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Streetwise Opera to receive £71K from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Streetwise Opera has received a grant of £71,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. 

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Streetwise Opera in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Streetwise Opera is an award-winning performing arts charity that uses singing and creativity to inspire and empower people who are homeless or recovering from homelessness in various regions across England.

This award will be used to secure the sustainability of the organisation, supporting our regular programme of creative activities for people affected by homelessness, which are planned to be both online and in-person to allow for further government restrictions, if necessary. Through the pandemic we moved all our work online; thanks to the Arts Council’s generosity we are now in the best position to be able to move out of lockdown and back to working in-person with people who have been some of the hardest hit by the impact of Covid-19.

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.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

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.”

Susie Gorgeous, Executive Director of Streetwise Opera, said:

“The creative arts are a positive way for people affected by homelessness to rebuild their self-esteem, boost their wellbeing and overcome social isolation. During the pandemic, our online sessions have been a lifeline for many people who were struggling, and with this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund we are looking forward to providing more support through in-person singing and creative sessions, as we launch ambitious projects in partnership with the homeless sector.”

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. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19.

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon. 

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