A group of five performers stood in a row facing a person talking to them

MIF’s Resource List for Artists & Freelancers

This resource list has been cross-posted from the Manchester International Festival’s website. In our opinion it is the best and most comprehensive list of resources for artists and freelancers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, though new additions are constantly being added to it, so check their website too.

We’ve put together an evolving list of resources for the freelance creative community who might be looking for support and guidance as a result of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

This is by no means a comprehensive list so we’ve made an open document for you to share resources that you find with anyone who needs it.

MIF’s John McGrath and Mark Ball are available between 2pm and 3pm on a Tuesday and Thursday for artists or freelancers who want a chat or support. Join here.

Government measures to help self-employed workers.

  • Direct cash grant of 80% of their profits, up to £2,500 per month.
  • The income support scheme, which is being designed by HMRC from scratch, will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all three months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June. The period of cover might be extended beyond three months.
  • The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.
  • To minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply. HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply.
  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant.
  • This scheme also applies to members of partnerships.
  • HMRC will contact you directly and you’ll have to fill out a form.
  • HMRC will pay the grant directly to bank accounts.
  • Before grant payments are made, the self-employed will still be able to access other available government support for those affected by Coronavirus including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans where they have a business bank account.

Martin Lewis (MoneySavingExpert) has additional information, which may be of particular use for people who might not be eligible for this scheme


Official Advice


Online networking and resource sharing


Financial guidance




Grants and funding

  • The Artist General Benevolent Fund financially supports professional artists in need and their dependents living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland who cannot work or earn due to accident, illness or older age.
  • Film and Television Charity offer advice and one off grants for urgent and immediate financial assistance for those in the film, TV and cinema industry
  • Equity Charitable Trust, Educational grants for professional performers to retrain and re-qualify in a different field, alongside one-off welfare grants for those who find themselves in critical need
  • Help for Musicians, Offering musicians Health and Welfare grants, Creative development grants – plus help for those with long-term illness
  • Live Events PSA Stagehand Welfare and Benevolent Fund, small grants to help tide people over or retrain for those who work in the live event production industry
  • Actors Benevolent Fund for professional actors, actresses and stage managers Financial assistance for those unable to work due to injury, illness or old age with household expenses, including a regular weekly payment and contributions towards bills and sometimes assistance with one off payments for items such as disability aids or kitchen appliances
  • Turbine Theatre is running online fundraiser Funds for Freelancers
  • Frazer Brown is matching donations on stagily-named arts fundraiser Last Year’s Rent
  • More creative nomenclature at Scottish artists’ fundraiser Wan Mair Tune Fund
  • Wales Arts Review is fundraising for emergency bursaries
  • Bryony Kimmings is matching established artists to emerging artists who are struggling financially
  • SOLT has set up a microsite for affected performers with links to charities and other bodies who can help
  • The Manchester Artists Coronavirus Hardship Fund been set up here
  • Liverpool Artists Coronavirus Hardship Fund here
  • Hull Artists Coronavirus Hardship Fund here
  • Swoop: simplifies and speeds up access to loans, grants and equity  funding for business in the UK and Ireland
  • Facebook $100M in cash grants and advert credits
  • The Martin Lewis Fund is providing grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK
  • Prince’s Trust Grants for those aged 16 – 30 Studying less that 14 hours a week, unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week for course fees, tools, equipment or uniforms for a job or qualification, job licence fees and transport to a new job until your first pay slip
  • Royal Variety Charity for all people that have worked professionally in the entertainment industry, financial assistance, plus residential and care home
  • The Royal Society of Musicians – All applications to the Society are considered in confidence. Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors.
  • Axis Web 50 x £100 awards for members that are facing significant financial hardship and who are unable to work, disabled, a carer, on low income or freelance
  • PRS Member’s Fund Provide support and advice to PRS members (7 years or £500 of royalties) and their families, who may be struggling financially, physically or emotionally and are in need of help.
  • Dance fund: Financial grants to dance professionals of all ages
  • Authors’ Emergency Fund, grants of up to £2,000
  • Stage One has announced grants of up to £5,000 for producers who have previously undertaken a development programme with the organisation (if you can’t access the article DM us on twitter
  • Live Nation have announced a $10m global relief fund for live music crew members. They will be contacting those they know are affected over the next few weeks and info on how to apply will be announced soon
  • Help Musicians has launched a Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, putting up £5 million to help musicians pay ongoing household expenses. Eligible musicians will be able to apply for a one-off payment of £500.
  • Acting for Others: offers emotional and financial support to theatre workers
  • a-n Artist Bursaries: Time Space Money, plus financial support for artists and arts organisers
  • The Actors’ Childrens’ Trust gives money and advice to actor-parents and their children
  • £200 Emergency fund for Musical Union members
  • Bridging the Gap is offering bursaries for freelancers and small or community-based arts organisations
  • Grants of up to £10,000 are available from Youth Music for music-making organisations affected by COVID19


Paid Creative Opportunities

Social and creative networking

  • Online Queer Party every night of the quarantine 21:00 – 00:00 – Club Q
  • The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing
  • Big Kitchen Disco – every night at 19:00 GMT
  • Clubcommission Berlin and Reclaim Club Culture have launched the world’s “biggest digital club”. Different venues around the city host the stream, starting at 7 PM each night. As well as DJ sets and live performances, there are discussions, presentations and films related to club culture. Viewers are asked for voluntary donations, which will go towards supporting the roughly 9000 nightlife employees currently left with little or no work. Head to the website for more info.

Video Conferencing: A list of helpful articles

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