Despite the challenges we face I would like to wish you a happy new year. I know that this is not the start to 2021 that we all hoped for, and we are facing greater restrictions and challenges than we expected, but the new year also brings hope.
We are committed to supporting you and all our members more than ever, and we are acutely aware than many music creators continue to struggle professionally and personally.
We continue to lobby the Government on behalf of our members, not least in weekly meetings with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. We keep making the case for how important it is for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to keep running until our members can fully work again, and to make sure that gaps in support are filled or that those who fall through the gaps have access to other types of Government support.
Among others, our members who are Directors of Personal Service Companies, continue to be excluded from the eligibility criteria of the SEISS. But there is some positive news on that front. Following months of lobbying, the second round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund has been channelled through the Arts Council England. Applications are open and close on 26th January.
Although it is only open to cultural organisations and we continue to lobby Government for grants which are available to all individuals, on the bright side, if you are one of those excluded LTDs, these are the grants for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at the Academy if you should need any help filling out the application.
For creators not based in England there are other funding opportunities available. Have a look at the options for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Remember the deadline for individuals applying for funding in Northern Ireland is the 7th January at 4pm.
If you are struggling financially or if you are shielding once again, don’t forget to fill out our surveys. This will help us enormously in representing our creators’ needs faithfully and making the case for support needed with Government.
We are also working to increase wellbeing support for our members in the coming weeks. We have set up a Mental Health Working Group, and will be hosting a series of online events specifically focussing on our members’ wellbeing. More news on this will be out shortly, so keep an eye out for emails from us and news on our socials. In the meantime, should you need to speak to someone, Coronamusicians has details about the support that is available.
At the end of 2020 we launched The Ivors Academy Trust Talent Pipeline Appeal to support creators in need. We are aware many of our creators need support urgently, especially those who are still not eligible for Government support. Covid-19 has also made long-standing inequalities in the music industry far worse. Opportunities for creators have reduced and the recorded music market rewards a tiny minority of artists and large corporations while failing to support the majority. If you or anyone you know are in any way able to make even a small donation, the music creator community will be extremely grateful.
I wish you all the best through these difficult months ahead from all of us at the Academy. Remember we are here for you and always want to hear from you.
Graham Davies, CEO