arts entertainment culture

Cornerstone will keep creating!

Following government advice about Coronavirus, Cornerstone Arts Centre is currently closed to the public. Visit our blog post for more information on this closure: here.

Cornerstone Arts Centre is still Didcot's community hub even in this unprecedented time where we can't be physically open. We will continue to illuminate theatre, visual arts, community spirit and everything else under our umbrella in the best way we possibly can online. 

For a while, our website is going to look a little different. We are creating pages with details of our new digital initiatives including virtual galleries, streaming theatre and bringing classes into your living rooms so you can enjoy us even during this period. We will continue to be a community resource and we look forward to seeing you again in person when this is all over. 


Coronavirus Guidance for those working in the Arts

Posted on 14 Apr 2020

Stop Press

This is worrying time for most people, but for artists, tutors, practitioners, and individual workers in the arts and cultural sector this is an especially uncertain time both financially and in terms of planning for the future. 

On this page, we hope to pull together a list of support and guidance that is currently available. 

Local Support

South and Vale Business Support

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are committed to supporting all local businesses. We are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to understand the UK Government’s support available and when it will be available. 

The South and Vale Business Support Website includes information on: 

Arts Council Support

Emergency Response Fund: Individuals

Arts Council England has published guidance for its grants to help individuals during the Covid-19 coronavirus emergency. Grants will be up to £2,500, or up to £3,000 for those who have extra costs relating to a disability. Applicants must have made or delivered work that was funded by public money. PLEASE NOTE: There will be two rounds of applications. The first date has passed already, and round two closes on the 30th April 2020. Find out more here. Application questions are downloadable below. 

Financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers

Arts Council England are making £20 million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. Grants range up to £2,500. Creative practitioners whose main work is focused on these artforms and disciplines are eligible: Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts, Literature, Combined Arts, Museums practice, Libraries (an activity that helps deliver the Universal Library Offers). This work includes: choreographers, writers, translators, producers, editors, freelance educators in the disciplines and artforms we support, composers, directors, designers, artists, craft makers and curators.

Benevolent funds

A £4 million portion of this £20 million fund has been set aside to contribute to the following benevolent funds to support individuals working in these areas. The Arts Council is not administering these funds, but more information can be found about them on the links below.

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. This includes (but is not limited to) self-employed art handlers, technicians, art installers, conservators and restorers, and those who help other artists in the production of their work.

Find out more

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, eg choreography, as long as their primary role has been performing.

Find out more

Equity Charitable Trust

Criteria include professional actors, circus, aerialists, puppeteers or variety performers, and stage managers. Please note that an applicant’s line of work must make them eligible for an Equity card, although they are not required to have one in order to apply. It excludes musicians, drama students, backstage staff and amateur performers.

Find out more

Help Musicians

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 including, but not limited to, classical, folk, jazz, world, and all contemporary music genres (pop, hip hop, grime, Americana, heavy metal etc).

Please note, the first round of this fund has closed due to demand but Help Musicians are now working on phase two, so please check their website on a regular basis.  

Find out more

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). This also includes outdoor programmers and bookers, technical and production staff, volunteer managers, participation and engagement leaders. 

Find out more

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

Society of Authors

Those eligible for this funding include storytellers, scriptwriters, literary journalists, producers, poets, translators and book illustrators.

Find out more

Emergency Response Fund: For organisations
(outside the National Portfolio)

Arts Council England are making £50 million available to organisations in the cultural sector, who are not National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) or Music Education Hubs. They can apply for a maximum of £35,000. PLEASE NOTE: There will be two rounds of applications. The first date has passed already, and round two closes on the 30th April 2020. Find out more here. Application questions are downloadable below. 

Other Useful Links