5 Initiatives Supporting COVID-19 Relief Funds for the Creative Industry

It is an unarguable fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly altered what we consider as ‘normal’ in our daily lives. Particularly in the arts and culture space, many artists have been left without a livelihood due to the temporary closing of art galleries, the cancellation of events, festivals production, and the limited channels to promote creative work. While many individuals in the creative industry have been left needing to explore new ways to continue creating, they’ve also been left in an uncertain state of where their next salary will come in. With this in mind, the industry is in need of support.

We list five initiatives that have been put together to help individuals within the creative industry:

Aspire Art Hot Spot Auction

Absa has been supporting the development of visual arts and the nurturing of young artistic talent across the African continent through the art sponsorships, such as the Absa L’Atelier and the Absa Gallery. In partnership with Aspire Art Auctions, they are proud to host their first virtual art auction – 49 artworks from 25 truly talented African artists. All the proceeds from this auction will go to supporting the broader arts industry and the artists themselves.

The auction will take place on Thursday, 9 July 2020 at 19:00. Find more information here.

Limited Edition Prints to Benefit COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Collaborative and conceptual artist Nix Davies, known for exploring possibilities that arise from consciously stepping into and existing in the unknown has made her latest collection of limited edition prints available with the proceeds benefiting Covid-19 food relief efforts.

The prints are sold globally. For each print sold, 40% of the proceeds will go to Covid-19 food relief charities.

Prints can be purchased here.

SA’s Poetry Relief Fund Re-opens for Applications

With the help of Poetry Potion, The Market Theatre, Windybrow Arts Centre, Poetry Africa, the Department of Sport, Art & Culture, and a host of individual private donors, the relief programme re-opened for applications on Monday, 22 June 2020. Interested persons will be able to submit applications up until 12 July 2020, via the Hear My Voice website. Poets from around the country are encouraged to apply early as this will be the final season of the Poetry Relief Fund web-series. Further details on the relief fund available here.

Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Professional Development Grant in Music

In 2018 the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) Professional Development Programme supported projects in the fields of visual art and dance, followed by literature in 2019 and theatre at the beginning of 2020. For the second grant cycle of 2020 ACT is looking for projects with a focus on music and encourages applications for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary works that have music as a core component. 

The sector has been greatly impacted by Covid-19 with lockdown restrictions having a massive impact on the arts. With the prohibition on social gatherings, the lockdown has also highlighted the value of arts and culture in our communities as many people turn to arts for solace and entertainment during their isolation. 

For more information and to submit an online application, click here or watch the video below to see how to reply.

BASA Artist Relief Grants

BASA has expanded the scope of its Supporting Grants programme. While the existing opportunities for funding for arts organisations and business sponsors are still available, eligibility is now extended to support South African artists and creatives infected or affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find more information here.


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