Covid-19 Resources for Arts Professionals

    Covid-19 Resources for Arts Professionals

    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.



    All of the most up-to-date advice and guidance on

    EU Guidance on Coronavirus

    The European Commission common European response to the outbreak of Covid-19.

    NHS England

    Up-to-date Covid-19 health advice for everyone.

    Bristol City Council

    The latest advice from central government and the NHS, and changes to services in Bristol.

    Citizens Advice Bureau

    Read their advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) and what it means for you.


    Arts Council England 

    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.

    Arts Council of Wales

    The latest ACW guidance from government on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for their funded organisations and projects.

    Independent Theatre Council (ITC) Members

    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 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.

    Musicians’ Union

    Official advice and guidance for members of the Musicians’ Union.

    Actors Benevolent Fund

    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.

    COVID-19 Freelance Artists Resource

    A list specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community.

    Freelance artists support doc 

    Artistic responses to the pandemic compiled by Live Art Development Agency.

    Creative Review

    Guide for creative support during coronavirus from Creative Review.

    Theatre Helpline

    Theatre Helpline: Call 0800 915 4617/email

    PRS Foundation

    Current advice to grantees and applicants.

    Outdoor Arts Information, Questions & Advice Forum

    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.



    A safe place to talk any time about whatever’s getting to you. 24 hours support line, call them for free on 116 123.

    Film and TV Charity – 24 Hour Support Line 

    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.

    British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)

    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

    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

    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.

    The Mental Health First Aid England

    Guidance about supporting your mental health while working from home.

    Chatter Pack

    A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources.

    Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health

    A discussion about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Creativity and Mental Health Resource Guide

    A guide from Sunshine Behavioral Health that discusses possible connections between creativity and mental illness and how to find support.


    Creative Debuts’ Black Artists Grant

    The Black Artists Grant is £1,500 given out monthly to black artists in the UK, with each artist selected receiving £500 each.

    Ruby Glaskin’s COVID-19 Income Risk Assessment Template

    Producer Ruby Glaskin has shared a handy template for those wishing to assess and mitigate risks to their income.

    HMRC Helpline

    HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline for freelancers and businesses who are worried about paying their tax.

    Smallwood Trust

    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.

    Employment and Support Allowance

    Benefits for Freelancers struggling with Coronavirus cancellations (you have to have paid NI contributions over last 2 – 3 years). 

    Hardship Fund for Theatre Industry

    A live spreadsheet built by creative freelancers who are raising money nationally and the various funds available to artists to access.

    Understand Universal Credit

    A how to guide of what Universal Credit is, who is eligible and how to apply.

    Help Musicians UK

    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: The Actors’ Children’s Trust

    ACT are offering crisis grants for actors who are parents, as well as their normal funding and support for actors’ children.


    John Kirby’s Twitter advice

    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.

    In Good Company’s – Off The Record Chats

    In Good Company are offering regular and confidential chats over Facebook Messenger and Twitter for artists and companies in need of advice.

    Theatre Bristol

    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.

    Equity Bristol and West General Branch

    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.

    UK Theatre’s Industry Facebook Support Group

    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.

    Anti-Viral work Facebook Group

    A Facebook group to support freelancers and small businesses during the coronavirus.

    Theatre Helpline

    A free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.

    Theatre Support

    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.

    Freelancers Make Theatre Network

    An inclusive community for the 200,000+ self-employed and freelance workers from all areas of theatre, opera, dance and live performance, who make up 70% of the UK theatre workforce.


    #WeMakeEvents is an international movement to highlight that the live events sector urgently needs support from local governments to survive the Covid-19 crisis. Its focus is to get Government initiatives to help the industry back to work while providing support until it can fully return to work: RESTART LIVE.


    BBC Writersroom Opportunities

    A list of opportunities for writers across theatre, film, tv and radio. Regularly updated by BBC Writersoom.

    The Bristol Furlough Skills Exchange from The DIY Arts Network

    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.


    Unique Voice Activity Pack

    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

    Google Hangouts lets you video call, phone or send messages.


    Private messaging hub for organisations and teams. Better than email and texts.

    RingCentral Video

    Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.


    Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.

    Click Up

    Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.

    We Transfer

    Transfer files up to 2GB for free without clogging up inboxes.

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