Only Connect

Please find below two listings of links and curated resources to key trusted sites, one list is there to provide guidance, advice, support and inspiration for arts and cultural organisations and freelancers, the other list is for educationalists, parents and all those involved in arts and creativity at home and at school.

This page will be updated regularly and highlight West Midlands resources as well as providing links to national and international resources. If you would like us to consider your activity or resource for inclusion on this page please complete this form and email us.

Arts, cultural & heritage organisations & individual artists

  • Coventry 2021 Invitation of Interest in Public Realm Projects: As part of the UK City of Culture readiness programme and to fulfill the partnership legacy ambitions beyond 2021 –all West Midlands, national (UK) and international creatives are invited to submit their interest, proposals, and/or portfolio, in order to be considered within call-outs for current and upcoming public realm regeneration schemes, citywide redevelopment projects and cultural programmes. Apply here.
  • The Space: Low-Cost R&D Commissioning Round. Deadline: 7 May. Apply here.
  • ACE Digital Culture Network: generating a series of resources to help individuals and organisations respond to the current crisis, and enhance their organisation’s digital standing on a permanent basis. Information here.
  • #CovidCreativesToolkit: A set of curated mostly free & open source resources to support creative practitioners (artists, makers, curators, designers, hackers, educators, facilitators, etc) who need to migrate their practice onto digital places & spaces. Find it here. 
  • Festival Bridge: Online Safety Module. Before any organisation starts to consider developing their online learning offer, they need to ensure that their policies and procedures are fit for purpose. This short learning unit explains how schools and other organisations protect their staff and young people online and provides suggestions and examples to enable an organisation to create an appropriate online safety strategy. Find it here. 
  • Four Communications in association with Creative Industries Federation webinar: Communications in a Crisis which is available to watch here
  • IVE: Working with Children and Young People Online: Guidance for working with children and young people online. Safeguarding and tips for online activities. Download it here.     
  • ScreenSkills: online training courses covering the digital, diversity, legal and business, people skills, production, scripting and technical aspects of TV and film. More here.
  • Advice on financial concerns for Arts & Culture sector workers: More here.
  • Association of Independent Museums: support for applying to ACE or NHLF for emergency funding can be found here. 
  • Arts Council England: are making £20 million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. The information in full is here. 
  • Arts Council England: Their new fund also includes a £4m contribution to various benevolent funds, the information in full can be found here.  
  • Arts Council England:  Covers the status of all of ACE other live funding programmes so you can find everything you need in one place here
  • a-n The Artists Information Company: This fund provides financial support for artists and arts organisers who work in a self-employed capacity to support the production of exhibitions and art work. Find out more here.  
  • Cause4 and Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy: help in the pandemic. More here.  
  • Charity Excellence: over 250 funding streams listed to support individuals, charities and small businesses. More here.
  • Civil Society: funding available to charities during the Covid-19 pandemic. More here. 
  • Clinks: Working with HM Prison and Probation Service, Clinks – the criminal justice charity has been given £300k to share with organisations working with people in the criminal justice system and who have an annual income of less than £500k. Bids should be directly related to Covid-19 and meet an immediate requirement or anticipated gap in provision. Bidding opens this week and the funding is available for six months, or until the funding runs out. Find it here. 
  • Coventry 2021 Coronavirus Resilience Fund: to support those in the community for whom the cancelling of public events has hit the hardest across Coventry and Warwickshire. Apply here.
  • Coventry Creates – Feel Connected, Get Creative: The University Partnership is pleased to announce funding of up to £2,000 per project to commission a range of artistic works that can be shared digitally. Apply here. 
  • Dance Professionals Fund: This fund provides financial support for professional dancers. Support is given to freelance dancers across genres including contemporary, ballet, hip hop, Black and Asian dance, including those with portfolio careers. Find out more here.
  • Doing Things Differently: grants of between £3,000 and £20,000 available to enable organisations to change the way they deliver their work to continue to meet the developing needs of their communities during Covid -19. This could include moving services to provide them digitally or redeploying staff to meet the changing needs of the community. Apply here. 
  • Equity Charitable Trust: Criteria includes professional actors, circus, aerialists, puppeteers or variety performers, and stage managers. Find out more here.
  • GRANTfinder news section: keep you updated on which funds and extra support have been announced to counteract the impact of the outbreak. More here. 
  • Heart of England Community Foundation Coronavirus Resilience Fund: constituted groups based in the West Midlands can apply for grants of up to £1,500 to help those most affected get the support that they need. More here.
  • Help Musicians: Hardship fund for professional music performers, composers, creators and those working in other roles requiring a high level of technical skill (teachers, producers, engineers, etc) across all music sectors. Find out more here.
  • Heritage Emergency Fund: a package of support for the heritage sector as a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Apply here.
  • National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has announced its priority over the next six months is to get funding to groups best placed to support their communities during the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak whilst still honouring its current commitments. Check the NLCF website for further updates here. 
  • National Lottery Community Fund: £200M available with the following remit: To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations. 2. To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.Applications will open Friday 22 May, at 10am  – the COVID funding statement is on the home page. Find it here. 
  • Outdoor Arts UK: This fund will support freelancers who are particularly affected by the seasonal nature of their work, making the vast majority of their annual income in the summer months. This includes, but is not limited to, those identifying as professional and/or specialist artists (eg dedicated street performers, aerialists, stilt artists, project directors) and technicians (eg riggers, projectionists, pyrotechnicians, specialist designers and makers). Find out more here.
  • PRS Foundation’s Sustaining Creativity Fund: supporting artists, songwriters and composers to create and develop when they need it most. More here. 
  • Radiocentre: coronavirus hub for radio professionals. More here. 
  • Severn Trent Community Fund: reopening on 1st June.The programme will distribute grants of £2,000 – £250,000 for local initiatives that meet the following aims:People – Projects that facilitate healthier lifestyles and skills development. Place – Projects that help create better places to live in and use.Environment – Projects that facilitate a healthier natural environment, greater access to that environment or support the preservation of water. Full details here. Contact Sue Heyes.
  • Society of Authors: Those eligible for this funding include storytellers, scriptwriters, literary journalists, producers, poets, translators and book illustrators. Find out more here.
  • Theatre Professionals: From UKT all the various benevolent funds in one place. More here. 
  • The Alan Surtees Trust grant scheme: open now until 30 April for £1000 grants to young folk artists. More here. 
    Please spread the word to any folk artists be it singers, dancers or musicians in the folk tradition aged under 30 years. It’s a fairly simple online form and a YouTube clip is required.
  • The Charity Excellence Framework: a free, online toolkit to increase impact and funding. More here. 
  • The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund: The £5 million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future. More here. 
  • The Theatrical Guild: This fund supports: any kind of stage technician or engineer; company and stage managers; stagehands; anyone involved in costume, hair or makeup; designers and makers of sets, props and puppets; and ushers or box office staff. Find out more here. 
  • UFI Charitable Trust (UK) VocTech Now:  provides grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 to support vocational learning providers to rapidly transition to remote teaching and training and deliver accessible learning at a time of significant change. More here.
  • UK Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources List:  This document is a collection of links to resources to help freelance creatives and artists during the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It has been compiled by Erica Scourti  and Kim Plowright . The full list can be found here.
  • West Midlands Artists Coronavirus Emergency Fund: to provide hardship funds for freelance West Midlands artists who are in desperate need and who fall through the gaps of support. More here.
  • Arts Council England: details on Covid-19: Support for organisations from Government and other sources can be found here
  • Arts Council England: Managing Financial Difficulties: new guidance and toolkit. More here. 
  • Citizens Advice: Coronavirus – what it means for you. More here.
  • GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for employees, employers and businesses. Find it here.
  • HMRC have launched a helpline: to help businesses and the self-employed concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus. Find it here.
  • NCVO: contingency and financial planning guides for this crisis. More here. 
  • Step Change: Debt and Coronavirus. More here. 
  • UK Government: Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Use this scheme if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.The information in full is here.
  • Universal Credit, Coronavirus and claiming benefits
  • Universal Credit for the self-employed
  • Difficulties Paying HMRC
  • Arts Fundraising: are offering a FREE ‘Power Hour’ of consultancy support every day, to any arts organisation needing help with income generation, fundraising strategy, or donor management. Schedule your hour here. 
  • Arts Marketing Association: have launched resources to support arts, culture & heritage professionals, organisations and freelancers – including further dates for free webinars on ‘Wellbeing for Yourself and your Team’ and ‘Preparing your Crisis Comms Plan’. More here. 
  • Creative Alliance: Free / Low Cost Creative, Digital, Marketing & Business Training.The whole Adobe suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign and much more. – Marketing and marketing techniques, Photography and film-making, Special effects and typography, Business and management & How to work freelance. Sign up here. 
  • Creative Industries Federation: free 6 month membership for all freelancers and microbusinesses. Join here. 
  • DASH Mentoring Support for Disabled Artists in Self-Isolation: In these strange, anxious and unpredictable times DASH is looking at ways they can support disabled artists development and counter the isolation that the virus has brought to us all. Mike is offering phone/skype/zoom mentoring on a first come first served basis to any disabled visual artist across the UK. There will be a maximum of 3 sessions plus a short introductory session where you will decide the topics you want to cover. Each session will last up to 2 hours and can be spread over several months. If you are interested then please contact Artistic Director, Mike Layward 
  • Festivals Bridge: If you are building an online resource and need some help with how to structure this or make it user friendly, then have a look at this Digital Resources Toolkit, this is a great starting point. Find it here.
  • GEM Freelace Offer: Freelancers are an essential part of the museums and heritage education fabric.GEM are offering a free year-long membership and a complimentary supplier listing for freelance museum and heritage education professionals new to GEM. All current GEM members that are freelancers will receive a complimentary supplier listing. More here. 
  • Music Education Solutions®: have reduced the price of their online teacher CPD courses from £99 to £10 (which covers the cost of creating and maintaining the online accounts). We hope that this will prove helpful to music educators during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Find out more here.
  • Trustee Leadership Programme: sign up for their newsletter, providing information about events, training and resources. Contact them here.
  • The Audience Agency & Golant Innovation: Resource hub with practical advice, free long-term planning resources, offers and support, opportunities, good reads and some light relief. More here.
  • The Social Mobility Commission: are running a webinar on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on social mobility on 23 April 2020. Register here.
  • Voluntary Arts: has nearly 30 years’ experience of remote working, working at home and supporting a distributed network of staff, freelancers and volunteers. Voluntary Arts has launched #CreativeNetwork – a daily online get-together open to anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity who would welcome the opportunity to talk to others about dealing with the current situation. More here. 

Arts and creativity at home & at school

All Arts Forms

  • Home with the Reggio Approach: Reggio Children and the Preschools and Infant-toddler Centres – Istituzione of Reggio Emilia Municipality are developing ideas and initiatives for us to stay together, play together, and make school together. Find it here.

Art 

  • Artist Activity Packs from Firstsite: Visual arts activities and prompts created by well known arts practitioners. No specialist materials required. Download here.
  • New Art Gallery Walsall: Join in online from home with our children’s workshops and create works of art at home. Find it here. 

Craft

  • Craft Council Crafts for Home: Craft and visual arts activities for ages 3-18yrs linked to arts practitioners work. No specialist materials required and activities can be easily printed. Find it here. 

Literature

  • Michael Rosen: A wide collection of Michael Rosen stories, poems and readings/breakdowns of other famous works. Find it here.
  • National Literacy Trust: A wide range of interactive literacy, illustration and storytelling activities for 0 to 12 year olds to enjoy, create and engage with at home. Find it here. 

Multiple Arts Forms  

  • Royal Opera House Create and Learn: Creative home learning – from the Royal Opera House, to your house! Explore the magical world of the theatre from home. All of our new resources are free to access and do not require you to login. Find it here. 

Music

  • Arts Award at home with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group: Arts Award with BCMG is a set of resources for children completing their Discover or Explore Arts Award at Home. Find it here. 
  • BBC Ten Pieces: Interactive learning for a range of ages looking at different aspects of classical music. Find it here. 
  • BBC Teach – Bring the Noise: A range of music and movement activities to do at home. Find them here. 

Visual Art

  • Doodle lunch: 15 short videos by Mo Willem culminating in a ‘graduation ceremony’ that show people how to develop a doodling technique and explore his illustrative works. Find it here. 
  • Ikon Learning Families: A range of creative activities to try in your home for 5 to 14 year old’s linking to the Ikon’s latest exhibition. Find it here.

Art 

  • Artist Activity Packs from Firstsite: Visual arts activities and prompts created by well known arts practitioners. No specialist materials required. Download here.
  • New Art Gallery Walsall: Join in online from home with our children’s workshops and create works of art at home. Find it here. 

Craft

  • Craft Council Crafts for Home: Craft and visual arts activities for ages 3-18yrs linked to arts practitioners work. No specialist materials required and activities can be easily printed. Find it here. 

Literature 

  • Book trust:  A range of activities from listening to book readings by authors to book related craft ideas. Find it here. 
  • Michael Rosen: A wide collection of Michael Rosen stories, poems and readings/breakdowns of other famous works. Find it here.
  • National Literacy Trust: A wide range of interactive literacy, illustration and storytelling activities for 0 to 12 year olds to enjoy, create and engage with at home. Find it here. 

Multiple Arts Forms  

  • Royal Opera House Create and Learn: Creative home learning – from the Royal Opera House, to your house! Explore the magical world of the theatre from home. All of our new resources are free to access and do not require you to login. Find it here. 
  • Imperial War Museum: Lots of engaging historical information and related activities presented in a ‘friendly’ way for a range of interests and abilities. Find it here.  

Music

  • Arts Award at home with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group: Arts Award with BCMG is a set of resources for children completing their Discover or Explore Arts Award at Home. Find it here. 
  • BBC Ten Pieces: Interactive learning for a range of ages looking at different aspects of classical music. Find it here. 
  • BCMG Creating Music at Home: This resource includes composing activities for children and young people that they can do at home with or without instruments. Find it here. 

Theatre

  • Pentabus Theatre: A collection of Pentabus’s theatre productions with interview’s, VOX POPs and insights into the making of productions. Find them here
  • Royal Shakespeare Company: A wide collection of Shakespeare’s plays explained broken down into accessible guides for young people. Find them here. 

Visual Art

  • Doodle lunch: 15 short videos by Mo Willem culminating in a ‘graduation ceremony’ that show people how to develop a doodling technique and explore his illustrative works. Find it here. 
  • Ikon Learning Families: A range of creative activities to try in your home for 5 to 14 year old’s linking to the Ikon’s latest exhibition. Find it here.
  • Smithsonian: Explore the Smithsonian collection through guides, activities, virtual tours. Find it here.

History

  • Big History Project: A journey through nearly 14 billion years of history. Find it here.  

Literature

  • Michael Rosen: A wide collection of Michael Rosen stories, poems and readings/breakdowns of other famous works. Find it here.
  • National Literacy Trust: A wide range of interactive literacy, illustration and storytelling activities for 0 to 12 year olds to enjoy, create and engage with at home. Find it here. 

Multiple Art Forms

  • Google Arts and Culture: A wide range of resources, exhibition and gallery tours and activities from across the world. Includes a range of arts genres. Find it here. 
  • Imperial War Museum: Lots of engaging historical information and related activities presented in a ‘friendly’ way for a range of interests and abilities. Find it here.  

Music 

  • BCMG Creating Music at Home: This resource includes composing activities for children and young people that they can do at home with or without instruments. Find it here. 
  • Coding: music coding for children with a Raspberry PI. Find it here. 

Theatre

  • Pentabus Theatre: A collection of Pentabus’s theatre productions with interview’s, VOX POPs and insights into the making of productions. Find them here
  • Royal Shakespeare Company: A wide collection of Shakespeare’s plays explained broken down into accessible guides for young people. Find them here. 

Visual Art

  • Doodle lunch: 15 short videos by Mo Willem culminating in a ‘graduation ceremony’ that show people how to develop a doodling technique and explore his illustrative works. Find it here. 
  • Ikon Learning Families: A range of creative activities to try in your home for 5 to 14 year old’s linking to the Ikon’s latest exhibition. Find it here.
  • Smithsonian: Explore the Smithsonian collection through guides, activities, virtual tours. Find it here.

Literature

  • Michael Rosen: A wide collection of Michael Rosen stories, poems and readings/breakdowns of other famous works. Find it here.

Multiple Art Forms

  • Google Arts and Culture: A wide range of resources, exhibition and gallery tours and activities from across the world. Includes a range of arts genres. Find it here. 
  • Imperial War Museum: Lots of engaging historical information and related activites presented in a ‘friendly’ way for a range of interests and abilities. Find it here.  

Theatre

  • Pentabus Theatre: A collection of Pentabus’s theatre productions with interview’s, VOX POPs and insights into the making of productions. Find them here
  • Royal Shakespeare Company: A wide collection of Shakespeare’s plays explained broken down into accessible guides for young people. Find them here. 

General Arts & Education 

  • BBC Bitesize: Daily lessons coming soon beginning Monday 20th April – BBC Bitesize will publish daily online lessons for all ages. We’ll also have a new dedicated TV channel full of learning content, podcasts on BBC Sounds and loads of educational video on iPlayer. 
  • BBC Culture in Quarantine: A wide range of arts, cultural and wellbeing events to watch and get involved with. Watch here. 
  • British Council School Resources: Searchable classroom resources and structured education packs that cover a wide range of cultural and arts subjects. Find them here.
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Tour: Take a tour inside Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, explore the exhibitions and download works of art here. 
  • Discover Creative Careers: Careers information and opportunities for young people from creative organisations in one explorable directory. Find it here. 
  • 64 Million Artists: Create to Connect is a month of challenges for each day of May, specifically designed to keep communities connected, curious and creative in uncertain times. Find it here. 

Film 

  • Into Film: activities related to films and film clubs, suitable for all ages. Find it here. 

Literature

  • Audible: Free audiobooks for children. Listen here.  
  • British Library Discovering Children’s Books: Explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations with Discovering Children’s Books. Create your own illustrations, stories, books and much more here.

Music

  • Birmingham Contemporary Music Group Learning Resources: A range of engaging and searchable music resources for young people and the adults that they work with. Find them here. 

Visual Art

  • Guggenheim, Bilbao: A virtual tour of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Find it here. 
  • J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles: Getty offers many free digital resources for exploration, study, and research, including online art, books, videos, and podcasts here. Find it here.