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GMCA COVID-19 Creative Commissions

An opportunity for 60 micro commissions for artists and creators based in Greater Manchester, working across all artforms.

60 micro commissions worth £500 each to be given to artists and creators, based in Greater Manchester, across all artforms (music, art, poetry, theatre, short stories, design, gaming, stories etc). Work created will form a permanent archive of Greater Manchester’s creative response to COVID-19.

Given the scale of the impact of COVID-19 on Greater Manchester’s creative community, GMCA understand that they will not be able to support everyone working in this sector. This proposal makes up part of a package of support that already includes advanced payments to organisations in GMCA’s Culture Portfolio.

The COVID-19 Creative Commissions Programme has been developed following advice from sector partners and artists as to what would be the most helpful intervention. The application process is designed to be light-touch and swift. Many artists and creators have had commissions cancelled, and artists want to continue to have the opportunity to create, many are already doing so, free, in response to the current situation. This opportunity will provide some work for artists, provide remuneration for that work, and create an archive of work which will be made available online for everyone to explore.

Applicants are asked to provide information on previous work and a brief summary of the work they would like to create. Proposed responses to this commission must be new work. Please do submit work in response to this call until the initial cohort has been selected. This, of course, does not mean you cannot create. GMCA do not want people to create speculatively, not be selected, and not paid for the time spent on creation.

A panel of independent industry experts, comprising representatives from a variety of artforms and disciplines, will make decisions on who will receive the funds virtually. Once decisions have been made, artists will be advanced funds and given a month to deliver the commission. As commissions come in, these will be share in an online archive available to all. The historical and social importance of capturing civic responses to this type of event as and when it happens, to support people to come to terms with and understand an incredibly challenging situation, cannot be underestimated.

Artists will own the rights to their work, GMCA will be able to use and share that work. GMCA will endeavour to get payments to successful applicants as swiftly as possible.

Wednesday 25 March – Applications Open

Wednesday 1 April – Applications Close

Wednesday 8 April – Successful and unsuccessful applicants informed of outcome


1) Applicants must be based in Greater Manchester

2) Applicants must have a UK bank account

3) Applicants must currently make some of their living from creation (we’ll be looking at capturing the broader creative response from our residents over the coming weeks)


Please complete and return the form attached below to by 5PM on Wednesday April 1st. Please use this email address if you have any questions about the commission or your application. If you have any access requirements let GMCA know and they will support you to complete your application as best they can.