“This is the worst thing artists have ever been through” Crowdfunder launched to raise money for Preston artists

A crowdfunder has been launched for Preston creatives, from artists to photographers, who have suffered a loss of earnings due to the Coronavirus lockdown.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 3:45 pm
Promoter and artist Garry Cook, who has set up the fundraiser

Garry Cook, 45, is a local promoter who has created the ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign to help support the city’s self-employed creatives who are struggling through their most difficult times. The idea came after seeing similar funding campaigns in cities like Manchester and Liverpool to help artists through the lockdown.

He is asking the people of Preston to donate to the campaign, which has an initial £1,000 target, to help five Preston creatives financially with £200 each.

In return for the donation, the creatives who apply for the funding will be asked to produce a new piece of work and present it to the people of Preston at an arts event after the lockdown is lifted.

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Performer at one of Garry Cook's showcases

“I’ve thought about doing this fundraiser for quite a few weeks. I think Preston, with all its ambitions as a creative hub, should also stand up and support its creatives,” said Garry, from Preston.

“Most creatives are freelance, meaning that their entire income streams have been cancelled out due to the lockdown. If we don’t support them and encourage them, even in this small way – we will lose many of them as they will be forced to give up their practice.

“Preston has done an amazing amount over the past decade in pushing themselves as an artistic hub. I really hope local people and businesses get behind this and generate interest.” Local promoter Garry Cook is known for bringing theatre, spoken word and performance shows to Preston, but creatives in any art form can apply for the funding.

He is appealing for bigger businesses and organisations to step forward and donate to support creatives and artists, who boost local economic development through the arts and culture.

“We are constantly being told that art and creativity is the catalyst for economic change for this city, so I think it is really important that those creatives and artists are given support they need to get through this crisis and enable them to carry on the great work they do in the future,” he said.

“I am a freelance worker who can’t do any long term planning. I have lost tens of thousands of pounds this year alone, that I won’t get back.

“It’s really hard as there isn’t a lot of money in the creative industry as it is. This as been the worst thing we’ve ever been through.”

The simple application process for the donation asks artists to demonstrate their connection to Preston and write a 300-word proposal of the new work they would like to create.

To donate to the Go Fund Me campaign go to: gf.me/u/xw8ssc

Artists and creatives should visit https://enjoyshow.co.uk/2020/04/13/preston-artists-coronavirus-hardship-fund/ for more information on how to apply for the fund.