OCTOBER to launch fundraiser and to showcase events and artworks released

in support of the campaign – with art by Jo Paul // Moongate Productions // ThisEgg // Ferg Cooper // Jonzi D

AND a series of conversations with

James Graham // Kathryn Bilyard // Jude Kelly // Shazia Bibi // Manuela Benini // Alan Lane // Kate McGrath// Keisha Thompson // Deborah Frances-White // Ben Monks // Akram Khan // Suzanne Alleyne // Dan Glass and Nettie Pollard

Artwork by Ferg Cooper – one of the ARTCRY team

A committee of prominent cultural leaders, artists and activists including Artistic Director and the  CEO of Sadlers Wells, Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director at HighTide Suba Das, and the Executive Producer and the Executive Director of Improbable Kathryn Bilyard and Ben Monks, visual artist Ferg Cooper, Independent Editor and Producer Sara Sjölund, Creative Strategist and ACE changemaker Suzanne Alleyne, multi-disciplinary creative Shazia Bibi, and activist and artist Manuela Benini, have teamed up to launch a new artists funding platform.  ARTCRY goes live today (5th October 2020). The launch month will include events, artworks and talks released in support of the campaign – info on all events below, and further details of all events can be found on the Artcry website –

Although plans were in place to establish the initiative prior to the realities of Covid-19, the panel, realizing support for the arts is was needed now more than ever have chosen to launch their fundraising initiative now, despite the challenges of raising donations in the midst of a pandemic and a recession. The initiative aims to raise and distribute £50,000 in its first year of operations, and all artists from any discipline at any stage in their career are welcome to apply. Work must be free for audiences and presented in the public realm and be time critical.

The fund will encourage and support artists to create work responding to social and political events with fast- turnaround funding which enables fast action. ARTCTRY will fund small grants (up to £5k) with decisions on applications made within a week of applying so that artists know within seven days whether they have received funding so they can start work.

Today marks the launch of a month-long fundraising campaign including a crowdfunding appeal which can be accessed and donated to and will run from 5 October – 31 October The fund will open to applications in November.

No matter where you sit along the many political lines you could draw, we are no doubt facing vital and complex questions about the future of the country, the way our democracy functions and how we relate to each other face to face and digitally.

Personally, I always find my mind opens when I am faced with a creative response. Whether I agree or disagree, it makes me consider a question and pushes me to think more deeply. Art can offer a glimpse into a story far beyond our own lived experience which can change perspectives. I think we need this now.  The fastest rolling fund has a turnaround of six weeks, we need to find a new way of supporting responsive work. In the wake of covid, fundraising will be even more difficult and competitive than it was before. Freelance artists and small companies in particular are in critical need of funding to support making new work. We need artists who can shine a light and startle some sense into the world with radical, inspiring ideas. And we need to encourage and support each other to do it.

Kathryn Bilyard, Director of ARTCRY

Artcry Advocates supporting the campaign are: James Graham, Jude Kelly, Deb Mullins, Arji Manuelpillai, Stephanie Dittmer, Alan Lane, Keisha Thompson, Ivan Michael Blackstock, Akram Khan, Deborah Frances White, Kate McGrath, Dan Glass, Nathalie Teitler and La Gateau Chocolat.


Jo Paul: Each and Every One:

On March 5th 2020 the first death as a result of COVID-19 was recorded in the UK. Each person who dies as a result of the virus is a life that matters. Each should be marked and memorialised. This durational work goes a small way towards doing that. Every thread stretched across the canvas and wrapped around a nail represents a person that died. The film from Each and Every One will be screened in the window of the Deptford Lounge. The film will play for 11 hours and 18 minutes, one second for each life memorialized in Each And Every One carving out time for public memorial, respect and grief in the face of rising covid-denial. Starting Friday 9 October at 6pm.

Moongate Productions, I Am Not A Virus:

ARTCRY will be running a digital campaign, taking over ad space with Moongate Production’s I Am Not A Virus from 5 – 15 October. A short film created in response to the sharp rise in the overt racism expressed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. “We have created this piece with the intention of standing up in the face of hate and refusing to back down quietly.” – Jennifer Lim

ThisEgg with Philippa Hogg in collaboration with The Koppel Project DISMANTLE:

An installation & film in the window of The Koppel Projects’ studio building in Soho. The Koppel Project have recently had to move 70+ artists out of their Soho Studios building in order for it to be torn down to make space for yet another luxury hotel. DISMANTLE is a film of a live performance that happened in the space itself at the end of August. It is a final offering hope and resilience

 “We are responding to the social & economic structures that affect our industry. We have created this piece with the intention to raise awareness to the ongoing & accelerating effects of capitalism & gentrification.” – Josie Dale-Jones & Philippa Hogg . 21st – 25th Oct (photo Camilla Greenwell)

Ferg Cooper, new work:

A new large scale collage from Ferg Cooper turned into a flyposting campaign across London highlighting misinformation and bombardment of images which focus our public narratives and shape political outcomes. “I am responding to ideas around the bombardment of visual information our brains are asked to deal with, and the pressure we put on ourselves to stay informed (particularly in relation to the 2020 news cycle)” -Ferg Cooper

The Giant Megaphone

In partnership with Penned in the Margins, across October the Giant Megaphone will be touring across London amplifying voices of protest and freedom of expression from some of the UK’s foremost poets – including Anthony Anaxagorou, Rebecca Tamas, Hannah Silva, Inua Ellams and Raymond Antrobus – in places where they most need to be heard. Locations and dates to be announced. The megaphone was designed by Amy West and created with Pablo Cattermole, Cristina Ottonello, Jess Dickinson and supported by Emergency Exit Arts.

The News with Jonzi D

A live digital event curated by Jonzi D – the UK’s foremost advocate for hip hop, MC, dancer, spoken word artist and director Jonzi D has changed the profile of the British hip hop dance and theatre scene in the past two decades. Watch the six o clock news, and then watch Jonzi D and friends take on the day’s events in a battle of words, movement and performance. 

Friday 16 October at 8.30pm web details to be announced.


The 1-2-1 series presents recorded conversations with artists and activists supporting ARTCRY.

These will be released digitally on the Artcry website.

Olivier Award winning British playwright and screenwriter James Graham in conversation with Executive Producer of Improbable and Director of Artcry Kathryn Bilyard

Theatre director and producer Jude Kelly, CBE in conversation with multi-disciplinary creative – actor, writer, producer, and poet Shazia Bibi

Activist and artist Manuela Benini in conversation with Artistic Director of Slung Low Alan Lane

Director of Fuel Kate McGrath in conversation with writer, performance artist and producer Keisha Thompson

Comedian, author, screenwriter and creator and host of the podcasts Global Pillage and The Guilty Feminist Deborah Frances-White in conversation with Executive Director of the Improbable Ben Monks

Dancer and choreographer Akram Khan in conversation with creative strategist and cultural thinker Suzanne Alleyne

Activist, educator, academic, performer, consultant, and writer Dan Glass in conversation with long-term campaigner with Gay Liberation Front, Nettie Pollard