Two years after Jamie Watton’s death in July 2018, we are relaunching the fund created in his name, this time to support South East based dance artists affected by COVID-19 who have, in many cases, lost almost their entire incomes overnight.
Our late Artistic Director & Chief Executive Jamie Watton was a passionate advocate for the dance sector and in particular the artists who make it such an important part of the UK’s cultural ecology.
At Jamie’s memorial service in October 2018, we launched a fundraising campaign in his name to support the completion of the South East’s new home for dance, The Dance Space.
The sudden and unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the entire arts sector has prompted us to refocus the fund on those South East artists who have ‘fallen through the gaps’ of arts and cultural emergency funding. Even with the Chancellor’s welcome announcement of a record £1.57billion package to save the arts from the brink, there is not yet any indication how independent artists will be supported, or how long they will have to wait.
Our Artistic Director Cath James says: “We know from reports such as Louise Blackwell’s excellent This is the Time that more than 70% of the Creative Industries is made up of self-employed people, people such as the self-employed artists who have lost 90% of their income for this financial year overnight.
“Many of these people may only have been able to access small HMRC Grants, many will not have been successful in applying to inevitably hugely oversubscribed emergency funding packages. It is these people that we want to help.
“It seems absolutely right at this time of crisis for the arts and cultural sector that we relaunch the Jamie Watton Fund for 2020 to support those dance artists who are facing a very real struggle to make ends meet, and whose talent – unless supported - could be lost to the dance sector.”
Our goal is to raise at least £10,000 by the end of October 2020 to allow us to support as many artists as possible with small awards to help them plug their income gap at this incredibly difficult time. Information on how to apply to the Fund will be published in early August.
We realise that these are extremely tough times for everyone but any donation, large or small, really will make a difference. And if you can consider a regular monthly gift, that would allow us to plan ahead with greater confidence.
To donate £5, text JWF2020 to 70970
To donate £10, text JWF2020 to 70191
To donate online visit: http://easydonate.org/JWF2020
*Fundraising, payments and donations will be processed and administered by the National Funding Scheme (Charity No: 1149800), operating as DONATE. Texts will be charged at your standard network rate. For Terms & Conditions, see www.easydonate.org
South East Dance needs to raise funds for this and for other charitable purposes.
Image: Valerie Ebuwa (c) Luar Klinghofer Bar Dov