Arts charity allocates £400,000 in grants to support creative freelancers

An arts charity has allocated £400,000 in grants for projects run by creative freelancers in the UK.

The Genesis Foundation has given funding to 41 projects as part of its Kickstart Fund in an effort to help workers through the pandemic.

A number of arts organisations have previously highlighted the lack of financial support available to some freelancers in the creative sector.

Museums and Galleries – Whitechapel Art Gallery  – London
Whitechapel Gallery (Ian West/PA)

Organisations which have had projects supported by the fund include London’s Whitechapel Gallery, English National Ballet, the Bristol Old Vic theatre and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

The projects will involve 500 freelancers, the foundation said in a statement.

The Kickstart Fund will hand out a total of £1 million in grants.

John Studzinski, Genesis Foundation founder and chairman, said: “I am overwhelmed but not surprised by the ambition, creative spark and energy of the Genesis Kickstart Fund proposals and projects.

“The original logic of Kickstart in ensuring freelancers remain engaged and active is very visible in these important, wide-ranging and innovative initiatives.

“We want to help freelancers get back on their feet, and we are delighted that the projects are so diverse in art form, region and ethnicity.

“After 20 years of the Genesis Foundation, our original nurturing and mentoring framework is now more relevant than ever before.”

Actor Samuel Barnett, who is a member of the Genesis Kickstart Fund Advisory Council, said: “I was fortunate several years ago that as a young actor my career was kickstarted by the Genesis Foundation.

“I know that they have helped thousands of others over 20 years.

“The Kickstart Fund will support and encourage freelancers who have had such a difficult time during the pandemic.

“It was a real privilege and a pleasure to be on the advisory council for this.

“What a brilliant and deserving list of recipients. Such an exciting mix.”

The Genesis Foundation Kickstart Fund has previously been supported by famous faces including actor Benedict Cumberbatch, artist Grayson Perry and film producer Barbara Broccoli.