In August 2020, Artists’ Union England launched its new Solidarity Fund, created in response to the hardship caused by the Covid-19 crisis and its ongoing implications for artists’ livelihoods.
Under the current Government Self Employment Scheme (SEISS), many people have missed out on receiving any kind of support. Self-employed artists have fallen through the gaps in the system because many supplement their work in the arts with PAYE jobs.
AUE recognises that the Covid-19 crisis will affect our working conditions for years to come, a crisis compounded by the previous decade of austerity. We expect to see a large reduction in public facing work as we move forward. This will further compound the existing challenges for our members in a sector where earnings are notoriously low, and working conditions are often precarious. The Livelihoods of Visual Artists study (2018) reported artists earning an annual average income of £16,000; and that 2/3 of artists make less than £5,000 per year from their creative practice.According to our 2016 survey 70% of AUE membership are female, with nearly half acting as carers. Thus many of our members have been disproportionately affected by the additional social care responsibilities during lockdown.
In response, the Solidarity Fund will give a limited number of small grants of £100 to AUE members in hardship. Find out more on the AUE website.
The Solidarity Fund is administered by Trustees, a group of AUE members acting in a voluntary capacity.
Trustees: Katriona Beales, Theresea Easton, Martin Gollan, Joanne Howell, Vanessa Maurice-Williams