Pānui: Info Hub for Arts Freelancers During Covid-19

Some links to resources for arts freelancers during Covid-19, all in one place.

As of of 11.59pm on 25 March we are now at an Alert Level 4. This will be in place for four weeks from this date.

How are you going? I hope you're getting some (physically distanced) fresh air or a bike ride in, holding onto your clear sense of perspective like you always have, and getting a chance to have some supportive and helpful conversations with your mates and art-BFFs.

At The Pantograph Punch we're aware of the growing amount of resources out there for freelance workers in the arts in Aotearoa, and fast-changing information being announced from agencies such as Creative New Zealand. So instead of creating an ongoing Twitter thread, we wanted to create a home here for updates, news and announcements that affect and support the freelance (and salaried!) arts workforce. There's lots of links – if you right-click or control-click on them, you can choose to open them in a new tab.

We will keep adding to this list as news arises, and keep informing you of updates via our social channels as well. Keep a look out for an upcoming post which will have a bunch of cool arts-related online stuff you can listen to or watch if you feel like a break from corona-posts. Take it gently and let us know if you have more items that can be added below!

This list of resources also includes some art intervals because why not. There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to the Youtube collection below, just beautiful clips of a few of our best art and art makers who've brought people together. Because why should a list of announcements and resources be boring.

Ngā Tūmanako, the champions of Te Matatini 2019

Mental health support

  • It's normal to feel stressed and anxious right now. While we must stay physically separate, remember to keep connected with your friends and support network through the wonders of the Internet and good old fashioned phonecalls. On The Mental Health Foundation website you can find tips, FAQs and information on counsellers and helplines. Most importantly – you are not alone.
  • New Zealand music industry charity MusicHelps have ​generously extended their Wellbeing Service to the broader arts community. ​Free and available 24/7 online ​and via phone, this counselling service is active immediately for those in need. More information here.
  • Dr Lucy Hone is the Director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience. As we all contemplate the impact of lockdown, resilience and wellbeing are important considerations and Dr Hone has kindly created the below webinar and helpful tipsheet (in the blurb on the Vimeo page) specifically targeted to dealing with Covid-19. This is the first in a webinar series on this topic.

Financial support for freelance arts workers

From 23 March the income assessment model for self-employed people was updated: Self-employed people with variable monthly incomes are eligible if they can demonstrate the revenue loss assessment against the previous year’s monthly average (eg. 30% loss of income attributable to Covid-19 comparing March 2020 to the average monthly income in the period March 2019 to March 2020). In addition, charitable organisations and incorporated societies are now included in the employer support scheme. The press release containing this update is here.

Even if you are unsure, if you need this help, we encourage you to apply – this is a high-trust model.

  • Here is the general information on the Covid-19 Economic Response Package that the government announced on 17 March.
  • This is where you can find the latest information on the wage subsidy for sole traders, the self-employed and employers as part of the package.
  • On the above page you can click through to this wage subsidy form, which is where you can apply for the subsidy as a self-employed worker.

On another common question: you do not need to be registered as a business to be considered a sole trader. You can find some more detail about common questions on music industry production manager Sarin Moddle's great google doc.

Creative New Zealand response

  • This is the general pānui page for Creative New Zealand's response which will update accordingly.
  • And this is where you can read their latest announcement made on 6 April. This outlines the Resilience Grants for independent practitioners and organisations in more detail.
  • PAANZ are hosting a series of online hui for arts and cultural events. The first was an excellent panel facilitated by Barbarian Productions' Jo Randerson, with Cath Cardiff, Senior Manager Investment Services, Creative New Zealand, Megan Peacock-Coyle, PANNZ Chair, and Cat Ruka from Tempo Dance Festival.

Music/comedy/performance legends The Front Lawn in 1988

Paid/creative/community initiatives from Creative New Zealand investment client organisations

  • On Friday 20 March, Silo Theatre announced a cool low-key Instagram residency to help artists feel connected and continue to be creative. Over a period of eight weeks, a different artist or creative is resident for one week on their Instagram channel and can fill that space with their work. They will be paid $500 for the week. See announcement from Artistic Director Sophie Roberts here and more info on their Facebook post.


Early this past week, two data-gathering surveys were established to be able to gain a picture of the financial loss to the various industries that rely on public gathering and the communal experience.

  • Especially for those in the music industry, here is the New Zealand version of the Australian initiative I Lost My Gig, hosted by APRA AMCOS.
  • Entertainment Technology New Zealand is an industry group that recognises and supports the technicians, craft persons and designers working in the entertainment industry. They have established a survey here. Please note this is a new link, and if you had originally filled out the survey that was first promoted on Monday 16 March, you may need to fill this out again.

Livestreaming – helpful information

Those involved in live performance will have seen proliferating info out there on the internet on the possibilities of livestreaming shows and gigs. Many musicians and productions have already been doing this and experimenting with the potential.

  • American initiative Howlround is a 'commons' platform that has always been focussed on how technology can influence theatre practice and connectivity. They have a super helpful post on virtual connectivity and livestreaming here, with links to other livestreaming resources on their site.
  • This is a helpful Twitter thread from a UK theatre tech who has been involved in livestreaming for 10 years.

Māori showband The Quin Tikis in 1966 film Don't Let It Get You

Facebook group for those in arts and events industries

  • This is a resource and information sharing group for arts and cultural workers from all over Aotearoa. It was established on March 15 and has swiftly grown to 2700 members.

General public notices

  • Here you can find Ministry of Health information for public events and mass gatherings.
  • This is the Government's official website for information on the virus and how to slow the spread.

Header image: Julie Zhu – image of Year of the Tiger by Alice Canton

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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