The Culture Recovery Fund: Where does Brum stand?

£23m has been granted to 149 West Midlands venues including Nightingales

Amidst the uproar of the government’s recommendation that theoretical ballerina Fatima should throw away a lifetime of ballet to get ‘a job in cyber’, and chancellor Rishi Sunak suggesting that performers should simply *get a new job*, the arts are in dark times.

However, the Culture Recovery Fund from the Arts Council England gives us hope, with popular student venues including Nightingales set to receive funds. In total £23m has been granted to 149 West Midlands venues and organisations.

Applications for the two-part fund opened in August for England-based arts and culture organisations. Overall, the government put £1.57 billion towards culture and heritage sectors.

Granted in a fight to save our venues from the effects of coronavirus, the first round (12 October) provided £257 million between 1385 venues, and the second round (17 October) granted £76 million between 589 organisations.

Overall, between both rounds, the West Midlands was granted £23m across 149 venues and organisations.

This can help the push for venues to reopen (and stay open), performances to restart, and jobs to feel secure again.

So, who got the fund?

Some of Brum’s best nights out and music venues have been helped, some of these including:

  • Hare and Hounds
  • The Asylum
  • Mama Roux
  • The Mill
  • Nightingales
  • Suki10c
  • The Night Owl
  • The Jam House

As a student favourite, it’s great to hear that Nightingales has been rewarded funding; which will go towards opportunities for LGBTQ+ performers, creatives and artists. The city centre venue continues to be open Thursdays and Fridays, hosting Disco Bingo, drag shows and DJ sets.

Similarly, The Mill in the heart of Digbeth is now able to reopen, kicking things off with socially distanced Oktoberfest and Halloween celebrations. Their grant has allowed the venue to support promoters and artists, and to bring entertainment in a safe and unique way.

And the city’s performance and culture has hope:

  • City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Midlands Arts Centre (The Mac)
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • The ThinkTank
  • Birmingham City University
  • The Crescent Theatre
  • Moseley Folk Festival
  • Birmingham Music Awards

Hundreds of organisations are still in need of help (only two percent of this fund went towards the West Midland’s music venues!) – keep supporting your locals and showing the government that the arts are literally the main thing that are getting us through this!

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