The AUE Solidarity Fund will distribute easy-access small grants of £100 to AUE members experiencing hardship. Grants will be awarded on a monthly basis with the deadline of the first Thursday of each month, with 5 awards distributed in the first round (deadline: 6th August). Click on the banner on the AUE homepage (www.artistsunionengland.org.uk) for more information, including how to apply.
The Solidarity Fund has been launched in response to AUE’s recognition that the Covid-19 crisis will affect artists’ working conditions for years to come; a crisis compounded by the previous decade of austerity in a sector where earnings are notoriously low, and working conditions are often precarious. Nearly half of AUE membership act as carers, and have been disproportionately affected by the additional social care responsibilities during lockdown. Furthermore, many self-employed artists have fallen through the gaps of government provision like the Self Employment Scheme (SEISS), because many have had to supplement their work in the arts with PAYE jobs.
The AUE Solidarity Fund awards small grants to support artists’ day to day living costs – towards food, bills, housing and caring responsibilities. Far from the mythology romanticising masterpieces created by starving artists in freezing cold garrets; the AUE Solidarity Fund responds to the reality that financial anxieties about meeting basic needs causes creative paralysis.
AUE member and AUE Solidarity Fund Trustee Vanessa Maurice-Williams @vanessamw33
“Art is so important and the fear that our whole culture sector is slipping away due to the coronavirus pandemic is just horrifying. I hope by setting this up AUE can continue to help our members well into the future and keep art very much alive.”
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