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A new private-sector funding programme has been launched to help artists struggling financially during Covid-19.

The Live Work Fund comes via Jerwood Arts, Wolfson Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Linbury Trust.

The £660k fund will provide awards of £20k for at least 33 outstanding artists, creatives and producers with no more than ten years’ experience over a period of 12 months. Around half of the awards will go to music creator, and the fund will also provide meaningful professional development support through expert mentors.

Lilli Geissendorfer, Director, Jerwood Arts, says: “Our experience of funding and developing outstanding artistic practitioners through significant, long-term grants has shown us that this fund will enable the awardees to make powerful contributions to their artistic communities as they navigate this intense period of change and transition.

“The emergency funding that is being provided by a number of funders is absolutely vital, but we believe that transformative opportunities for artists in the early phases of their careers are also needed. We are hoping to support a generation of visionary ideas that can mark a new beginning for live work in the UK.”

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive, Wolfson Foundation, said: “This is a time of uncertainty and anxiety for artists. We hope that this funding programme is an imaginative response, and I am delighted that it is also a response borne out of partnership with our friends and colleagues at Jerwood Arts, Esmée Fairbairn and Linbury.”