Arts organisations across Greater Manchester are joining forces to support local freelance artists during the COVID-19 crisis.
GM Artist Hub is a new project bringing together many of the city-region’s most well-known organisations in an effort to support the independent performers, artists and companies that make up Greater Manchester’s vibrant artistic community.
GM Artist Hub will launch on Wednesday 8 April with opportunities for artists to sign up for sessions with artist development producers and directors from a range of different organisations to explore the challenges, ideas and opportunities these unprecedented times offer. We will also be seeking funding to support a wider programme of creative workshops, professional development activities, employment opportunities and commissioning that respond to the needs of the local creative community.
Participating venues and arts organisations are: Community Arts North West, Contact, HOME, The Lowry, Manchester International Festival, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, SICK! Festival, STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North), Waterside Arts and Creative Industries Trafford, hÅb/Word of Warning and Z-arts.
Dave Moutrey, HOME’s Director and CEO, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this important initiative designed to help ensure that our arts independent artists and freelance creatives ecology can get through this difficult period. We all owe so much to them and will need their skills and knowledge in the future so it is only right that we do what we can.”
Claire Symonds, senior producer: artist development at The Lowry, says: “Greater Manchester is known for its brilliant creative ecology, from the established venues through to the independent performers, artists and companies who are out there making things happen on their own terms.
“Independent artists and freelance creatives are carrying some of the biggest impacts in our industry, facing both an immediate loss of income with no notice as shows and projects are cancelled and the prospect of future cancellations as the situation progresses. But artists are the lifeblood of our industry. What’s more, their creativity and ability to adapt will be absolutely critical as we all look for new ways of reaching out to audiences while social distancing is in place.
“As a group of organisations we can’t protect every artist and freelance creative in Greater Manchester from the impacts of this crisis. But through GM Artist Hub we can stand with them, offering support or advice as they explore this new territory and listening and responding as they discover what they need.
“Whether you’re an artist looking to get involved or an organisation that wants to join us in supporting Greater Manchester’s independent sector, we’d love to hear from you through GM Artist Hub.”
Visit www.GM-ArtistHub.co.uk for more details.