COVID-19: Our response
26th March 2020
Over the last few weeks we’ve been really busy, working out what support we can offer and how best to look after our local communities, the artists we work with and ourselves. So I thought it was worth updating you all on what we’ve been up to…
Two weeks ago we stopped all programme delivery and face-to-face meetings. This included the Time To…Takeover and sharing events for the Connecting Corby projects, events which were designed to celebrate the creativity in Corby and bring communities together. It was really sad to think of all that hard work going to waste, so we’re working on plans to re-stage those events later in the year.
As the measures around social isolation and distancing quite rightly increased, my first priority quickly became the safety and wellbeing of the staff team, without whom none of our work would be possible. We’re all now working from home, in good health and quickly adapting to working virtually. It’s an absolute pleasure to chat together online twice a week, catching up on work and exploring each other’s houses – there’s even a healthy dose of good-natured banter!
This has helped us to be able to think about how we can best support the artists that deliver our activity, all of whom are self-employed and vulnerable to loss of income. We have honoured all of our contracts, paying artists for activity that has been postponed, honouring financial commitments to our Associate Artists and are looking at ways of commissioning artists to complete work virtually (more about that later). We’re also offering support to any of our regular or locally-based artists in applying to the emergency fund set up by Arts Council England (see https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19 for more details and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want any help).
We’re now turning our attention to what we can do to support local communities in Corby and Wellingborough, both during this time of social distancing and once it’s over. We’re offering support to help local creative groups meet online, and in the next few weeks will be launching a range of online creative activities for local people to do easily from the comfort of their own homes. Keep an eye on our e-newsletter and social media for further details soon.
And after all that, we’re taking some time to reflect on all the conversations about art, culture and creativity we’ve had with local people in both Corby and Wellingborough. We’re using those conversations as the starting point for planning activities in both places that will run to 2023. So, let me assure you, that we’ll be back with lots of exciting new plans as soon as we’re able.
Keep safe, stay at home and hopefully we’ll see you soon.
Made With Many Programme Director
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