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Resources for Artists (COVID-19 Edition)

Written by Natalia Knowlton


This is a very devastating period for everyone right now, especially for freelancers and people that work in the theatre industry. Things are changing at a rapid rate, which makes this blog post difficult to write.


I had another post written for DIY Artist this month but of course that went out the window with all the COVID-19-related news and announcements. The one that has hit us the hardest is Boris Johnson’s advice to avoid theatres, pubs and restaurants.


In less than twenty-four hours I’ve seen closing announcements from virtually every theatre, museum and arts venue in London. So many tweets and messages from friends, artists and companies that are left wondering what they’re supposed to do now that their shows have been cancelled and their freelance work is all gone.


The uncertainty is still there and it doesn’t feel like it’ll go away anytime soon. My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling financially and mentally. I know the theatre community always sticks together in times of need but there’s only so much we can do. I want to see our government take responsibility and look after its people and vulnerable communities. I want to see every industry look after its people as well, the same way that most theatres are trying their hardest to look after their artists and freelance staff.


Times like these make us realise how fragile our industry is. Times like these are when we see how easily it can all crumble down. But these are also the times that show us how important community and connection are.


If you’ve been following us on social media, you know that DIY Artist is a new Crossline Theatre project. We created this blog to share our knowledge with other artists. This is still new to us and we’re still figuring out the best content to create for artists during this difficult time.


At this point it feels like the most useful thing we can do is to create a page of resources for artists. We’ll update this page as best as we can.


List of Resources:

Employment and Support Allowance

Sign up for universal credit

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

More resources!


Important petitions to sign:

Statutory sick pay for self-employed people

Economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19

Protect the arts from economic devastation following COVID-19 closures


Arts Council Updates


Twitter Accounts to Follow:

Coronavirus Theatre Club (@ClubCoronavirus) - looking for theatre artists to write, perform, and live stream content.

Papatango (@PapatangoTC) - have a small budget to hire writers and actors to create short monologues and perform them on tape

Bryony Kimmings (@BryonyKimmings) - Pushing for donations to support artists

For actors, agents and casting directors: follow #CastingCrushesCorona on Twitter.



Things you can do to support the theatre industry:

- If your finances allow this, please consider donating your booked tickets to theatres

- Consider donating to artists and companies who’ve recently cancelled shows, especially if they’re self-funded

- Reach out to friends, family and neighbours! Offer to buy groceries if you’re able to. Arrange video chats or watch a movie over Skype so we all feel less lonely

- Support online shows! Many artists are looking for ways to make their shows accessible online. If you’ve got a show online contact us, we’re happy to share the link on our social media channels


Sending everyone our love and support. Take care out there!

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