We are proud to announce that Funny Women is again one of the thousands of cultural organisations across the country to receive a grant from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help us recover and continue our work. The £40,000 grant gives us a much needed boost as we go into the 2021 Funny Women Awards season and will support our ongoing community outreach programme.
The Culture Secretary announced the latest round of support with more than £300 million awarded to cultural organisations including Funny Women. Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking about the new round of support Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
This second round of awards will help organisations, like ours, to plan ahead to a cultural reopening and recovery over the spring and summer. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding is a much-needed helping hand as we transition back to normality.
Funny Women’s founder and chief executive, Lynne Parker, said: “Once again, I am delighted (and relieved) that comedy at grass roots level is being recognised and I don’t think any of us would have got through the last year without a sense of humour! Culture is always a reflection of today’s society and live comedy is a significant part of our creative output in all its forms, from small clubs to big theatres. We will fill them again!
“The work we do at Funny Women is a significant and vital part of today’s cultural landscape. This funding makes the world of difference to my team and the hundreds of women in our community who have looked to us for guidance and inspiration during successive lockdowns. We’ve not stopped producing comedy and as we launch the 2021 Funny Women Awards, this grant also ensures that we can continue to provide inclusive, diverse and accessible outreach programmes and much needed entertainment alongside our most famous initiative.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.
“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. and its strategic vision is set out in Let’s Create for England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish by 2030 with access to high quality cultural experiences. Public money from Government and The National Lottery is invested to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. Visit www.artscouncil.org.uk for more information.