COVID-19 guidance & resources

Last updated 18th May 2020.

We’re all adjusting to a new way of life in response to the spread of COVID-19, and there’s a lot of uncertainty generally and within the arts sector. We know that there are a lot of artists and independent arts workers who will be in difficult situations, not least of all financially.

We’ve been following announcements from peer and sector agencies and organisations, about resources and guidance that’s available to help navigate this rapidly changing situation, as well as about new digital content available on their websites and digital channels, to entertain and inspire us while their venues are shut.

If you do have a programme that you’re taking online, drop us a line to update your listings on our website, and tag us on social media.

We’ll try to keep this information up to date, and hope it will be useful to you over the coming days and weeks. Let us know if you come across anything that you think other people will benefit from.



GOV. UK Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Eligibility Checker

A-N has launched Time Space Money Artist Bursaries, plus financial support for artists and arts organisers

Artquest has launched the WFH Residency – a £1000 award to support artists during the covid-19 / coronavirus pandemic.

Axisweb has created a hardship fund for “any member experiencing financial hardship – unable to work, disabled, a carer, on low income or freelance.”

BFI has launched a Resilience Fund to support the industry and workforce.

Freelands Foundation has made £3m in emergency funds available “to support artists, creative practitioners and freelancers across the UK affected by the Covid-19 crisis”.

The Goldsmiths’ Company has announced a £1 million support fund for those in the jewellery, silversmithing and allied industries.

Grantsonline and Grantfinder have each produced lists of schemes that are available specifically to help charities and not for profits with the impact that COVID 19

Heritage Crafts Association is offering grants for craftspeople to invest in something that will help make their business more sustainable during the COVID-19 pandemic or to ‘bridge the gap’ until future income can be secured.

Museum Freelancers Hardship Fund will open on 1st May for museum freelancers who started freelancing in 2019/20 and haven’t yet completed a tax return and can’t get financial support from the government.

MAIA have launched a fundraiser to provide hardship funds for artists, cultural workers, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts. Donate or find out how to apply here.

The Artist General Benevolent Fund financially supports professional artists in need.

UK QTIBIPOC has launched an Emergency relief & Hardship Fund to provide short term support to Queer, Trans and Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Color currently living in the UK who are affected by the outbreak and ongoing shutdown caused by Covid-19.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme excludes a whole sector of workers, including around six million self-employed workers (many from our sector). Work Notes have written a draft letter to send to your local MP on the subject. Not sure who your local MP is? Find out here.

HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses and the self-employed concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus.

Arts producer Laura Sweeney has shared a downloadable Lost Earnings Log template which could help with applications for financial support.



An Art Technician Emergency Fund has been created to support UK art technicians who have lost their livelihoods due to Covid-19 by fundraising through a silent auction of donated artworks.

#artistsupportpledge has been set up by artist Matt Burrows to enable artists to raise money from selling their work, and buying work by other artists. An equivalent #makersupportpledge has also been established. Both initiatives present an opportunity to support artists and makers to make a living.

CuratorSpace is developing a new free service for artists struggling with the loss of income from face-to-face workshops.

performingbordersLIVE20 and LADA have an Open Call for proposals for two digital conversations by curators, artists, researchers, activists, thinkers and/or other professionals working in Live Art. Artist fee £200, deadline Thursday 7 May.

Letter from leading visual arts organisations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP, asking him to protect the livelihoods of visual artists affected by COVID-19.


AA2A provides information about self-employed status

a-n‘s information and guidance for artists and arts organisers.

Artsadmin offers free digital advisory service for artists

Arts Council England has published a round up of support for individuals from Government and other sources

Crafts Council has published guidance specific to makers and designers.

Guild – artist spaces sector support programme – compendium of guidance

Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses is a growing Facebook group and support system set up in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the self-employed – many from the creative industries.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist resources – an aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) support, sector & freelancer tips and guides, and funding body advice. AMA has also set up a Facebook Group and has a free webinar on Crisis Comms planning coming up.

My Cake’s guide to surviving COVID-19 as a freelancer or self-employed

Queercare COVID-19 food networking

COVID-19 UK-wide List of Mutual Aid Groups

Creative Industries Federation is offering free membership for the next 6 months

Arts Marketing Association (AMA) have released a list of resources with links to AMA support, sector & freelancer tips and guides, and funding body advice. They have a free webinar on Crisis Comms planning coming up.

Coronovirus Tech Handbook – virtual event resources and advice.

Nottingham’s Creative Quarter’s guidance for creative business & D2N2’s The Big House’s business advice sessions online.


Reading matter & Commentary

CVAN survey on the impact of Covid-19 and support measures on the visual arts workforce

Francois Matarasso writes on Arts Council England’s COVID-19 support

Su Jones‘s reflections on the impact on artists

The Art Newspaper Saving the Art World’s Self Employed podcast

Arts Professional has removed its subscription paywall for all Covid-19 related news, resources and content to support arts workers.

Counterculture’s 10 Tips for Cultural Organisations for COVID-19.

Sonia Boué‘s basics of surviving and thriving for those suddenly forced to network entirely online.


Image: We Will Get Through This With Art © Bob&Roberta Smith, 2020