CITY’S ARTS SECTOR PROVIDED LIFELINE THROUGH COVENTRY 2021 PARTNERSHIP

The arts sector is one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with everything from theatres, art galleries and production companies forced to close their doors. As we await details of the Government’s £1.57bn funding package, Heart of England Community Foundation and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 have joined forces to provide a much-needed boost to organisations and individual artists across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Heart of England Community Foundation and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, which is currently working on a host of exciting events across the board of music, theatre and cultural heritage, has awarded more than £56,000 to 95 organisations and individuals in the region. 

Launched just after the Foundation’s own Coronavirus Resilience Fund, the Coventry 2021 Coronavirus Resilience Fund was dedicated to supporting arts organisations and individuals based in Coventry and Warwickshire with grants up to £1,000. Aimed at helping those whose futures were in a very vulnerable position, the fund has given those in the sector a greater chance of making it through one of the most challenging times that the industry has ever faced. 

As a vital string to Coventry and Warwickshire’s cultural bow, the region is home to a variety of arts organisations and charities, which often provide a variety of opportunities for community engagement. Vanny Radio, a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, community internet-based radio located in Coventry, is just one of the 95 organisations to receive a £1,000 grant from the fund. Other recipients include Breakdots, which was awarded £500 and Arty-Folks, which received £1,000. 

Thaddeus Atiemo, CEO at Vanny Radio, said: “During these hard times when our own financial security hangs in the balance, Heart of England and the Coventry City of Culture came to our rescue at the right time when we needed help the most, by awarding us £1000 from the Coronavirus Resilience Fund to keep our organisation running during the pandemic. 

“With this support, we have been able to pay our major bills that without could have led us to shut down during the pandemic and stopping our support to our service users. We are very grateful to HoE and Coventry City of Culture that this fund came at the right time.”

Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, comments: 

“Since Covid-19 hit, it has been our priority to support vulnerable people across the region and provide vital support to help them survive. The arts sector is one that has been so heavily impacted by the pandemic, with no real sign of a recovery period yet, so this fund has given a lifeline to organisations that provide culture, excitement and purpose to the people of Coventry and Warwickshire. 

“We have seen first-hand the devastating effect that Covid-19 has had on some of the most treasured arts venues and we felt, and still feel, that we have a duty of care and responsibility to ensure that we do everything we can to make sure that they all see it safely through what is set to be a challenging few months and secure them a future that goes beyond this pandemic. Teaming up with Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 has enabled us to fast-track this support and provide grants to nearly 100 organisations and individuals.”

To find out more about the Heart of England Community Foundation and the funding it has available head to the website: https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk

Becky Weaver