It’s easy to take the arts for granted in London. The city is so choc a bloc full of world class institutions that we can sometimes forget just how good our cultural sector is. Or, gripe at minor issues and miss the bigger picture.
However, the government’s decision to shut the nation’s cultural institutions has acted as a wake up call to all of us. Suddenly, the capital is devoid of cinemas, art galleries, museums and other cultural institutions.
London’s cultural institutions are always there for us – a reassuring constant in our increasingly busy and stressful lives. They provide the backdrop to many of the most important moments in our lives, from our first dates, to marriage proposals. More than any other aspect of the city, London’s cultural institutions define us, shape us and nuture us.
Now’s the time to start repaying the debt. The government is doing what it can to support businesses through the Coronavirus Crisis, but we know that many businesss will still suffer catastrophic losses. This is where our help can make a real difference.
So, if you’d like to help London’s Arts scene to get back on its feet, here’s City Countdown’s guide to supporting the arts in London during the Coronavirus Crisis:
1. Say No To Refunds
If you’ve bought tickets to an event and that event has been cancelled, where possible, say no to a refund.
2. Buy in advance
If you notice that the booking window is open for a future production – buy your tickets now. This will not only give you something to look forward, but also ensure that your favourite artists and venues have the revenue they need to continue.
3. Become a Member
If you’re chosen cultural institution has a membership scheme, now’s the perfect time to become a member. Most membership schemes offer generous discounts on events and items related to the institution.
4. Buy some Vouchers
If you can afford it and the insitution offers a voucher scheme, why not purchase some vouchers? More and more companies affected by the Coronavirus Crisis are creating voucher schemes. The schemes offer a great way to help the organisation through difficult times and ensure that your favourite venue is a position to reopen once the crisis has ended.
You’ll be surprised at how many venues now stream their content to the general public. The medium allows cultural organisations a great way of reaching their audience during the crisis, and potentially a valuable source of income.
A simple way of helping cultural institutions hit by the Coronavirus Crisis is by making a donation to the organisation via the company’s website or social media account.
7. Become A Friend
Many cultural institutions in the UK have a Friends scheme. Why not take out a membership? The schemes usually offer members a range of perks – such as priority booking, special events, dedicated booking lines and discounts in the institution’s gift shop and online. You can find out more about the schemes on the website of the institution that you would like to join.
8. Support Local Artists By Streaming And Buying Their Music
Musicians have been especially hard hit by the Coronavirus Crisis. These days artists make the majority of their money by gigging, so the closing of the nation’s music venues was always going to hit the sector hard. How can you help? Start by exploring local music and muscians online (we have an excellent guide to London’s music here) and buy and stream the artists you like on your normal streaming platforms.
9. Reach out
If you happen to know an artist personally, then why not reach out directly to see how you can help them? As long as you use diplomacy and tact, your offer will be gratefully received, even if there is nothing that you can do.
10. Discover Patreon
Patreon provides a fantastic way for art lovers to get to know new artists. Artists make money from the site by offering their Patreon followers benefits (exclusive content, interaction etc) in exchange for a monthly subscription. The platform has over 150,000 creators with Podcasters, Video Creators, Musicians, Visual Artists, Communities, Writers & Journalists, Gaming Creators all signed up to the scheme.
For information on things to do during the shutdown, please click here.