Artists in Manchester are responding to the coronavirus crisis with financial support from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
The Creative Commissions programme is giving £500 to 60 individuals to help them explore and document the pandemic through art, music, poetry, illustration, performance, video games and more.This first round of Covid-19 Creative Commissions follows GMCA’s recent announcement that it is investing £8.6m in the arts, including museums, through its Culture Fund.
There were 103 applications to the Culture Fund, with 35 organisations successful. The £8.6m is a 23% increase on the £7m allocated in 2018.
For the first time, literature and carnival arts organisations join museums, heritage, theatre, film, dance, music and visual arts institutions in receiving grants from the fund.
There is also extra support for Salford, Wigan and Tameside.
Councillor David Greenhalgh, who is the GMCA portfolio lead for culture, says: “Greater Manchester is a place like no other when it comes to culture, creativity and opportunity. Through the fund, we are reaffirming our commitment to the groups and institutions that are the lifeblood of our communities, and which contribute more than £1.4bn to our economy every year.”
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, says: “This portfolio properly recognises culture’s role in creating lively, liveable places and thriving communities,
"The People’s History Museum is among the museums to benefit from the Greater Manchester Culture Fund which is why we’ve increased our investment to support organisations in all 10 of our districts.
"This investment celebrates culture and creativity, and makes sure they are visible and accessible across all our town and city centres.”
The museums and galleries benefiting from the fund are the People’s History Museum, the Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art and Manchester Jewish Museum.
“We’re thrilled to have been awarded another two years of funding from the GMCA,” says Max Dunbar, the chief executive officer of Manchester Jewish Museum, which is housed in a former synagogue in the city’s historic Jewish Quarter. “This support will help us combat the alarming rise of racial intolerance, bringing artists and residents together to create an ambitious and high-quality cultural offer, for everyone to enjoy.”
The Manchester Jewish Museum is currently closed for redevelopment and will reopen in 2021. The £5m development project will see the museum double in size.
Katy Ashton, the director of the People’s History Museum, says: “We are so grateful for the GMCA’s ongoing support. This funding will make such a difference to how we collaborate and co-curate with communities and residents from across the city region in our upcoming programmes: the theme of migration in 2020 and the exploration of disabled people’s rights and activism in 2021.”