Staying Curious in a Crisis

Staying Curious in a Crisis

COVID-19 and Curious Minds Events
March 17, 2020
COVID-19: Bridging the Gap
April 3, 2020
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Curious Minds’ response to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on our region’s cultural education sector

As North West England’s sector support organisation for creative and cultural education, Curious Minds wants to act quickly to ensure our region’s cultural education ecology emerges at the other side of the coronavirus crisis as healthy as possible.

We are an established charity and, therefore, in a strong position to cope with the challenges that the coming weeks will bring. We recognise, though, that many smaller arts organisations and freelance arts practitioners are less fortunate, and will be finding the current situation extremely difficult.

We want to help. During this unprecedented period of crisis our team will be directing its energy and resources to supporting smaller organisations and individual freelancers that play an essential role in the cultural education workforce.
Lots of people and organisations are feeling ‘little’ at the moment. Too small to benefit from the protection of a government scheme, a funders flexibility, a network of supporters… but we know that in the creative lives of children and young people small is mighty – small is local, small is relationship-based, small is accessible, small is fleet of foot, small is approachable, small is essential.

Curious Minds wants to support the smaller (and essential) groups and individuals that make a vital contribution to the cultural education workforce in our region. These are our freelancers and organisations who don’t receive regular core funding from Arts Council England.

We have a few key initiatives in mind and are currently busy behind the scenes laying the groundwork, we hope, for them to happen. We are also talking to other partners with capability to support this part of the sector to see if we can join forces – (are you one of these partners? If so get in touch!)

Whilst we do this, we would like to share a flavour of our plans with you (below). They aren’t yet set in stone, with many details still to be decided, but watch this space for further news!

In Good Company – A Curious Coalition

Coalition: a temporary alliance for combined action / connotes a coming together to achieve a goal.

This initiative would involve Curious Minds inviting a number of smaller, unfunded organisations to work with us, and each other, to navigate uncertainty and foster resilience.

Alongside a fixed financial grant, we would provide [online] access to the expertise and experience of our team and from our partners including: making best use of digital, finance, marketing, fundraising, business planning, curriculum development and evaluation.

Micro Commissions

Freelance artists, youth arts workers, and smaller arts organisations play a crucial role in the cultural and creative lives of children and young people. They are also a hotbed of creative solutions and we really, really need those at the moment.

Through this initiative, Curious Minds would identify a number of specific problems currently facing our young people, families, youth organisations, schools and teachers and offer flat fee commissions to freelancers or smaller arts organisations who are up for the challenge of creating arts inspired online solutions and resources in response.

Survive & Thrive Grants

Under this initiative, Curious Minds would use our own resource and look to lever other funds to offer a number of grants to freelance cultural education practitioners and smaller community-based arts organisations who are struggling financially due to the Coronavirus crisis. Grantees would be able to access the support and expertise of the Curious Minds team including: finance, marketing, fundraising, business planning, curriculum development and evaluation.

In return for the crisis funding, we’d ask the organisations and individuals involved to pay it forward by offering their expertise to a school or youth group once the crisis is over.

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