Art Fund has announced a new funding programme with £2m in funds, adapted to respond to COVID-19 and its impact on the culture sector.
After consulting hundreds of museum directors and arts professionals about the needs of museums and galleries now and in the future, this adapted fund will provide help through grants and strategic partnerships to support re-opening and beyond.
The recent COVID-19 Impact report identified four key areas of need: the future of collections and exhibitions, digital skills and infrastructure, reopening and encouraging audiences back, and supporting a passionate and skilled workforce.
The strands that will help in these areas and beyond include:
- £1.5m available in Respond and Reimagine Grants - open for applications now. This flexible and responsive funding will be led by the needs of museums and meet immediate requirements in the four priority areas, as well as encouraging creative and innovative projects as organisations look to re-open with fundamentally different operating models.
- A £280,000 partnership with the Museum Development Network will distribute additional grants prioritising museums who have not yet received public funding and smaller museums fulfilling specific cultural or local needs.
- £150,000 will be provided in seed funding for the newly established Museums and Galleries Network for Exhibition Touring to support an ambitious programme for co-curated, collections-based exhibitions to tour nationally.
- A £35,000 collaboration with Clore Leadership will support sector professionals to build skills, competencies and connections now and into the future.
The Art Fund's existing programme will be bolstered with an additional £250,000 made available through Small Project Grants and Professional Network Grants – two responsive, flexible, quick-turnaround funds to help museums reach audiences, improve digital infrastructure, and develop professional networks, which have been open from the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Find out more about Art Fund’s revised funding programmes for museums, galleries and arts professionals.
Art Fund director Jenny Waldman says: "The future of our museums and galleries, which are so vital to society, is far from certain. Art Fund is putting every effort into helping museums through the current crisis, informed by our recent report into what museums and galleries need, and following the exceptional immediate response from public funders which provided a lifeline for many organisations. We encourage all those at immediate risk or re-imagining future ways of working to get in touch."
"However, these steps alone will not secure the future – more help is required. We are now fundraising so we can continue to support museums and galleries and we're calling for everyone to come together now to help museums and galleries adapt and thrive during the biggest challenge in our lifetime."
Image: National Army Museum