London + Culture Calling recently launched a bursary scheme aimed at aiding the fight for survival that so many arts and culture organisations face in this hugely challenging time. Our aim was to pledge £30,000+ marketing support to those most in need of help.
Not surprisingly we have been inundated with applications, this reflects the tough nature of the world we are in. Applications came from across the country, inspiring us with their determination, resilience and creativity.
We have now agreed 14 main winners. These are organisations big and small, from a variety of sectors all operating on a shoestring budget with no money currently available to support any kind of marketing. Many are venues whose main revenue stream, hosting live performances, has been completely decimated by COVID-19.
The promotional work that the winners are requesting ranges from simply letting people know that they are still here and open for business again to developing new and pioneering COVID-safe productions and exhibitions; many of them involving community outreach and educational work.
A theme running through many applications was the importance of supporting the most disadvantaged members of communities during such an unprecedented crisis. This includes promoting events aimed at benefitting and empowering struggling families, underprivileged young people and BAME groups, often influenced by the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. We believe that the arts sector has an important part to play in addressing issues of racial inequality, and therefore we are pleased to support organisations doing just that.
We will now work with the winners to help promote their inspiring projects and to give them the boost they are in need of post lockdown. Our marketing support will include the planning and management of integrated marketing campaigns using a mix of print and digital channels. Also, given the sheer number of entries we have decided to extend the support we can give to some unsuccessful applicants through our digital channels.
We will be providing case studies of the winners that highlight the role London + Culture Calling can play in helping cultural organisations navigate such difficult times.