Dear Dorset Creatives,

We are living in uncertain times. A lot of you will be scared, angry, confused, and unsure if and how your creative business will survive. There is no easy or clear solution, but together we can find ways to improve and stabilise arts and culture in Dorset.

We are working with Arts Council England South West to collect data on the impact of this epidemic on arts and culture freelancers, businesses and organisations in Dorset; you can fill out the anonymous survey here. It will take approximately 5 minutes and there are 5 questions. As you can understand, we’re unable to guarantee anything at this stage but we will pass the data onto Arts Council to help them and Government decide on the next steps, and keep you posted as to what they are.

We are also working hard to adapt our current projects so we can still deliver them in some way online and through other means during social isolation, and to find paid work for freelancers. We will keep you posted with any opportunities.

We want to help as many of you as we can, and we will try to make decisions and take steps that will benefit the sector in Dorset as a whole, but that does mean we can’t take on individual cases. We will, however, continue to share information and resources via our social media channels and you’re more than welcome to contact us to talk about your individual needs so we can signpost you in the right direction. Please contact us via our Marketing and Communications Officer, Jasmine O’Hare: jasmine@theartsdevelopmentcompany.org.uk.

In times of adversity, you, the creatives, are vital. You can creatively problem solve, emotionally connect people together and express thoughts and feelings at a time of confusion and fear. Art is an immediate voice in times of trouble. It keeps us grounded, connected, and above all, emotionally engaged. The unknown is daunting, and science is doing its best to catch up, but in the meantime we need the arts to hold us steady.

Take care,

The team at the Arts Development Company

Working Together for Creative Change

Resources for Arts and Culture freelancers, businesses and organisations

For advice and support

Coronavirus advice for Arts Council England funded organisations and projects can be found here: https://artscouncil.org.uk/advice-and-guidance-library/coronavirus-information

What Next? Culture has put together a report on issues, good practice and information. Page 2 lists trusted sources of advice: https://whatnextculture.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/What-Next-Coronavirus-paper-120320.pdf

Advice for employees, employers and businesses: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Coronavirus information from IPSE for freelancers and the self-employed: https://www.ipse.co.uk/ipse-news/news-listing/coronavirus-ipse-activity-and-advice-freelancers.html

A new website has been set-up to help creative freelancers, visit it here: https://covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19 please call 0800 0159 559.

Advice on benefits: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

For inspiration

The Social Distancing Festival is a website the celebrates the work of artists who have had shows or presentations cancelled due to the need for social distancing caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Visit here: https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com

Find more online arts and culture experiences through this article here: https://medium.com/@andrewrecinos/let-culture-calm-you-66156d16cc59

Visual Arts South West has just launched an amazing new website, and you can find freelance resources there, including this one: https://www.vasw.org.uk/editorial/resources-for-freelancers-collectives-arts-organisers

For connection and discussion

What Next? Dorset is meeting online weekly from today to discuss how to respond and take action on the impact of the Coronavirus. Please join the Facebook group for more information and to find out when the next meeting is.

@voluntaryarts on Twitter has just started a new, daily online get-together open to anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity. It’s an opportunity to talk about the current situation and the challenges of working from home. Search #CreativeNetwork and follow @voluntaryarts to join in.

For your mental health

Cup-O-Tea Wellness and Therapy Services are holding daily Facebook Livestreams to help you with obstacles you may face at the moment, including ‘Routine and Structure when working from home’ and ‘Living in Close Proximity in Isolation.’ Worksheets and other resources will be share too. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/CupOTservices