Live Work Fund awards

Published: 21 February 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Live Work Fund
Otis Mensah Credit: Miroslav Kiss (GRIT MULTIMEDIA)
Connor Allen Credit: Connor Allen

Live Work Fund—a consortium of independent philanthropic organisations made up of Jerwood Arts, the Wolfson Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Linbury Trust—has named thirty three early-career artists as recipients of its new award scheme.

Each artist will receive £20,000 of financial support and mentoring to support the development of their practice and continue working.

Oversubscription to the fund many times over—in total 1,283 applications were submitted—illustrates the worrying lack of financial support experienced by freelance artists, a concern justified by a survey of applicants in which 50% reported their main source of income was emergency funding from national arts councils, private funders and unions; only 45% named the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

34% of respondents said they were less able to pursue their practice because of having to work outside of the profession for their income, and 23% said their ability to work was impacted by mental health issues/

Lilli Geissendorfer, director of Fund leader Jerwood Arts, said, "the Live Work Fund clearly demonstrates both the huge financial need experienced by freelance artists across the UK whose careers have been put in limbo by COVID-19 and the significance of flexible funding for individuals. By being bold and entrusting substantial amounts of funding, we are delighted that the Live Work Fund is able to offer 33 visionary artists the time and space to develop their practices with fewer financial concerns. COVID-19 has highlighted how valuable collaboration between different funders can be to create new ways to support the arts ecology. We look forward to seeing the awardees play their part in the future of the arts."

The selected artists are:

  • Louise Ahl, artist, choreographer and performer
  • Nwando Ebizie, composer, designer and live experience facilitator
  • Connor Allen, actor, director and writer
  • Rosie Elnile, performance designer
  • Anaïs, Live performer, writer and composer
  • Karina Jones, aerialist
  • Munotida Chinyanga, director and sound designer
  • Jennifer Jackson, theatre maker, movement director and choreographer
  • Figs in Wigs, theatre company including a performer, deviser, choreographer and writer
  • Jamal Gerald, performance artist with poetry and literature practice
  • Jo Hauge, artist, writer and performer
  • Dickson Mbi, choreographer of hip-hop dance
  • Nabihah Iqbal, musician and producer
  • Craig McCorquodale, live artist
  • Cassie Kinoshi, composer, arranger and saxophonist
  • John Pfumojena, actor, musician, composer and songwriter
  • Geoff Kirkwood, DJ performer and music maker
  • Andrea Ling, director, writer, visual and sound artist and facilitator
  • Nassy Konan, creative producer
  • Otis Mensah, musician and performance poet
  • Cassie Leon, arts and cabaret producer
  • Rachael Young, performance artist and writer
  • Zinzi Minott, dancer, artist and contemporary video art maker
  • Tangram, contemporary classical Chinese ensemble
  • Eliza Shaddad, guitarist, singer and songwriter
  • Solem Quartet, classical quartet
  • Rhys Slade Jones, performance maker
  • Mo’min Swaitat, actor, writer and director
  • Carmel Smickersgill, composer and performer
  • Martha Wheatley, musician and producer
  • Yewande YoYo Odunubi, dancer, facilitator, live performance producer and programmer
  • Na’ama Zisser, opera composer
  • Jen Smethurst, Trans, Queer, Neurodiverse Independent Practices of Care Consultant and arts worker