Resources for artists, arts organisations and freelancers

The arts and our freelancer community have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. This is a list of resources to help navigate through this crisis.

This page contains information on making work safe for organisations, as well as grants, funding, opportunities and networking for freelancers and other people working in the arts. 

Making workplaces Covid-secure

Below are the guidelines we have developed to allow us to return to work safely. These documents are designed for internal use at the RSC and will be adapted as new guidelines are issued. We're making them available so that other arts organisations and freelancers can see the kinds of guidelines we've developed in case they are useful as comparisons, or as starting points for your own versions. These are not recommendations for what other organisations should do.

Working with young people

These are the guidelines we have developed to allow us to work safely with young people in schools.

The Clore Duffield Foundation has also developed guidance to help learning teams and freelancers understand how to work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance was developed by members of the Space for Learning: Covid Secure working group and individual task and finish groups, with support from the Clore Duffield Foundation, Engage, Group for Education in Museums (GEM) and the Theatre Education Forum (TEF). It is a practical framework to think about what is needed to continue, or restart, learning services during the Covid-19 pandemic and to support the health and wellbeing of workers and audiences. See Space for Learning Covid Guidance.

Support for artists and freelancers

Updated 28 May 2021 

Here is a list of links to networks, information, support and potential sources of funding, which we will update regularly. If you have other links that you think are useful and would like us to include, please let us know by emailing

Overview of resources

Grants and funding

  • Acting for Others Advises people to get in touch if you are a theatre worker that has been affected by Covid-19 for more information about how they can support.  

  • Actors’ Benevolent Fund considering applications from professional actors, actresses and stage managers  

  • Developing Your Creative Practice A development fund from Arts Council England designed to support independent creative practitioners. Round 11 will open for applications on 5 August 2021. Please note the updated guidance on eligibility for the fund.
  • Directors Support Scheme – grants of around £500 for Directors in acute need 
  • Equity Charitable Trust educational grants for professional performers to retrain and re-qualify in a different field – see welfare grants.  
  • Funds for Freelancers If you’re in need of financial support email  with a few sentences about your situation
  • Help Musicians Financial Hardship Funding Phase 3, the charity will offer grant payments up to September 2021, to top up Universal Credit payments where relevant.

  • Incorporated Society of Musicians Members Fund Grants of £300 will be available to assist members who continue to experience acute financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Musician’s Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund – up to £200 for individuals 

  • National Lottery Project Grants support for smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners until 31 August 2021

  • PSA Welfare and Benevolent Fund - for people involved in live production 

  • Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors

  • Society of Authors and TS Eliot Foundation Emergency funding for authors affected by the Covid-19 crisis  

  • The Actors’ Children’s Trust support for professional actors’ children. From September ACT will resume grants for state school lunches, transport, uniform and activities, and SEND therapy and support.

  • The Make A Difference Trust Coronavirus Crisis Fund - grants of up to £200, priority will be given to those who have helped raise money for the Trust in the past  

  • The Royal Variety Charity financial assistance to anyone who serves any facet of the Entertainment Industry, should they find themselves experiencing unforeseen financial hardship as a result of ill-health. 

  • The Theatrical Guild for backstage and front of house workers – financial help, counselling, welfare advice and signposting - see Twitter update on widening support

  • Theatre Community Fund Grants of up to £3,000 for hardship, in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund, or for creative and innovation. Grants will be distributed in partnership with the Royal Theatrical Fund. Applications for the Fleabag Support Fund will open monthly for five days at the start of each month.

Paid opportunities

Resources and funding for Organisations  



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