Artists, musicians and other creatives to help produce Greater Manchester's COVID-19 cultural archive
Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Creative Commissions programme is designed to provide paid opportunities for creatives in the area.
This is while creating an archive of artistic responses to the coronavirus crisis, with songs, poems, illustrations, video games and more exploring and documenting the impact of the pandemic.
The commissions were initiated by the GMCA when the government enforced closures on theatres, music venues and night time economy establishments, leaving many in the culture and creative industries unable to perform, operate their businesses or have an outlet for their creativity.
The paid assignments are for artists and creators based in the city-region and cover arts forms including music, illustration, art, poetry, theatre, short stories, design, gaming, stories and performance.
Artists featured in this first round include Al&Al, Dan Hett, James Holt, Mateusz Beznitz, Liam Frost, Maya Chowdhry, Stanleys, Toreh O’Garro and Tracie Daly.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham described the initiative as a "positive intervention designed to create a lasting legacy".
He said: "One that demonstrates our appreciation of our local artists, creatives, composers and storytellers, and the vital role they will play in our civic recovery over the coming months and years.”
Cllr David Greenhalgh, GMCA portfolio lead for culture, said: “We wanted to help individuals, freelancers and small businesses from our arts community, as many of them have lost their jobs and direction because of the national shutdown.
“These COVID-19 Creative Commissions will give artists, performers and creators an opportunity to express their creativity during this crisis by commissioning them to contribute to this lasting legacy.
“These are unprecedented times; however, this extremely proactive step from our GMCA Culture Team provides both remuneration and focus for local talent to use their creativity, and build a unique cultural archive which will be made available online for everyone to enjoy in the future.”
Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, added: “We know what a hard time this has been for freelancers and the self-employed, across all sectors. We’ve been speaking to artists and creatives who have told us how many of their commissions and contracts have been cancelled, and we’re trying to help where we can.
“We hope these commissions keep our creatives creating and shine a light on the amazing talent we have in every district of Greater Manchester.”