Covid-19 Resources and Funding for Artists & Freelancers

Watts Gallery Trust is committed to supporting artists and freelancers as much as is possible during the current Covid-19 crisis. In response, we have put together the following list of information and resources about opportunities, public funding and research projects that you may wish to access during this period of uncertainty. This page will be updated as new schemes and guidance are released.

The links below are third party data sources and whilst they have been selected carefully, Watts Gallery Trust is not responsible for their content or actions arising from using them. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions that might benefit our creative community. You can contact us by email

Government Schemes


HMRC are offering a taxable grant for the self-employed based on previous earnings over the last three years, worth up to 80% of earnings, and capped at £2,500 a month. The scheme will run for a minimum of three months and will be open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all three months and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.

You are eligible if you are: currently self-employed or a member of partnership; and traded in the tax year 2019/20; have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19; and filed a tax return for 2018/19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership.

For further information, click here.

National Funding Bodies

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is making £20million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. The grants available are up to £2,500. You can apply to one of two rounds.

Round one opens for applications on 9 April. You need to register on Grantium by 13 April in order to make an application before the deadline of midday on 16 April. Round two opens for applications on 16 April and applicants will need to register on Grantium by 27 April in order to make an application before the deadline of 30 April.

For further information on using Grantium, click here.

Arts Council of Wales

Guidance for accessing Resilience Fund for artists, freelancers and cultural organisations.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland has launched three funding and bursary programmes for artists and creative practitioners with up to £50,000 available to support 12 months of activity.

Arts Council Northern Ireland

Information on funding agreements and updates on support for artists and freelancers, with a comprehensive Q&A.

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Information on the Heritage Emergency Fund for organisations and funded projects at risk during the pandemic.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists

Information about £20 million emergency funds with up to £10,000 awarded to nominated, eligible artists for 2020 awards.

Other Funding Bodies

a.n will be releasing a series of bursaries called 'Time Space Money' and working with ACE England to secure funding for artists across the sector.

The Coventry 2021 Coronavirus Resilience Fund has been set up with grants between £500 and £1000 offered for artists and creative practitioners living in CV postcodes.

The Eaton Fund is offering grant support of up to £400 for students and established artists in painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography, and video.

Artist Emergency Relief Fund for artists and performers supported by The Civic Theatre, Ireland.

Manchester International Festival is offering a range of funding for artists based in Greater Manchester to support short projects including 'Festival In My House'. This

includes up to £1000 budget for each event and could take the form of an online workshop, performance, talk, discussion or other creative idea.

The Mayor's Culture at Risk Office and the Greater London Authority can support artists, practitioners and creatives with a tailored list of funding opportunities and guidance via their online portal.

The Bagri Foundation has launched an open call to award £1000 to digital commissions for Asian artists and creatives. The awards will span five categories: visual art, film, sound, lectures and courses, and the written word. The final projects will be showcased across the Foundation's digital platforms.

Digital Artist Call Outs

● Dezeen announces the world's first online design festival, launching on 15 April.

● Artist Matthew Burrows (@matthewburrowsstudio) has initiated the scheme #artistsupportpledge encouraging artists to post images of work for sale at no more than £200 and pledging to buy another artist's work for £200 once total sales have reach £1000. The scheme is running on Instagram.

● A group call Anti-Viral work for freelancers and small business has launched a Facebook group for networking, resources and information aimed at those in the creative industries.

● The UN have launched a global call out to artists and creatives to support health messaging in new ways.

Art Quest are looking for artists to give virtual studio tours.

UK Research Projects

In response to the current crisis, many arts organisations have commissioned new research and are looking for artists and freelancers to participate. Please consider taking part and adding your voice.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Online survey investigating the financial and human impact of Covid-19 on artist and arts organisations in Northern Ireland.

Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Online survey for freelancers working in the visual arts, including artists, museum educators, curators and producers.

Creative Industries Federation

Online survey for anyone working in the creative industries on the immediate impact of Covid-19 on work and opportunities.

Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre, Nesta

List of current UK and international research projects and outcomes, updated regularly.

UK Creative and Cultural Sector Coronavirus Impact Study

Call out for individuals and organisations to contribute data to independent study about the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries.

Free Digital Resources & Training

Arts Council England

List of digital resources, training and upcoming events, updated regularly. Digital skill development training and webinars with Tech Champions are also available.

Arts Marketing Association

List of resources, online training, tips and free webinars for those working in the arts.

Arts Emergency

Fun and practical downloadable resources for artists and creative professionals.

Covid Creatives Toolkit

List of digital resources, ideas and pathways for freelance artists and practitioners, updated daily.

Creative Industries Federation

Free 6 month membership for freelancers with access to relevant news, updates and funding guidelines during the Covid-19 crisis.

Disability Arts Online

Information about free one-to-one artist development sessions for disabled artists and practitioners during Covid-19.

Handsome Frank

Free video portfolio reviews for illustrators from leading agency.

Live Art Development Agency

Page of resources, opportunities and artist responses to Covid-19 crisis.


Resources for art, craft and design educators created for working and/or teaching in isolation.

Shape Arts

Funding opportunities, guidance and advice on support for disabled artists and practitioners.


Web and mobile platform for accessing museum collections and exhibitions, including Watts at Home tours.

The Dots

Online platform for creative jobs, opportunities, networking and skill sharing.

The Space

Video and audio, toolkits and information on supporting artists during Covid-19.


List of resources for disabled artists and freelancers during Covid-19 crisis.

Wyatt, Clarke & Jones

Free Skype portfolio reviews for BA and MA students from leading agency.

Covid-19: Its Impact on Artists - Further Reading

● Crafts Council - Impact of Covid-19 on Makers. Read more.

● Nesta - Impact of Covid-19 on arts and cultural charities. Read more.

● Art Professional - A free page micro-site for artists and creative professionals about Covid-19 and culture. Read more.

Watts at home

Watts Gallery Trust is delivering an exciting programme of digital content whilst it is temporarily closed to the public. This includes:

● Online short talks, lectures and tours of collections and exhibitions

● Creative learning resources and activities

● Wellbeing programme

● Networking and mentoring opportunities for artists

Click here to find out more about Watts at home.