The crowdfunder campaign has now finished but you can still DONATE HERE to support ARTCRY if you are seeing this now.
Last summer the world was already looking bleak, Brexit was tearing the country apart, our democracy was being stretched to breaking and people on all sides were digging into their trenches.
We started to look around and wonder why there was not more protest and argument coming from artists around the issues at the time on either side of the debate? Was it to do with a lack of motivation or did artists not have an opinion that they could express through their chosen medium. We thought not. We realised that one clear barrier was funding. There wasn't a fund that artists could apply to for small amounts of funding that were fast enough to respond in the moment. And we need artists to be making responsive work because artists have the power to use their creativity to express themselves in a way which can challenge a narrative, shine a light on an untold perspective, provoke conversation and galvanise a community.
So here's the idea - small grants fund (up to £5k) led by a panel of creatives, artists and activists. Decisions are made on applications within 7 days so that artists can start making work immediately. Light touch admin and simple application process.
ARTCRY is a new fund for artists responding to social and political events happening now and who need funding immediately to make that possible.
The steering committee and founding panel are; Kathryn Bilyard, Alistair Spalding CBE, Ben Monks, Suba Das, Shazia Bibi, Suzanne Alleyne, Manuela Benini, Ferg Cooper and Sara Sjölund. The panel will change every six months, so that the experiences, interests and priorities of those getting to make decisions on funding changes regularly.
We have a brilliant bunch of people getting behind this campaign to make it happen including our advocates - Jude Kelly, James Graham, Akram Khan, Stephanie Dittmer, Deb Mullins, Arji Manuelpillai, Alan Lane, David Neita, Deborah Frances-White, Ivan Michael Blackstock, La Gateau Chocolat, Kate McGrath, Nathalie Teitler and Keisha Thompson - along with a brilliant group of artists getting behind the launch including Moongate Productions, ThisEgg, Jonzi D, Jo Paul, Amy West, Pablo Cattermole, Jess Dickenson, Emergency Exit Arts and Dan Glass.
We are not starting this with a pot of money to create a fund - we need YOUR help to do it. We are aiming to raise £15,000 in this crowdfunding campaign as the first step towards a goal of £50k across our first year.
It can be just as hard to raise £200 as £10,000 and take just as long. Even before lockdown it was increasingly difficult for artists and small organisations to make work responsively because our funding structures don't support it, the fastest turnaround fund at the moment is six weeks and we need to change that. Application process are long and difficult and prevent a lot of brilliant individual artists from applying for funding directly. We need to change that too.
Most importantly need artists to startle some sense into the world with radical and inspiring ideas. We need to invest in artists and quite often it isn't a huge amount of money needed. We can come together and start making a difference.
With our first £15,000 we will fund at least 3 - 10 brand new projects which all happen for free and in the public realm.
All our rewards are designed to say a massive THANK YOU, get you closer to to the work you have helped to fund and to ensure that 100% of every penny donated goes directly into a grant for an artist. If you are able and interested in supporting at levels higher than the rewards amounts then please do get in touch with us, we would love to talk to you about becoming a Cornerstone Supporter.
Help us get started. Help us make this happen. We need this now.
Kathryn, Alistair, Shazia, Suzanne, Suba, Ben, Ferg, Sara and Manuela