The beginnings of Art Collection Liverpool
Updated: Jan 7
It's October 2020 and the arts, and the world itself, is in a dire state. Coronavirus has torn communities, families, industries apart, and people have lost loved ones, income and the very will to get up in the morning.
Many theatres, gig spaces, creative spaces, concert halls, studios and work places have had to close, and the two biggest industries to take the hit have been hospitality and the arts. Millions have lost income due to not being able to do their work at a 2m social distance from each other.
I see many, many people around me staying indoors, and consuming as much art as they have ever done. Books, TV, films, music, games, all a way to escape what's going on. And then I see those same people that created these things struggling to pay their bills. How can they be creative at this time?
The Tory Government is about to release £1.57m of funding into the desperate arts community, and much of this will go to the Liverpool flagship art venues, companies and spaces that we know and love. Much deserved, and will save some jobs and sustain some creation (for now), but there is a lack of support for the community-led, small scale arts orgs, plus the very artists and creatives that run them and create the work that we love so much in this city.
I set up Art Collection Liverpool based on the 500 giving model I had started to see on social media. 500 people giving £1 a week decide each week where that money will go. It seemed too good to be true, and after weeks of it playing in my head, I decided there was nothing stopping me from applying the same model to set up a fund to support the creative community in Liverpool. It has given me so much, and I don't want to lose it. It's the very reason I still live and work in this city. I know I'm not alone in this.
The fund will support an artist each week, once we have 500 members. That's an injection of £26,000 into the creative community, from its fans, every year.
It's terrifying releasing it into the world and hoping other people are willing to give £1 a week too, but I have faith in the supportive and tight knit creative community round here, and the generosity of Scousers, both native and adopted.