COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Freelancers

These past few weeks the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has affected every way of life. Whether you have been working from home, had work cancelled or have been directly affected by illness, the pandemic poses grave challenges for society as a whole and the creative community not in the least. CFCCA would like to take this opportunity to send a message of support to all of the artists, partners, freelancers and volunteers we work with and have worked with, and without whose skills and talent we couldn’t exist.

Alarmingly, there has been a racialisation of the pandemic which has led to an increase in racism and hate crime towards people of East and Southeast Asian heritage. We are devastated to see the severe impact this is having on the community of artists, partners and audiences we work with. We are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of our artists, staff and friends and now more than ever we call for solidarity, tolerance and mutual understanding across all our communities.

During this time we want to assure artists, freelancers and collaborators that we intend to honour pre-agreed contracts. Also, as we learn to navigate these challenging and uncertain times, we are committed to listening to artists’ needs and adapting our work to provide the best support, from offering opportunities to make new work to simply providing advice and guidance. As such, we have put together a list of UK-based resources below which we hope will be useful in navigating complex issues our artists and partners might now face from financial insecurity to challenges around mental health and wellbeing. We will also be launching new opportunities for artists across our digital channels over the coming weeks.

Our thoughts go out to our family of artists and collaborators during this challenging time and I urge us to work together to overcome the virus and use this moment to change society for the better.

With warm wishes,

Zoe Dunbar, CFCCA Director


Artist advice and resources during COVID-19:

  • Arts Council England – Advice and support on COVID-19 for organisations and individuals working in the arts sector
  • ACAS – Advice on employment rights and best practice
  • Bectu – Advice for arts freelancers
  • Manchester International Festival – List of resources for artists and freelancers in the creative industry
  • a-n – List of resources for artists and arts organisers
  • Live Art Development Agency – Information to support artists and art workers affected by the pandemic
  • Creative Review – Guide for creative support
  • #CovidCreativesToolkit – A set of curated mostly free & open source resources to support creative practitioners
  • #CreativeNetwork – Daily online get-together by Voluntary Arts open to anyone involved in the arts to talk to others about dealing with the current situation
  • Guild from East Street Arts – An open resource for artist and arts organisations during COVID-19
  • Creative Industries – Free membership for 6 months

Financial aid for artists and individuals working in the arts sector (UK):

  • UK Government – How to claim a grant if you’re self-employed
  • Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants – Grants for arts, museums and libraries projects by individual artists, community or cultural organisations. (Until April 2021)
  • If self-employed and concerned about paying tax, HMRC have a new helpline: 0800 0159 559
  • Manchester City Council – Help with debt, bills and borrowing (Manchester)
  • Creative Scotland – Three funding programmes by Creative Scotland designed to support Scotland’s creative community
  • a-n – Financial support for a-n artists and arts organisers who make exhibitions happen.
  • Black Artists Grant – A £500 grant funded by Creative Debuts, given out monthly to a black artist in the UK
  • Grants Online – List of UK grants available for local charities and community groups
  • The Art Newspaper – Where to apply for financial aid
  • Creative Industries Federation – Open letter to the Chancellor to support freelancers

Racism during COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 Anti-Racism Group –  CARG, initiated by concerned citizens, addresses the increase in racism and hate crime towards British East Asian people and international students arising from the Covid-19 pandemic #COVID19AntiRacism
  • Petition to urge the media to stop depicting East & South East Asians in Coronavirus related media
  • End the Virus of Racism – Crowdfunder to establish the UK’s first non-profit dedicated to addressing systemic racism faced by people of East and Southeast Asian heritage.
  • Asia Art Activism – Un-racialising the Coronavirus Epidemic
  • Hashtags #WeAreNotAVirus #racismisavirus #iamnotavirus and #CoronaRacism on Instagram and Twitter
  • ArtAsiaPacific – Resisting the Racist Blame Game
  • WeRNotVirus – A series of plays and monologues highlighting racism, broadcast on Zoom over 13-14 June.
  • You Clap For Me Now – A UK video showing the crucial role of BAME people in the coronavirus crisis
  • Chinese for Labour – Promoting the interests of Chinese & East Asian people within the Labour Party and UK
  • daikon* zine – A blog post against ‘hate crime’ and coronavirus racism
  • Gal-dem – An open letter in response to COVID-19 by a group of migrant solidarity, prison abolitionist and anti-racist organisers
  • Chinese Information and Advice Centre – Free information, advice and support to disadvantaged Chinese people living in the UK
  • Greater Manchester Police – How to report hate crime (Greater Manchester, UK)
  • Manchester City Council – Further advice on reporting hate crime in Manchester
  • London Metropolitan Police – How to report hate crime (London, UK)
  • British Transport Police – Reporting a crime or incident
  • Stop Hate UK – UK Charity that works to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination
  • Victim Support – Charity helping people affected by crime and traumatic events
  • TellMAMA – Video with tips on how to spot fake news

Mental health during COVID-19:

Community volunteering: 

Creative opportunities during COVID-19:

Last edited: 13/8/2020