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ACE provides another £2 million in COVID support for music and theatre makers

By | Published on Thursday 27 August 2020

Arts Council England

Arts Council England has announced another £2 million in COVID-related funding, with half going to music-makers via the Help Musicians COVID-19 Financial Hardship Fund. The other million will be distributed by the Theatre Artists Fund.

The latest announcement of ACE funding for those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown comes amid concerns that much of the £1.57 billion committed to the creative sector by the UK government will go to venues, institutions and businesses, rather than individual creators, or the large number of freelancers who work in the creative industries.

The funds getting the latest £2 million are specifically skewed towards individuals rather than organisations. ACE has already provided £4 million to similar funds since shutdown began, including £900,000 to HMUK. However, the latest cash injection shows that individual creators and freelancers are still facing significant hardship as COVID continues to impact on the creative sector, and especially live performance.

ACE Deputy CEO Simon Mellor said: “We’re pleased to invest in the Theatre Artists Fund and Help Musicians’ Financial Hardship funding, which are providing a lifeline during this unparalleled crisis to thousands of professional musicians and theatre workers – including those from our most under-represented communities. We hope that our investment in these funds will also attract and encourage other creative industries organisations and donors to make much-needed contributions”.

Meanwhile, Help Musicians CEO James Ainscough added: “We’re extremely pleased to see Arts Council England’s support reach freelance music creators, without whom our cultural landscape would be left decimated. With live events and the future of work for performing musicians still uncertain, this further financial help is crucial to the survival of their careers. This funding will enable Help Musicians to provide much needed additional financial support to more musicians during autumn and hopefully well into winter”.