Covid-19 Survival Resources for Artists

Theatre Bristol is taking steps to keep our community safe, and develop ways to support independent artists through these difficult times. Please see more details about our offer on our homepage here.

Here you can find resources for UK performance makers affected by COVID-19 with a focus on Bristol info and creative strategies if in isolation, but also including links to official statements, financial advice, and other guidance.

This summary also exists as a live Google doc that you can contribute to.

Summaries on other sites

UK Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources List aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines. **this is the best uber list of all resources we’ve seen so far**

Creative Spark are publishing FREE Arts Council Emergency Fund Summary Doc and Application Templates for artists and arts organisations that are considering applying. Sign up to their e-news to receive the FREE PACK on Monday 6 April. 

COVID-19 Self Employed Artists Cribsheet from Jozara – FAQs about what the government is doing to help the self‑employed in the creative industries.

The Covid 19 Alphabet – summary of advice and resources from ITC

Springboard for the ArtsUS based resources – more for internal reference to see what strategies other orgs are taking in terms of supporting artists. 

Covid-19 Resources for UK Theatre An evolving collection of advice, resources and opportunities for people who work in theatre and are affected by coronavirus on Exeunt

Independent Arts Projects COVID-19 Impact on Arts Workers +

National Theatre Wales resource – Theatre in the Time of Corona

One Dance UK

Activate Performing Arts COVID-19 Support

Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance

Creative Industries Federation’s list

Digital Theatre Resources


Musicians Relief Fund

ACE Emergency Funds – apply for round 1 by 13th April, apply for round 2 by 27th April. ACE have released some Webinars with further information:

Defer Mortgage Payments

Universal Credit for freelancers

Charities List

Support the Self Employed! Crowdfunder

COVID-19 Flowchart

Bristol City Council – small business grant scheme and business rate relief

Freeze Credit card and loan repayments – more info to follow

Updated GOV support

Earnings loss calculator spreadsheet from Laura Sweeney 

Employment and Self employment help from MoneySavingExpert – really helpful video guide

Support the self employed! Crowdfunder

Esmee Fairbairn – funding currently closed, emergency fund announcement soon

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Accountants Deloitte have produced a calculator to help applicants to this scheme find out how much support they may be able to access.

HMRC Self Employment Support eligibility checker

HMRC Self Employment Support webinars

HMRC SEISS Eligibility Guidance

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) info summary from Laura Sweeney

Bristol news and support

Bristol City Council: twitter feed, Coronavirus updates

Bristol 24/7 – live updates


Bristol Media – Here to Help

We Are Bristol free helpline – 0800 694 0184

Bristol TV are offering free TV advertising

Daily update from Mayor Marvin Rees

FB Live Q&A with Mayor Marvin Rees every Weds at 6.30pm

The One City Economy Board [link] is now meeting every Tuesday to bring together key stakeholders to work on solutions for requests for help, offers of support and ways to advertise job vacancies.


Social media groups and conversations

Gigaid campaign led by Bryony Kimmings to support artists in hardship: #gigaid

Antiviral work for freelancers on FB

Bristol mutual aid

Childcare strategies from twitter

Livestreaming theatre twitter thread

Bristol Community Care COVID-19

Dr Stephen Pritchard (Movement for Cultural Democracy / Colouring in Culture) is looking to set up a freelancers union. If you are interested you can contact him / the group via on Facebook, on Twitter,  website

Statements and sector relevant updates

Parents and carers in the performing arts

The Stage




Psychological support

Online therapy for young people

Free online therapy for adults

Mind – coronavirus and mental wellbeing


Yoga with Adriene 

Yoga with Kassandra advice

National Trust opening many gardens for free, but closing cafes and shops

Harvard report : The discomfort you’re feeling is grief US based site that includes information on mental health support, co-occurring disorders and addiction treatment options

Online courses or art portals for interesting projects

Ivy league schools


Theories and philosophies for being alone

Queer and unusual practices

The Hermit Project 

Interesting Online Projects

Come to where I’m from – playwrights performing their own plays in an app

The Social Distancing Festival

Create to Connect two weeks of daily creative challenges, starting on the 23rd March.

Visit museums virtually

Culture In Quarantine 

Destination Bristol Virtual Tours

National Theatre at Home

RSC from Home

Free theatre screenings spreadsheet

Theatre and dance to watch online – Guardian recommends

Live Stream Archive – recordings of theatre available to watch online

Stuff to do with Kids

The Imagination Tree

Pinterest useful – look up ‘sensory play’ for cheap, open-ended activities

Freeze little toys/small objects in ice and then work out how to get them out (You can make egg shapes with balloons – poke little fish/dinosaurs in, add water, freeze)

Make obstacle courses indoors/outdoors

Junk modelling – collect small cardboard boxes/tubes, add some sticky tape and pens

Playdough and more playdough

Dry pasta and some pans/spoons/cups

Cosmic Kids Yoga


A big cardboard box

Plan and hold your own party – choose a theme, make party food, make decorations/hats, ‘write’ invitations to each other, invite fav toys, play party games, dance, take photos, sleep!

Dressing up/make costumes

Plant some seeds – make a photo diary/draw pics of what you did/how it grows

Turn empty tissue boxes into dinosaur feet

Virtual classes (some super interesting!) at

All kinds of stuff on, including lesson plans, typing practice, etc.

Brainpop — fabulous 5 minute education videos on just about anything. Really well done

Binge watch the series Avatar the Last Airbender 

Watch great books being read by great actors at StorylineOnline

Watch Ken Burns’ National Parks Series (some mature themes, but also family friendly. Watched with my kiddo when he was 8)

Here is a list of educational companies offering free subscriptions during the closing. A lot to sort through, but there are some awesome resources here including, it seems, all of the ones in my previously curated list.  

BBC‘s plan to inform, educate and entertain during unprecedented times

Daily dance class with Oti Mabuse

P.E. with Joe Wicks

Stay At Home Activity Pack by Unique Voice


Home working guidance

Advice from Theatre Bristol’s General Manager:

Take care of yourself and prioritise your wellbeing during lockdown. The following tips might help you:

  1. Set up a comfortable working space at home. 
  2. Change position and move regularly throughout the day.
  3. Take regular breaks.
  4. Exercise – according to current advice, you are allowed out of the house once per day to stay active. There are also some brilliant online fitness classes. We have offered some examples above.
  5. Meditate and do other things that help you feel calm.
  6. Eat well.
  7. Establish a routine – this will help manage feelings of stress and restlessness.
  8. Pace yourself – this situation is expected to continue until at least June so try to pace yourself to avoid burnout.
  9. Keep in touch with friends and family.
  10. Make time for yourself to do things you enjoy. 
  11. Try and limit your Social Media usage. It can be useful for staying in touch with friends and family but can cause anxiety if used too often.  
  12. Creative Professional Development – make time to feed your brain. Recess period, take time to get to know artists work etc. 

Employment advice and policies

ACAS advice 

Shape Arts Contingency Plans – a template for action

COVID-19 Flowchart 

Furloughing – advice for employees and small businesses


Bristol Closures, Cancellations and News

Bristol City Council: twitter feed, Coronavirus updates

Bristol 24/7 – live updates on closures


Do you have resources you feel other independent artists in Bristol could benefit from? Please feel free to add them to the open document here.