The Arts Council of Wales is inviting all those in the arts sector, and beyond, in Wales to join it in imagining what a post covid-19 lockdown future might look like as it begins to turn its attention to how the arts sector could be refocused after the current restrictions have been lifted.
Commenting today, Arts Council of Wales Chair, Phil George, said:
“The last few weeks have been extremely demanding and worrying for our whole sector. Just as arts organisations, venues, galleries, rehearsal spaces and offices, and the infrastructure that we support, have had to close down so we had to adapt to the abrupt closure of our own offices.
“Our key focus recently has been on launching our £7.5m emergency resilience funds online – thanks to National Lottery players, and assistance from the Welsh Government, Tŷ Cerdd, Literature Wales and the Freelands Foundation - and making sure we could evaluate applications and get emergency funds to those in need. The resilience and determination of those working in the arts in Wales is impressive and humbling. We want to do everything we can to support you at this most difficult of times.”
Going on, Phil said:
“Having put our emergency response in place in a few short weeks, we’re finally managing to devote more time to addressing the longer-term situation. Central to developing a longer-term strategy for the arts is trying to anticipate the extent to which people’s behaviour will go back to how it was a few short months ago. New habits and experiences that have developed during the Covid-19 lockdown might have lasting influence on how people behave in future.
“No one is suggesting that our arts ecology and its rich, innovative, deeply appreciated offerings to society before this crisis should be neglected or devalued in any way. They should be sustained. But we’re also convinced that whatever emerges after the pandemic must feel fresh and refocused, rather than a faded shadow of former glories. Could the darkness of this crisis, give us an opportunity to bring about lasting and systemic change and help us get to grips with the urgent need to address issues of equality, diversity and social justice in terms of who is able to enjoy and take part in the arts?”
In closing, Phil George said:
“As well as dealing with immediate challenges, we know that many of you are looking at the longer-term implications for your work and we’re doing the same. We don’t have all the answers and so we’d like your insights and responses. If you do want to share your thoughts with us, then please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- Arts Council of Wales is the official public body charged with funding and supporting the arts in Wales.
- The Arts Resilience Fund announced by the Arts Council of Wales at the beginning of April totalled £7.5m with £5m coming from National Lottery derived sources, and the remainder from Welsh Government, Tŷ Cerdd, Llenyddiaeth Cymru and £0.5 from the Freelands Foundation.
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week across the UK for good causes, many of whom will be supporting the most vulnerable in communities during the Coronavirus crisis.