There are only 24 hours left to apply for one of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Creative Commissions, worth £500 each, for regional creatives to form a COVID-19 legacy of work for the city-region.

The GMCA Culture Team have created 60 micro commissions to be paid to artists and creators based in Greater Manchester, covering a wide variety of art forms including music, art, poetry, theatre, short stories, design, gaming, stories and performance.

The team has already received more than 400 applications for a commission from creatives across all 10 districts. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 1 April.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, GMCA portfolio lead for Culture, said: “We wanted to help individuals, freelancers and small businesses from our arts community, as many of them have lost their jobs and direction because of the national shutdown.

“These COVID-19 Creative Commissions will give artists, performers and creators an opportunity to express their creativity during this crisis by commissioning them to contribute to this lasting legacy.

“These are unprecedented times; however, this extremely proactive step from our GMCA Culture Team will provide remuneration and focus for local talent to use their creativity, and build a unique cultural archive which will be made available online for everyone to enjoy in the future.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is a positive intervention designed to create a lasting legacy – one that demonstrates our appreciation of our local artists, creatives, composers and storytellers, and the vital role they will play in our civic recovery over the coming months and years.”

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “We know what a hard time this is for freelancers and the self-employed, across all sectors. We’ve been speaking to artists and creatives who have told us how many of their commissions and contracts have been cancelled, and we’re trying to help where we can.

“This will get not only get funds to those struggling at the moment, it will also help keep our creatives creating and shine a light on the amazing talent we have in every district of Greater Manchester.”

Creative Commissions applicants will be asked to provide information on previous work and a brief summary of the work they would like to create. Artists are asked not to submit work in response to this call until they the culture team have selected the initial cohort and contacted them to confirm the commission.

Applications will be reviewed by panel of independent industry experts, including Sacha Lord (WHP, Parklife), Tom Hetherington (Buy Art Fair, Manchester Contemporary, Rebecca Suarez (Rebbecca Never Becky), Claire Tymon (Future Everything), Erika Rushton (Islington Mill), Helen Weworia (Castlefield Gallery), Martyn Walsh (Inspiral Carpets), Jay Taylor (Night and Day), Neil McInroy (CLES) and Tom Besford (English Folk Expo). Once decisions have been made, artists will be advanced funds and given a month to deliver the commission.

The COVID-19 Creative Commissions are part of a package of support that already includes six month advanced payments to the 35 organisations awarded grants as part of the £8.6m Greater Manchester Culture Fund for 2020/21.

United We Stream is a new concept launched last week that will see live DJ sets, music and performances broadcast at www.unitedwestream.co.uk (opens new site) every night from 7 p.m., uniting the city-region during the COVID-19 outbreak. Viewers can watch for free or buy a ‘virtual ticket’ for whatever price they choose to enjoy the channel, with all proceeds going to the city region’s night-time economy, cultural organisations and charities.


Article Published: 31/03/2020 14:21 PM