Covid-19 Update | CIF Survey | NASA | Walk the Plank | Without Walls back to listing

After yesterday’s frankly disappointing advice from the Prime Minister to avoid places of entertainment without actually instructing them to close, today we have heard of £330bn of guaranteed loans to be made available for businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. More detail will hopefully follow soon.

Please take a moment to fill out the Creative Industries Federation’s rapid response survey about some of the effects of the pandemic on the creative sector.

So far their results show:

  • Over 1,400 responses from across the UK creative industries shows 90% respondents think the government is not doing enough to mitigate the impact on our sector.
  • 55% of UK creative businesses and freelancers expect their income to decrease by over 50% during FY20-21, compared with the previous financial year.
  • 74% reported a decrease in income due to revenue streams such as ticket sales, product sales, sponsorship, client commissions and freelancer fees being affected.

Click here: Creative Industries Federation Survey

Our friends at the National Association of Street Artists (NASA) have issued an Open Letter to various stakeholders in the sector. This follows the annual NASA gathering which took place at Walk the Plank’s HQ last weekend and was attended by OAUK, XTRAX and Surge, as well as ISACS and Articulture remotely, along with many others in the sector. A very useful, if difficult, conversation took place which has led to this letter.

  • “As artists who have little or no financial security, we face collapse of our income just as we enter
    what is usually our main earning months. It will have a devastating impact on us as well as on
    many companies and organisations who employ us.”

Click here: NASA COVID-19 Statement

Walk the Plank has issued a statement about their immediate and ongoing plans.

  • “We are conscious that the rapidly changing course of events is causing worry and concern for everyone, not least of all the artists and freelancers who are such an important part of our community.  At the moment we are working collectively as an organisation to think ahead with optimism to a time when things will return to normal.”

Click here: Walk the Plank Statement

Without Walls has postponed the 2020 programme announcement (which was due to take place next week).

  • “Due to the uncertainty surrounding the developments of Coronavirus in the UK, we have decided to put plans for our programme announcement on hold whilst we work to support our artists and festivals during this difficult time.”

Click here: Without Walls

Here is some further information on how small businesses can access the coronavirus support announced in the Budget.

Click here: Enterprise Nation

Finally, and totally on a personal note, this is doing the rounds on various channels, and I thought it was rather extraordinary – and a reminder that creative responses are always important.

An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans
written by Kristin Flyntz.

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.

We will bring the supersonic, high-speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.

We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.

Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?

Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?

Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.

Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.