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Liverpool’s BlackFest has been awarded a lifeline grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure that their future is sustainable.
BlackFest is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced today. This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
The grant comes off the back of a hugely successful week of digital events held by BlackFest, which saw a host of panels, concerts and spoken word events taking place over Youtube, Facebook Live and Zoom.
The homegrown grassroots annual combined arts, Black Arts festival was founded in 2018 by the current Artistic Director, Jubeda Khatun and Daniel Sebuyange also known as freelance artist, Blue Saint.
The festival platforms & develops work by Black creatives & communities in established arts venues and community spaces; bridging the gap between institutions & marginalised communities, having active conversations. The festival answers a crucial need in the city’s cultural offer, celebrating Black arts. The programme includes dance, visual arts, music, film, literature, theatre and community productions. Using arts for social inclusion, community cohesion and making arts accessible for underrepresented & underdeveloped groups with positive outcomes in well- being, employment, further training championing leadership.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.
“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:
“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.
“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”
BlackFest’s Artistic Director, Jubeda Khatun said:
“We are thrilled with the much needed lifeline for BlackFest and extend our gratitude to both Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. We are looking forward to holding more events and programmes across Liverpool and beyond in 2021 and this will go along way towards allowing us to do just that.”
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