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€600,000 worth of funding available to support emerging artists

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Young painter working at her studio
The deadline for bursary applicants is 19 September 2022 | Photo: Jadson Thomas

The Supporting Act Foundation, new independent charity launched by WeTransfer, has announced €600,000 worth of funding to support emerging underrepresented, underfunded and marginalised artists and organisations with an ambition to remove barriers to entry into the arts.

The Supporting Act Foundation was established by WeTransfer in 2021, and marks the most recent endeavour by the company to give back to its global creative community. Since being established in 2009, the certified B-Corporation™ has worked relentlessly to empower creative professionals and creative institutions. Whether it’s donating 30% of all advertising space to support artists; speaking out against pressing issues like climate change; or partnering with University of the Underground to launch the world’s first free Master’s program, WeTransfer believes in fostering creativity through a better internet, and a better world, for everyone.

The Foundation has been constituted as a standalone charity with an independent Board, which will operate initially across the Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany. WeTransfer has endowed it with an initial €1 million and will pledge 1% of revenue annually each year, plus access to its global advertising and editorial platforms.

The €600,000 announced today is split between three inaugural programs that will deliver on the Foundation’s mission to create opportunities for underrepresented people in the arts, and support communities and organisations who seek to do the same.

Funding for the cultural and creative sectors has gradually diminished over the years. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, with the vast majority self-employed and often excluded or only partially covered by social security protection. The setback in the growth of the arts is predicted to have an effect for years to come, with fewer opportunities for artists and less diversity in the industry.

“The career paths of up-and-coming artists are rarely straightforward, and often precarious. Achieving recognition and long-term systemic change is even harder for artists from underrepresented backgrounds and ethnicities who continue to face inherent inequalities that make it almost impossible to pursue a career in the arts. This in turn makes our cultural landscape less diverse and less vibrant. We’re thrilled to be launching our first programs, targeted at supporting individuals, communities and organisations who have the know-how, track record, and trust to make a difference.” Says Jenne Meerman, Director of the Supporting Act Foundation.

The first targeted programs include:

  • Creative Bursary for emerging artists, in the final year of their studies, to provide financial support to people whose work sits in the intersection of arts and technology and are underrepresented. The Foundation will give away 10 x €10,000 bursaries decided by a six member jury. 
  • Impact Grant is for emerging organisations that support artists and communities, to help cover operational costs. Six two-year grants of €25,000 grants per year will be given away, decided by a three member jury.
  • Community Grant will be for existing community-driven projects that support artists in growing their networks and opportunities. 10 x €20,000 grants will be given away over one year, decided by a three member jury.

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UK to get multi-million pound boost for grassroots cricket

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UK to get multi-million pound boost for grassroots cricket
Investment is expected to deliver 2,500 pieces of new equipment across schools, and help to get 930,000 pupils playing cricket

United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a £35 million investment in grassroots cricket facilities and widening access to the sport within state schools, enabling over 900,000 young people to play cricket over the next five years.

The investment, to be delivered across a period during which England and Wales host the 2026 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, the 2030 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and cricket returns to the Olympics for the first time in over 120 years, includes a major capital programme that will see 16 state-of-the-art all-weather cricket domes built within host cities across England.

The domes are covered and wind-protected and will allow for participation in cricket throughout the year – connecting school, community and talent programmes. Each dome will be built within diverse communities where figures have indicated low levels of physical activity. It follows the first cricket dome opened in Bradford in November last year.

The funding package will enable an extension to the ECB and Chance to Shine’s in-school cricket partnership. This will have a particular emphasis on children from lower socio-economic groups, and ensure that every school child in inner-city locations from across the 16 World Cup host cities will access the programme.

A further investment to the charity Lord’s Taverners will have a focus on access to cricket provision for 80,000 children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The total investment is expected to deliver around 2,500 pieces of new equipment across schools involved in the programmes, and help to get 930,000 pupils playing cricket over the next five years.

In addition, the ACE Programme will receive additional funding to support their work in reconnecting the Black community with cricket.

“I first experienced the magic of cricket watching Hampshire play at my local ground in Southampton as a child.

“There remains huge potential to grow the sport even further and open it up to everyone, from all backgrounds and in all parts of the country, building on the great work of organisations such as ACE and Chance to Shine.

“That is why I am so proud we are making a major £35 million investment in grassroots cricket today, to widen participation in schools, encourage healthy lifestyles and provide world class, all-year-round facilities for local communities,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

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European Forum pledges over €7.7 billion for global crises

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European Humanitarian Forum pledges over €7.7 billion for global crises
Nearly 300 million people around the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2024.

Nearly 300 million people around the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2024. The EU will provide more than €7.7 billion in humanitarian funding for 2024, following the European Humanitarian Forum which gathered leaders and humanitarian experts in Brussels. The money will go towards more efficient, long-term solutions to global humanitarian challenges.

The Forum’s participants agreed to increase funding to address the gap between humanitarian needs and available resources. Increase in climate financing for conflict-affected, climate-vulnerable areas is also on the cards, as well as address conflict and preserve humanitarian space, notably in the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip.

The European Humanitarian Forum was co-organised by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU last month, gathering 1,400 representatives from across the humanitarian community, EU countries and beyond.

Currently the EU is one of the biggest aid donors in the world, with funds being used for intervention in areas such as food and nutrition, shelter, healthcare, water, sanitation, and education.

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Grants for community projects in the UK open for applications

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Grants for community projects in the UK open for applications
The scheme offers support to projects which benefit both rail passengers and local communities | Photo: Kenny Eliason

Community rail projects have been given the green light thanks to funding from London Northwestern Railway (LNR).

Grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 have been made available via the “Your Community, Your Fund” scheme which offers support to projects which benefit both rail passengers and local communities.

The scheme, funded by the Department for Transport, is aimed at inspiring people to get involved with the railway and has been made available for applications by LNR.

“This funding is crucial for the railway and the vital projects make a real difference to local areas. The scheme has already supported a number of community-led projects in recent years and I am delighted that we have secured funding for new applications,” says Cara Higgs, LNR community strategy manager.

The funding is split between projects from LNR and its sister company West Midlands Railway (WMR).

Previously, projects have included enhancing Smethwick Rolfe Street with bedders, planters and artwork and the opening of a new tea room at Bricket Wood station in Hertfordshire.

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm Tuesday 16 April.

For more information visit www.lnr.uk/ycyf.

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