Greater Manchester based artists and creatives can access funding to create and test new ideas thanks to a new scheme launched by Manchester International Festival (MIF).
Livelihoods of people working in the creative sector have, like the wider community, been badly hit as a result of COVID-19 and MIF is re-purposing some of its existing artist development funds, to help people across the region create work digitally and online during the current situation.
MIF is looking to support ideas that stimulate creativity and connection, particularly ones that allow for audience participation and involvement, which could include phone and radio ideas to comply with current social distancing guidelines. They may also reflect on the relationship between the local and the international through online international collaborations.
Artists can access the funding under three strands:
- Festival in My House: MIF’s popular Festival in My House programme has seen local residents and community groups present everything from slam poetry to classical music in homes across Greater Manchester. Artists and creatives are now invited to re-imagine the micro-festival series for these unique times, exploring remote collaborations and opportunities to reach audiences isolated and in lockdown. A budget of up to £1000 is available for each event.
- Remote Residencies : Artists and creatives are invited to respond to an open brief to explore ideas and projects as an artist residency within their own home. This could include imaginative ways to support communities, artists or audiences during the coming months. Residencies do not have to result in specific outcomes and up to £1000 is being made available for each residency.
- Get Creative : Local creatives are invited to create and deliver online activity to engage and inspire other artists and the wider community, or provide commentary, during the crisis. This could take the form of an online workshop, performance, talk, discussion, or other creative idea, with up to £350 available for each event or activity.
MIF’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive John McGrath explains: “These are difficult times, affecting the lives and livelihoods of artists and communities in Greater Manchester. We want to support artists and creative practitioners, so they can continue to develop artistically, with space to dream, imagine, create and test new ideas. And even as we have to spend time apart physically, use their creativity to bring people together in new ways.”
Proposals are being accepted now from Greater Manchester based artists and creatives until the end of April, or until all available opportunities have been filled.