Coronavirus – a message from our Director Erica Love

A Message from Erica Love, Culture Central Director
17th March 2020

Firstly, can I offer my solidarity and sadness after this week’s announcements, although somewhat expected, they are a huge blow across the sector, especially venues and those working in and with them.

I am sure many of you are in emergency and contingency planning mode, I am also acutely aware of the challenges this is going to bring to the sector, across the whole sector and those working in it. See our list of online resources to help with Coronavirus response.

Arts Council England have been proactive and are aware of the challenges we face, and I hope they will be announcing the specific plans for their grant/support funding and for its larger strategic programmes and NPOs shortly.

As Culture Central, our role is to do what we can to support the sector and also be the voice of the sector, so I am looking to do a few things. The first is to pull together a number of conversations with stakeholder and funders to understand their plans for supporting the sector as well as identifying additional support and advice.

Next steps will be to pull together a collective response and ways we can lobby for the sector and contribute to the national conversations as well as find practical financial support for our members and sector, which I know is what is really needed.

I will also be looking in-depth at the UK finance packages that will be announced later today, as well other advice pipelines for how businesses can be supported and how they access that support and how it applies to the Cultural Sector. I will also touch base with other industry bodies to understand their approach.

I am sorry that I don’t have any specific answers yet, but wanted to communicate my planned approach and if anyone has any other ideas, or information that would be useful to share then please let me know.

From Twitter and other social media platforms, I have seen lots of great messaging about individuals donating their ticket costs as well as people supporting the freelance artists Go-fund-me page. Let’s hope that that kindness can go someway to buoy our spirits in what is something unprecedented that many of us (me included) have never lived or worked through.

If there is anything I can do/share in the short term please let me know, as alongside the strategic work, I hope we can also share the great things others are doing to provide support and guidance.

I don’t know a lot about what will happen next, but I know, like anything, we are stronger together and in that way, we will get through it.. and with hopefully fewer casualties than if we go it alone.

Sending you virtual hugs and the best of wishes.

Erica Love
Culture Central