It’s now been two months, almost to the day, since this country was placed in lockdown. This has meant that the public have been unable to go to libraries, museums, exhibitions or shows, although our ever resourceful artists and cultural organisations have responded magnificently. They’ve been busy engaging the nation’s creativity via every possible route, from Zoom to Instagram, from broadcasts on channels ranging from the BBC to YouTube, and by delivering physical art materials direct to people’s doorsteps.
Government planning is also moving along. Last week, the Government published a 60-page document that outlined the first measures that will be taken to ease lockdown – and which included the first tentative mention of reopening some types of venues (read the document here). Five new ministerial-led taskforces have been set up to develop blueprints for how and when closed businesses and venues can reopen safely. Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will be chairing the taskforce responsible for the recreation and leisure sectors, and our Chair Nick Serota will be joining him in this important work, along with the government’s new Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, Neil Mendoza (more information here).
Within this broader context, what does the Arts Council’s planning look like? We’ve divided our response into three phases, which seek to counter the protracted impact of Covid-19. These are:
- Response phase (March – September 2020)
- Stabilisation phase (Estimated May 2020 – March 2021. The beginnings of this phase overlaps with our response work)
- Reset phase (Estimated April 2021 – March 2024)
Header photo: I See You, Urban Projections at Frequency Festival 2019. Photo © Electric Egg