The Culture Challenge takes pride in being ‘small yet mighty’ and, like many arts programmes, has survived funding challenges by being agile and adaptable. Before the pandemic, we made a commitment to restructure our service for increased efficiency and sustainability. COVID-19, however, meant furlough for both team members and the need to reconsider our future.
With schools and many cultural organisations shut and much funding diverted to the pandemic’s social emergencies, it has become necessary to freeze the Culture Challenge service until at least October 2020. All allocated culture vouchers will be honoured and extended. The website will remain active and a skeleton team will ensure that any funding opportunities or briefs are still communicated. We know there is a lot of work to do and will be focusing our efforts on supporting the creative education opportunities offered by the wider BCA programme and responding to opportunities as they arise, such as the Art Drop packs (see below). We will do everything in our power to continue supporting schools, artists and cultural organisations through the uncertain and challenging times ahead.
One unfortunate result of this is that Ailene Gray, our Culture Challenge Coordinator, will be leaving BCA in June 2020. Ailene has been instrumental in ensuring that culture vouchers were spent wisely in our brilliant local schools with our local artists over the past few years and we know that many of you will miss working with her. Her work has made a difference to thousands of children and we are very sad to see her go. If any of you would like to send a message of thanks or good wishes for Ailene, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass it onto her.