Milk Presents have received Emergency funding from Arts Council England. We are incredibly grateful for this, without it Milk Presents would cease activity during this current crisis. We are aware that many deserving and in need companies have not received this support and therefore will not be able to deliver the brilliant art they are capable of and that audiences deserve. And it’s possible they may not be here in six months time. We’re deeply sad about this and feel that with this funding comes a huge responsibility. A responsibility to our audiences, our peers and ourselves to offer opportunities, support others along the way, make art and develop our industry.
It’s also a responsibility to survive. Anyone who applied for ACE’s emergency funding will be familiar with their new 10 year strategy ‘Let’s Create’. In 42 pages of strategy ‘Let’s Create’ does not directly reference ‘LGBT’, ‘Queer’, ‘Sexuality’, ‘Lesbian’, ‘Gay’, ‘Bisexual’ or ‘Trans/Transgender’ at any point*. This highlights how far as an industry there is to go. Our community still faces disproportionate challenges within the creative sector. The survival of LGBTQIA+ led organisations & artists during this crisis is essential to an accessible & inclusive industry. As is the survival of ALL marginalised people within the arts. There should never be competition for survival.
This money (£20,845) allows us to continue our work at a small & manageable level during the next 6 months. We’ll let you know what we’re up to via our website, twitter & newsletter and we’ll invite you to get involved. We’ve summarised below what we’ll be using the money for, if you have any questions please get in touch. We’re a small company with no core funding or permanent staff members, so bear with us if we take a little time to respond. We’ll continue to revise our plans in relation to the ever-changing world we live in, keeping our community and those most vulnerable within it at the forefront.
For now, love & solidarity to all
With this funding we will:
- Offer bursaries to early-career artists
- Develop digital trans awareness resource for arts organisations
- Adapt creative projects, employing freelance creatives, for digital dissemination
- Develop new online workshops.
- Develop Milk’s website & online platforms
- Prepare for long-term artistic and engagement activity
- Cover our overheads
- Pay ourselves for six months (see below breakdown**)
- Survive, protest, enable, advocate, speak up, listen, entertain, keep going.
* Credit & thanks to Adam Carver for the labour of consolidating this information: https://adamgcarver.com/2020/03/01/all-equalities-are-equal-but-some-are-more-equal-than-others-a-response-to-arts-councils-diversity-strategy/
**Breakdown of paid staff/creative team over the next 6 months:
- Executive Producer x 27 days
- Artistic Director x 27 days
- Production/Company Manager x 20 days
- Company Associate x 15 days
- Producing Assistant x 6 days
- Freelance Creatives x 46 days