Launched this week is ARTCRY, an artist-funding platform that will encourage and support artists to create work responding to social and political events with rapid-turnaround funding to enable fast action.
A committee of prominent cultural leaders, artists and activists includes: artistic director and CEO of Sadler’s Wells, Alistair Spalding; HighTide artistic director Suba Das; executive producer and executive director of Improbable, Kathryn Bilyard and Ben Monks; visual artist Ferg Cooper; independent editor and producer Sara Sjölund; creative strategist and ACE change-maker Suzanne Alleyne; multidisciplinary creative Shazia Bibi; and activist and artist Manuela Benini.
The initiative aims to raise and distribute £50,000 in its first year of operations, with artists of all disciplines at any stage in their career welcome to apply. Works must be free for audiences, presented in the public realm, and be time-critical.
ARTCTRY will fund small grants of up to £5,000 with decisions on applications made within a week of application. The awarding panel will change every six months.
Kathryn Bilyard, director of ARTCRY, says: “No matter where you sit along the many political lines you could draw, we are no doubt facing vital and complex questions about the future of the country, the way our democracy functions and how we relate to each other face-to-face and digitally. Art can offer a glimpse into a story far beyond our own lived experience which can change perspectives. Freelance artists and small companies in particular are in critical need of funding to support making new work. We need artists who can shine a light and startle some sense into the world with radical, inspiring ideas. And we need to encourage and support each other to do it.”
A month-long fundraising campaign is underway, which includes a crowdfunding appeal which can be donated to here. The fund will then open to applications in November.
Image: Ferg Cooper, Crisis