We’re delighted to announce that we have been awarded a £510,000 grant in support of our year-long community, participation and City of Culture activities.
The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Weston Culture Fund is distributing £30 million to a range of mid to large-scale cultural organisations across the UK – and we’re incredibly pleased to join the list of successful grantees. A full list can be found here.
There are three areas that the fund seeks to support: restarting work and reopening, critical adaptations or improvements to physical or digital infrastructure, and new activity or adapting existing activity or programming to reach audiences.
“Our cultural sector is at the heart of our local communities providing not only entertainment but education and inspiration for many. Our Trustees were impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit shown across the arts in response to Covid-19 and it was a privilege to hear what organisations had been doing to not only survive but also to reinvent the way they reach audiences. What really stood out was the level of collaboration and support they had for each other and the determination to keep going, despite the increasingly difficult situation.”
Taking effect from April 2021, the grant will secure our existing programme of work, including talent development and educational schemes, together with our engagement activities planned for Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture. Without this grant, this work was at risk because of the ongoing Covid crisis undercutting the Theatre’s normal earning ability.
“The Belgrade Theatre is hugely grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for its approach to the crisis: it is extremely helpful to be offered funding to contribute to a year’s activity during these very turbulent times. The longer view gives our participation programmes much needed stability. We are thrilled to have won this award in a highly competitive field and feel it is testimony not only to the Belgrade’s strong track record but also to our ambitions for working with our communities during UK City of Culture.”
We are planning a range of new activity for which this grant is essential. We’ll be collaborating with D(d)eaf and disabled artists to ensure their voices are heard and showcased during and beyond 2022. We’ll also be building on existing relationships with Refugee and Migrant communities, as well as supporting work with people who suffer from mental health issues and homelessness.
Acknowledging that diversity and shared experience within the creation of work is vital, we are also going to undertake an inter-racial and mixed-heritage project which will ensure the legacy of the progress we make throughout the City of Culture year.
We are also striving to engage with vulnerable youth groups to prevent street crime and violence, build long-term partnerships with the most disadvantaged communities in the city, and support the rich creative talent of emerging artists in Coventry as new work develops.
“The doors to our building may be temporarily closed, but our commitment to supporting the communities we serve continues. As a registered charity (No.219163), we are only able to offer a vast programme of education, community, and talent development activities, thanks to the kind support of our audiences, funders, members, and donors. To join the Garfield Weston Foundation, and all our donors, in securing a brighter future for the Belgrade, please visit our Support Us page. Thank you.”
“We all want and need our cultural sector to thrive and, if anything, our time away from the arts has shown just how important they are to us - bringing much needed pleasure and enrichment to our lives. Arts organisations are desperate to re-open and get back to what they do best and we hope that this new funding will help many of them do exactly that.”