Arts Council Emergency Response Fund for Practitioners (Part II)

We recorded a chat with artists from the BOM Fellows community about the application questions for Arts Council’s Emergency Funding for Individuals during COVID-19. It included the all important question – how do you evidence loss of income that was not confirmed?

This is (again) a very informal chat but it includes a response from BOM’s ACE Relationship Manager on “confirmed” vs “expected” income:

“The question around the expected income is tricky because it is about funding that is not guaranteed so it is difficult to make the case. I would probably include something brief around the amount of income from the previous year but again as the funding is not guaranteed for this year it would be hard for us to cover that.

I would advise the applicant concentrates on funding that has been lost and can be evidenced rather than funding that was expected.”

We think there will be a good number of artists who find it difficult to evidence loss of “confirmed” income due to the fact that the vast majority of festivals and cultural events have been cancelled, galleries and museums have been closed, and opportunities / call outs for work have therefore not been announced or got to the point of being contracted.

So, in light of ACE’s feedback, we would suggest that artists applying specify the following in your answers to the question Tell us about any work you have had cancelled or curtailed due to the Covid-19 emergency:

1. First of all, list any “confirmed income” you have lost, that is, where there is a contract withdrawn or an email stating that work has been cancelled or postponed. We would suggest looking at the period between March and June 2020;

2. Secondly (or in the absence of any confirmed income), list any “expected” income lost due to COVID-19. Expected income is, for example, where you have been in conversation with a curator / organisation about paid work and it was due to happen over the next few months but you didn’t get written confirmation. Or you applied for funding and expected to get it, but the funder has paused applications

3. Thirdly (if you have neither of the above) look back at your income over the last couple of years and identify your average earnings over these few months and the kinds of places you were getting this paid work from. Give a summary of what your total expected income would be for this time, and the kinds of places / opportunities it normally comes from. If the kinds of organisations you would normally secure this kind of work from are currently closed (or not offering this kind of work) due to COVID-19, then say so.

Remember that in their guidance notes, ACE say this grant isn’t just about covering lost income, but also:

We want to help freelance workers to keep doing what they do during or after the coronavirus emergency

It’s about giving you the time and money you need to pay your wages, bills or get ready to start working again

Therefore, in the question “Please tell us how you will use the time this funding affords you to stabilise, think and plan for the future” you can include other costs, such as a fee for your time, or your rent, to ensure that you can survive and keep working as an artist. ACE like words like ‘resilience’ and ‘sustainable’, so think about the ways this funding will help you to be resilient and come out the other side of this. Think about any new opportunities, or digital ways of working, you might be able to exploit from this lock down period.

Please make sure you refer back to the full ACE guidance here and read the notes carefully before completing your application.

If you’re based in the West Midlands and would like some feedback / help with your application before you submit, Culture Central have a number of arts professionals on stand by to help. Apply via the Culture Central Mentoring Scheme application (ignore the deadline) and just state on your form if you only require support with your application.