COVID-19 RESPONSE RESOURCES

We’ve pulled together a bunch of useful resources to help those working within the Midlands’ independent theatre sector deal with COVID-19, social distancing and self-isolation. We know this is a worrying time for everybody and hope this list goes some way towards making your lives a tiny bit easier over the coming weeks and months.

Most of these resources have been posted to the Hub by members of our incredible community and we’re also grateful to those who have compiled lists elsewhere. As the situation develops, we’ll be adding new resources and information, so check back often. If you know of anything you think we should add, please get in touch!

You can also visit our other resources page here that includes more general articles, downloads, links, templates and tools.

Stay strong and look after yourselves!

Arts Council England: Digital Culture Network
The Digital Culture Network is generating a series of resources to help artists and organisations respond to the current crisis. From working and collaborating with others remotely, to continuing to engage with your audiences and generating income, these ideas will benefit you now and enhance your digital standing for many years to come.
Website

Paul O’Donnell: Free Software, Training & Resources List
Theatre-maker Paul O’Donnell kick-started this collaborative list of free software, training or resources that you can use to create digital work.
Google Spreadsheet

The Space: Guide to Live Streaming for the Arts
Digital consultant Jason Crouch put this guide together for The Space. Some information might be a little out-of-date, but the guide offers a great overview of lo-fi and low-tech live streaming options.
Website

Howlrounds: Guide to Livestreaming on HowlRound TV
Howlround are hosting livestreams for free and offering guidance for those interested in finding alternative ways of gathering in the age of COVID-19.
Website

Stagetext: Guide to Subtitling Your Online Content
Stagetext has produced a handy guide to subtitling your online content and live streams.
Website

Safe In Dance: Guidance on delivering and participating in dance classes online
SiDI has put together some guidance and key points to bear in mind when teaching and participating online.
Website

Gov.org’s collection of financial support for businesses during the Covid-19 crisis
There are a range of support measures available to UK businesses. These include support around paying your employees, paying sick pay, paying tax, business rates relief, business support grant funds, support for the self-employed, support for small and medium-sized businesses and support for large businesses. This page collects together guidance on support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the various schemes open and how to apply.
Website

HMRC Helpline
HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline for freelancers and businesses who are worried about paying their tax.
Website

Official information on the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Official details on how to claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Website

HMRC: Furloughing Staff webinar
The official HMRC webinar about furloughing.
Website

Clore Leadership: Furloughing In The Arts – What Is It & How To Do It Well webinar
Presented by Clore Leadership in partnership with Counterculture, this webinar on furloughing was delivered and recorded on Thursday 9 April 2020.
YouTube

Irwin Mitchell: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guide
Helen Dyke (an Employment Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell and a brilliant supporter of the arts in Birmingham) has shared this easy-to-follow guide about how the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme works. Well worth a read if you employ people.
Website

Irwin Mitchell: Advice For Furloughed Workers & Employers webinar
A recording of Irwin Mitchell’s webinar providing advice for furloughed workers and employers.
Website

Mental Health UK: Guide to Supporting Employees on Furlough
A nice guide from Mental Health UK about steps employers can take to support their furloughed employees.
Website

Acas: Coronavirus advice for employers and employees
Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) has produced a set of articles explaining everything you need to know to help you make responsible decisions.
Website

Acas: Furlough letter template
Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) has produced a template agreement to temporarily send home an employee because there’s no work (‘furlough’). Free to download and use.
Website

Official information on the government’s Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
Official details on how to claim a grant through the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. There is also an online tool to check your eligibility. You’ll need your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number and National Insurance Number.
Website

SJ Watkinson: Self-employed income support scheme calculator
SJ is famed for her speadsheets! Here’s one to help you estimate what you might get from the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
Google Doc

Theataccounts: options flowchart
Still confused about your options? Theataccounts has created this really useful flowchart (with links through to relevant information) for all those figuring out their self-employed / employer / employee options.
Website

Arts Council England: Covid-19 Emergency Funding Package
Website – General Information
Website – Funding for National Portfolio Organisations
Website – Funding for organisations outside of the National Portfolio | Click here to download a Word Doc template of the application questions
Website – Funding for individuals | Click here to download a Word Doc template of the application questions

New Diorama Theatre: North Star Project
Bringing together insights and knowledge from New Diorama’s partners and contacts at Arts Council England, this programme will offer a suite of guidance and support to artists in these uncertain times. This includes a National Application Reading programme, bringing together over 30 venues and organisations, to read funding applications for those who have never applied before (or have applied and have never been successful).
Website

Culture Central: Mentoring Scheme
You can sign up to Culture Central’s Mentoring Scheme and the team will match you with a mentor if you need support in applying for Arts Council England’s emergency funding.
Website

Ruby Glaskin: COVID-19 income risk assessment template
Producer Ruby Glaskin has shared a handy template for those wishing to assess and mitigate risks to their income.
Google Doc

Arts Council England: Roundup of support for individuals from the government and other sources
The Arts Council has provided information on support for individuals from government and other sources, including information on tax relief and on various hardship funds including: Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund (for visual arts practitioners), Musicians’ Union Hardship Fund, The Actors’ Benevolent Fund, The Royal Theatrical Fund, The Royal Variety Charity, PRS Emergency Relief Fund and the Directors Charitable Foundation.
Website

Official information on the government’s Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
Official details on how to claim a grant through the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. There is also an online tool to check your eligibility. You’ll need your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number and National Insurance Number.
Website

Covid-19 hardship funds list
From the Theatre Producers Union and Producer Vicky Graham comes a big list of hardship funds that are up and running across the country.
Google Doc

West Midlands Artists Coronavirus Impact Fund
Organised by Westie artist Amahra Spence, the fund is looking to raise £4000 so it can distribute £200 hardship funds for any artists, cultural workers, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts.
Website

East Midlands Artists Coronavirus Impact Fund
Organised by Eastie producer Rafia Hussain and supported by In Good Company, the fund is looking to raise £2000 so it can distribute £200 to 10 artists/freelancers/self employed workers on a first come first served basis.
Website

Nottingham Artist Fund
A fund set up by Light Hustle to support Nottingham-based artists who have had performances, exhibitions and gigs cancelled due to coronavirus.
Website

Coventry 2021 Coronavirus Resilience Fund
Coventry 2021 want to support those in the community for whom the cancelling of public events has hit the hardest across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Website

The Turbine Theatre’s Fund For Freelancers
Paul Taylor-Mills from The Turbine Theatre in Battersea has set up a Funds for Freelancers JustGiving page. It has already exceeded it’s initial goal and aims to support actors, creatives and ushers working in theatres who require financial support.
Website

Fleabag Support Fund
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is organising this fundraising appeal on behalf of Soho Theatre. The Fleabag Support Fund will partner with charities responding to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic to provide grants to freelancers working in the theatre industry who are in urgent financial need and unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Website

Arts Council England: Managing financial difficulties guide and toolkit
This guide and toolkit are designed to help you recognise and manage some of the financial challenges you might be facing. Although commissioned before the Covid-19 crisis, they’re relevant now more than ever as organisations across the cultural and creative sector face the most serious challenge to their existence since the Arts Council began.
Website

Zoom
Video conferencing solution with real-time messaging and content sharing.
Website
Zoom’s guide to keeping your meetings secure

Drake Music: Guide to Accessibility in Video Conferencing & Remote Meetings
Some great tips compiled by Drake Music about making virtual meetings as accessible as possible.
Website

Houseparty
A face-to-face social network. Good for meetings, catchups and playing games remotely.
Website

Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts lets you video call, phone or send messages.
Website

Slack
Private messaging hub for organisations and teams. Better than email and texts.
Website

Ring Central’s Glip
Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.
Website

Asana
Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.
Website

Click Up
Chat, file sharing, and task management for teams.
Website

We Transfer
Transfer files up to 2GB for free without clogging up inboxes.
Website

Nic Connaughton: Theatre Skill Share 2020
A spreadsheet from Nic Connaughton (Head of Theatre at Pleasance Theatre) to capture and help match people with skills to share/offer with those who have a need. Lots here from producer/admin/mentoring support to self-care advice.
Google Doc

John Kirby: Twitter Advice
John Kirby (Attenborough Arts Centre’s Theatre Programmer) has set up a temporary new Twitter account to offer advice for artists and companies in the region. He’ll be available between 9am – 5pm on Mondays – Fridays.
Twitter

In Good Company
In Good Company are offering a range of support including community Zoom meetings and confidential “off the record” chats over Facebook Messenger and Twitter for artists and companies in need of advice.
Website

Culture Central: West Midlands Covid-19 Response Unit
Led by Culture Central, the West Midlands Culture Response Unit will develop and deliver an action-orientated, sector led response to the Covid-19 crisis in the short, medium and long term. The purpose is to ensure the visibility, viability and recovery of the Cultural Sector in the West Midlands.
Website
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UK Theatre Industry Coronavirus Support Facebook Group
A Facebook group for the performing arts industry to share news, tips, advice or anything helpful to do with the coronavirus and how it is affecting you and your business.
Facebook

Facebook Group: Anti-Viral Work for Freelancers & Small Businesses
A Facebook group to support freelancers and small businesses during the coronavirus.
Facebook

Facebook Group: So&So Arts Club: #ArtistsHotline on Twitter
So&So Arts Club has started the Twitter hashtag #artistshotline for mutual artists’ advice, support and opportunities.
Twitter

Theatre Helpline
A free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.
Website

SOLT/TMA: Theatre Support
A new microsite set up by SOLT/TMA and leading theatrical charities, to centralise information about how and where theatre professionals can access support during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Website

Vountary Arts: Creative Network Zoom
Voluntary Arts have created a daily #CreativeNetwork Zoom meeting, an online get together for all creatives to have the opportunity to talk to others dealing with the challenging current situation. The meeting takes place daily from  9.30am-10.30am.
Website

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy: Free consultations
Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy are offering a free daily power-hour of consultation to support arts organisations needing help with income generation, fundraising strategy or donor management.
Website

What’s On Stage: Streaming Theatre List
Cabin fever setting in? What’s On Stage 
has compiled a great list of theatre, dance, musicals and opera that you can watch online for free. Features Midlands brilliance in the form of Rosie Kay Dance Company and Clown Funeral.
Website

The Guardian: Streaming Theatre List
The Guardian has compiled a big list of theatre, dance, musicals and opera that you can watch online for free.
Website

National Theatre at Home
Every Thursday the National Theatre is streaming National Theatre Live productions for free via YouTube. Each production will be available for seven days.
Website

Motionhouse: #TogetherInIsolation Playlist
Motionhouse has uploaded full performances of their Earth Trilogy (including their productions Scattered, Broken and Charged) to YouTube.
Website

Virtual Museum Tours
Google Arts & Culture has compiled a list of more than 500 museums and galleries that you can visit and tour virtually.
Website

Nonsuch: Creative Quarantine
Creative Quarantine is a daily email from the Nonsuch team full of creative activities and adventures for of all ages to do in their own home.
Website

Do Think Share: Create To Connect
Sign up for a dose of daily creative challenges from the Do Think Share team.
Website

Tim Clare: Couch To 80k Writing Boot Camp
The Couch’s Boot Camp is a free writing podcast that delivers a complete 8 week fiction writing course over 48 episodes. All it asks of you is 10 minutes writing a day. Each episode teaches you new writing skills through a 10 minute exercise – it even times you while you do the exercise, so once the podcast finishes, you’re done for the day. No homework!
Website

Government
All of the most up-to-date advice and guidance on gov.uk.
Website

Arts Council England
The most up-to-date statements and information from Arts Council England for their funded organisations and projects. They will continue to update the page as the government makes more annoucements and their plans to support the sector develop further.
Website

Independent Theatre Council (ITC)
ITC is still operating to provide advice and support to the theatre sector. The team are currently working remotely, but phone lines are diverted to the team’s mobile telephones were you can leave a message and they will get back to you. You can also email admin@itc-arts.org and someone will call you back. The team has compiled a great information page which can also be accessed by non-members.
Website

Equity
Equity is the union for performers. Here is their official advice and guidance for members.
Website

BECTU
BECTU is the union for non-performance roles in theatre. Here is their official advice and guidance for members.
Website

Musicians’s Union
Here is the official advice and guidance for members of the Musician’s Union.
Website

NHS: Coronavirus Advice
All the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus.
Website

Mind: Guidance and support
Mind is a charity that provides advice and support around mental health. They have published lots of helpful information to help support mental health during these uncertain times.
Website

Leapers: Advice on working from home
Leapers is an organisation which supports the mental health of freelancers and the self-employed. They’ve created some great advice about working well from home under self-quarantine for Coronavirus
Website

MHPP: Thrive At Home Guide & Homeworkers’ Toolkit
Mental Health & Productivity Pilot (MHPP) is led by Coventry University, in partnership with University of Warwick, West Midlands Combined Authority and mental health charity Mind. They’ve created a guide and toolkit to help employers and home workers manage their health and wellbeing.
Website – Thrive At Home Guide
Website – Homeworkers’ Toolkit

The National Trust: Open Gardens
The National Trust has announced that, where possible and in locations where there is enough space for social distancing, they will keep their outdoor areas open to the public free of charge. That means although houses, cafes and shops will close to help the nation fight the spread of the coronavirus, you can still get some fresh air and exercise in some nice surroundings.
Website

Lou Platt: Grief Within The Arts
Lou Platt is a Birmingham-based Artist Wellbeing Practitioner and has written a series of articles around grief within the arts.
Grief Within The Arts: Denial
Grief Within The Arts: Anger
Grief Within The Arts: Bargaining
Grief Within The Arts: Depression

Arts & Health Hub: Let’s Connect More on Slack
The Arts & Health Hub is an in-person and online space for artists and cultural producers interested in arts and health. They’ve created a Slack space to help those working in the arts to stay more connected.
Website

Jamie Hale: Tips on coping with self-iolation
Jamie Hale is a UK based cross-discplinary creative and an expert in disability and health and social care policy. They have provided some tips for coping with self-isolation.
Website

STAY
CONNECTED

At the very heart of the East Meets West is your community Hub. It’s an online space where you can meet your sector soulmates, share knowledge and ask for help. With beautiful profiles, a community events diary, direct messaging and dynamic activity feeds, it’s time to take the work out of networking.

The Hub is free to join, and entirely private. Only other members of the network can see your profile and posts. You can access the Hub on the web, and there’s also an App for iOS and Android.

JOIN OR VISIT THE EAST MEETS WEST HUB
The East Meets West Hub (Browser & iOS)