Project Name: I am somebody
Project Number: DYCP-00217828
Thank you for making an application to Developing Your Creative Practice.
Due to the unfolding situation with Coronavirus-Covid 19 we’re sorry to have to tell you that we are not able to progress your current application any further. We’ve made the difficult decision to suspend the National Lottery Project Grants, Developing Your Creative Practice and Grassroots Music funding programmes. We believe this is the right thing to do to protect practitioners, participants and audiences, and it will allow us to focus on providing emergency financial support for the creative sector. The investment we would have made to these funds has been redirected to form part of our emergency funding package in response to Covid-19. Details of the new support funds can be found on our website and we will update the website when we are ready to re-open National Lottery Project Grants, Grassroots Music and Developing Your Creative Practice in the future months. We realise this will be a disappointment and hope you will understand why we have made this decision. Thank you for your application, take care of yourselves and your communities
Edward De Souza
Director Investment Operations and Resources
On behalf of Arts Council England
I received this e-mail just over a week ago. Been mulling it over. My response to this is: administrators do not create (visual) art, we as creatives are responsible for that. Cutting this funding attacks the very foundation of creativity, without creativity, without artists, administrators only administer themselves and their cronies; this decision reflects that. I am lucky to live with someone who works full time and is able to support me in my practice, without this I would not have the money or the time to do so. Further, I would suggest that if the Arts Council had applied for this money through lottery funding for a specific purpose, it would have to be administered for that and not be diverted for other purposes. I am not a lawyer, but I believe this is a valid point.
For all those individuals in the Arts Council and every museum, gallery and arts charity in the land who are paid via PAYE, their organisations will be able to apply for Furlough as part of the Government’s job retention scheme. This is not available to individual artists.
I believe artistic creativity is and always has been the poor cousin in our present society, yet it is one of the fundamental driving forces of any civilisation (in the broadest sense of the word); it was always so, way before literature, money, capitalism and the corruption of ideas through arts administration and money.
In contrast, New Writing North, have not scrapped their writing awards for this coming year. This is such a positive response to the present crisis compared to the Arts Council’s.
I realise that this response may be seen as ‘sour grapes’, but I believe this is about more than money, it is about how those administrators in the Arts Council view individual visual artists; its as is we are…invisible.
To all the artists out there…KEEP CREATING and KEEP SAFE.