timing has been particularly unfortunate, wiping out an entire year’s work and earning potential at a crucial point in the contracting and commissioning process.

Looking forward to a time when we are all allowed outside again, the Outdoor Arts community has an exemplary track record of engaging with the most diverse audiences and for delivering unforgettable cultural celebrations; we are dedicated to protecting our sector in readiness for the time when we can all party in the streets again.

Timeline and Application

We expect to have the application process ready in the week of 6 Apr, when we will publish the criteria and have a relatively simple online application process. We aim to have the funds available in early May.

This is very much aimed at those individuals who do not fit the main ACE Emergency Funding categories or those who do not qualify for government support. We ask you to check the other funds before you apply for this one. We will look at each case individually.

Individuals may apply for £500-£2500 and, in case we don’t know you, we will ask for a referee to vouch for your place in the Outdoor Arts sector. If you applied for the previous OAUK Micro-grant fund, you will need to apply again for this one. More details on the process will be released week beginning 6 Apr.