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Artist Opportunities During Covid-19

POSTED: 29 May 2020

A list of funding, opportunities and resources to help support artists

This is a challenging time for artists and those working in the arts sector.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the opportunities, funds, and other useful information sent to us by Autograph’s peers and friends.

We’ll update this blog post regularly, and continue to share opportunities on social media too. Follow us on Twitter, Insta, Facebook or LinkedIn.


Artquest have also launched the WFH (Work from home) Residency, a £1000 award to support artists during the Covid-19 lockdown.It will particularly support projects that take a co-operative or communal approach and aim to generate content shared online and/or are physically viewable by and connecting people while they are social distancing. Applications open until 1 July. Read more

The Freelands Foundation have announced that it has committed a total of £3m in emergency funds to support artists and freelance creative practitioners in urgent need of financial support as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic across the four nations of the UK. They have partnered with a-n The Artists Information Company to set up a new £1.5m Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund, for artists and freelancers in the visual arts sector living in England and Northern Ireland. Open from Thursday 7 May, the new fund will support grants of £1500 to £2500 per person, assessed by need, with £1 million going to those living in England and £500k to those in Northern Ireland. Find out more

Grain have announced a series of new commissions and bursaries aimed at supporting photographers, artists and writers, based in England, to make new work in isolation (at a social distance), exploring, responding to and documenting the current historical and significant time we are experiencing. They are interested in work that responds to the following themes; Social Distancing, Family, Community, Caring, Togetherness, Relationships, Health & Wellbeing, The Economy, Work, Key Workers. The different types of grants have different deadlines so visit their website to find out more

Birkbeck and the National Portrait Gallery have announced a fully-funded collaborative doctoral studentship 'Slave-ownership and the National Portrait Gallery, London'. The project examines the links between the National Portrait Gallery and historical transatlantic slavery. Application deadline is 3 June. Find out more

Serendipity is calling for submissions for Black History Month Live (BHM) 2020. They will commission three artists to create work to feature in Legacy, a new magazine for BHM Leicester. Commissions will be multifaceted projects that translate into print with digital elements for a series titled Launchpad. For example; a series of illustrations and a time-lapse video of their creation, a collection of photographs with audio interviews with each sitter or written work such as poetry or short stories with spoken word element.  Deadline Thursday 25 June 2020, 5.00pm (BST) Find out more

Autograph is inviting proposals from creative practitioners or collectives looking to host an online event or activity, which will take place using our digital platforms as part of our 2020 open call. Three proposals will be selected to take place between 2020 and early 2021. Successful applicants will receive a £500 budget, £250 curatorial fee, support in developing their event, and access to Autograph’s resources. Artists, producers, writers, performers, musicians, curators and collectives are invited to propose an event that relates to Autograph’s mission to explore issues around identity, representation, human rights and social justice. Deadline 10am on Wednesday 1 July 2020. Find out more

Tower Hamlets Council maintains an extensive list of funding opportunities for creative practitioners and organisations. Visit their website


Artquest is looking to broaden the pool of freelancers they work with and is inviting expressions of interest from artists, curators, and other art world professionals who may be interested in working with them on an occasional freelance basis. Visit their website to find out more


Hackney Council are calling for submissions to their new Life Under Lockdown project. Local residents can submit work created over the lockdown period in the form of paintings, drawings, writing, photography or any other art forms suitable to enjoy online. A selection of entries will feature on the new website LoveHackney.uk which aims to capture the borough’s #HackneySpirit being shown in the face of this global pandemic. Find out more and submit

LagosPhoto20 is inviting you to shine your eyes on your homes as if they were museums and take part in building a new virtual Home Museum. To participate all you need to do is photograph (doesn't have to be with a professional camera) a personal selection of objects that are important to you, your family and home, to preserve these everyday treasure that often get overlooked in everyday life. Email 6-12 photos to homemuseum@lagosphotofestival.com. During LagosPhoto20, these images will be exhibited online in your own Home Museum, and these valuable artefacts will be stored for future generations to inspire conversations about our collective histories. Visit their website 

Duke University have made a series of books and articles available to read online for free as part of their Care in Uncertain Times module with a view to "investigating the different ways that care can bind together individuals and communities where larger institutions or governments fail to intervene. They show how radical care is essential to enduring precarity and to laying the groundwork for new futures". All content is free to read online until 30 June. See the selection

Image: 1) Exhibition opening event for Sharif Persaud: Have You Ever Had at Autograph, London, 27 February 2020. Photographs by Zoe Maxwell.