At Tobacco Factory Theatres, we understand how difficult and uncertain the implications of Covid-19 will be for many independent artists and creative freelancers. The effects will be felt in a wide range of ways and will impact people’s lives in areas including health, finances and wellbeing.
We want to ensure that our community is kept safe and informed throughout these challenging next few months. We’ve gathered together some useful information below from a range of sources and organisations which offer advice and guidance.
OFFICIAL ADVICE AND GUIDANCE
All of the most up-to-date advice and guidance on gov.uk.
The European Commission common European response to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Up-to-date Covid-19 health advice for everyone.
The latest advice from central government and the NHS, and changes to services in Bristol.
Read their advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) and what it means for you.
ADVICE AND SUPPORT FOR ARTISTS
The most up-to-date statements and information from Arts Council England for their funded organisations and projects. They will continue to update the page as the government makes more announcements and their plans to support the sector develop further.
The latest ACW guidance from government on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for their funded organisations and projects.
ITC is still operating to provide advice and support to the theatre sector. The team are currently working remotely, but phone lines are diverted to the team’s mobile telephones where you can leave a message and they’ll get back to you. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will call you back. The team has compiled a great information page which can also be accessed by non-members.
Equity is the union for performers. They provide official advice and guidance for members.
BECTU is the union for non-performance roles in theatre. They provide official advice and guidance for members.
Official advice and guidance for members of the Musicians’ Union.
The ABF is considering applications from professional actors, actresses and stage managers who have contracted Covid-19, or are self-isolating, once the individual has applied for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance. They are unable to consider applications from individuals yet to apply for either of these benefits.
A list specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community.
Paywall free new updates on Covid-19 and the impact on the arts industry.
Artistic responses to the pandemic compiled by Live Art Development Agency.
Guide for creative support during coronavirus from Creative Review.
Theatre Helpline: Call 0800 915 4617/email email@example.com.
Current advice to grantees and applicants.
This is an information-sharing group for those working in the Outdoor Arts sector in the UK to post information about matters relating to cancellations, contracts, employment, legislation and share questions, ideas, solutions and other ongoing issues as we move through unprecedented times.
WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH
A safe place to talk any time about whatever’s getting to you. 24 hours support line, call them for free on 116 123.
24/7 Support Line which is free and confidential. Call 0800 054 0000.
Mind is a charity that provides advice and support around mental health. They have published lots of helpful information to help support mental health during these uncertain times.
ArtsMind is a collaborative initiative from the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM), Equity, Spotlight and The Stage, set up to support people in the creative industries and to bring together in one place a raft of resources for performers and creative practitioners facing mental health issues.
Deliver specialist health support and medical advice to help overcome work related health problems for professionals and students in any sector of the industry, not just performers.
Playing Sane is a mental health website dedicated to the relationship between mental health and acting. It aims to offer information and signposting to actors, their colleagues and carers across the industry.
TALK is a community where anyone working in the industry can get together and discuss challenges or issues with mental health.
Industry Minds is a podcast created to discuss mental health for people in the creative industries and now offers free one to one counselling sessions over Skype.
Guidance about supporting your mental health while working from home.
A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources.
A discussion about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FINANCE AND INCOME
Free COVID-19 Support Available to Bristol Freelancers and Micro-Businesses
YTKO has a free programme of support available to micro-businesses and freelancers in Bristol amid the COVID-19 crisis. The project, supported by Bristol City Council, helps with the specific needs and demands on business owners during this time.
Having been live since the end of April, the project provides a listening ear to relieve immediate concerns; explain the various local and national Government schemes and how applicable they are to your business; followed by supporting with post-COVID-19 strategy. The remote delivery programme includes a range of support activities including training sessions; discussion groups and more. All participants also get free access for 12 months to YTKO’s GrowSmart platform, a fantastic e-learning resource to work through in your own time.
The Black Artists Grant is £1,500 given out monthly to black artists in the UK, with each artist selected receiving £500 each.
Producer Ruby Glaskin has shared a handy template for those wishing to assess and mitigate risks to their income.
HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline for freelancers and businesses who are worried about paying their tax.
BBC News article on measures introduced for those who may not be able to cover their mortgage at this time.
Women’s Resilience Fund – grants and support for women on low incomes who have specific needs and are struggling to make ends meet or trying to overcome financial problems.
Benefits for Freelancers struggling with Coronavirus cancellations, as announced yesterday in the Westminster Budget (you have to have paid NI contributions over last 2 – 3 years).
A live spreadsheet built by creative freelancers who are raising money nationally and the various funds available to artists to access.
A how to guide of what Universal Credit is, who is eligible and how to apply.
Help Musicians has launched the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, a new offering specifically created to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may currently be facing.
ACT are offering crisis grants for actors who are parents, as well as their normal funding and support for actors’ children.
PEER AND INDUSTRY SUPPORT
John Kirby (Attenborough Arts Centre’s Theatre Programmer) has set up a temporary new Twitter account to offer advice for artists and companies. Operating Monday – Friday between 9am – 5pm.
Nic Connaughton (Head of Theatre at The Pleasance) has started a popular Twitter thread for people working in the sector to ask for help and/or offer support.
In Good Company are offering regular and confidential chats over Facebook Messenger and Twitter for artists and companies in need of advice.
Culture Central is a leader and a collective voice for Arts and Culture in Birmingham. Director Erica Love has written a statement of solidarity for the city as well as collected together some useful resources.
Theatre Bristol is a laboratory combining collective action for the arts with open, generous, grassroots support. Helping create the conditions to make great art with as wide and diverse a community as possible. Theatre Bristol’s team of professional theatre artists offers one-to-one artist support that’s totally bespoke and completely free.
The official Facebook group for members of the Bristol and West General Branch of Equity (UK), and anyone who wants to be kept up-to-date with its work.
A Facebook group for the performing arts industry to share news, tips, advice or anything helpful to do with the coronavirus and how it is affecting you and your business.
A Facebook group to support freelancers and small businesses during the coronavirus.
So&So Arts Club has started the Twitter hashtag #artistshotline for mutual artists’ advice, support and opportunities.
A free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.
A new microsite set up by SOLT/TMA and leading theatrical charities, to centralise information about how and where theatre professionals can access support during the Coronavirus outbreak.
A list of opportunities for writers across theatre, film, tv and radio. Regularly updated by BBC Writersoom.
Bristol Old Vic’s annual call-out to West Country writers is open now inviting submissions of plays and musicals from local writers. Deadline: 31 July 2020.
WriterSlam with partner Audible is looking to provide fresh, diverse talent an opportunity to share and develop their untold stories in the form of audio drama with help from industry experts. Submissions open until August 2020.
People who are currently on furlough can post the skills and expertise that they would like to offer, and individuals or organisations can request support.
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
A pack full of activities to keep your young people busy throughout social isolation.
Video conferencing solution with real-time messaging and content sharing.
Google Hangouts lets you video call, phone or send messages.
Private messaging hub for organisations and teams. Better than email and texts.
Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.
Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.
Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.
Transfer files up to 2GB for free without clogging up inboxes.
Government petition to include the self-employed in statutory sick pay during COVID-19.
Government petition to offer economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19.
Posted on 20 March 2020