Marie Claire's Save The Arts campaign: A year ago today venues had to close, here's how you can still help

It's been an incredibly difficult year for the hundreds of thousands of freelancers in the creative industries who make the art forms we love and miss

save the arts campaign

It's been an incredibly difficult year for the hundreds of thousands of freelancers in the creative industries who make the art forms we love and miss

A year ago today, theatres and all creative spaces, from cinemas to comedy clubs and music venues had to reluctantly close their doors. The pandemic was spreading and there was nothing for it but for PM Boris Johnson to announce to the nation that the UK was going into lockdown. Now 12 months and three lockdowns on, those venue doors remain closed. Coronavirus restrictions, although necessary, have devastated the creative industries. Which is why last December, Marie Claire's Christmas 2020 Save The Arts Campaign was launched - our celebration of the power of the artistic industries. Working in partnership with The Theatre Artist Fund which helps provide critical support to freelance creatives affected by theatre and venue closures.

Our Save The Arts figurehead, Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Francesca Hayward, who appeared alongside Taylor Swift in the film CATS, passionately leads the campaign. You can watch her amazing Save The Arts campaign video and read Francesca's interview here with Marie Claire Editor-in-chief Andrea Thompson.

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Joining forces with Francesca across our Marie Claire platforms are creative powerhouses including playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, actress and poet Jade Anouka, violinist Jess Murphy, theatre director Ola Ince, playwright Beth Steel, singer/songwriter Call Me Loop, Joanna Payne, founder of arts network Marguerite, choreographer Emma Jayne Park and theatre director Rachel Bagshaw. Reading their pandemic life stories will only confirm to you why culture keeps us happy, thriving and inspired. How many of us would have survived this year without books, music, art or watching TV, film and theatre online?

Theatre Artists Fund – how you can help

It's been a year of incredible hardship, challenge and great loss for all creative freelancers. Please consider supporting the thousands and thousands of freelance workers, who as actress Tamzin Outhwaite posted today, have received no financial support. They were the first into lockdown and will be the last out.

Marie Claire has teamed up with the Theatre Artists Fund to highlight this crucial lifeline. Funded by voluntary donations it gives short-term relief in the form of £1000 grants to theatre workers and freelancers in urgent need of financial support (ones not eligible for government aid and left in unemployed limbo since theatres closed on March 16, 2020). Freelancers make up around 70% of the 290,000-strong UK theatre workforce, and you can support these talented people who create the arts, by donating whatever you can spare to the Theatre Artists Fund and help Save The Arts with Marie Claire. If you think you may be eligible for a grant, you can find all information on how to apply at the Theatre Artists Fund website.

* Get involved with our Save The Arts campaign via our social media platforms @marieclaireuk #savethearts

Maria Coole

Maria Coole is a contributing editor on Marie Claire.

Hello Marie Claire readers – you have reached your daily destination. I really hope you’re enjoying our reads and I'm very interested to know what you shared, liked and didn’t like (gah, it happens) by emailing me at:

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Yes, predating t’internet, when 'I’ll fax you' was grunted down a phone with a cord attached to it; when Glastonbury was still accessible by casually going under or over a flimsy fence; when gatecrashing a Foo Fighters aftershow party was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and tapping Dave Grohl on the shoulder was... oh sorry I like to ramble.

Originally born and bred in that there Welsh seaside town kindly given a new lease of life by Gavin & Stacey, I started out as a junior writer for the Girl Guides and eventually earned enough Brownie points to move on and have a blast as deputy editor of Bliss, New Woman and editor of People newspaper magazine. I was on the launch team of Look in 2007 - where I stuck around as deputy editor and acting editor for almost ten years - shaping a magazine and website at the forefront of body positivity, mental wellbeing and empowering features. More recently, I’ve been Closer executive editor, assistant editor at the Financial Times’s How To Spend It (yes thanks, no probs with that life skill) and now I’m making my inner fangirl’s dream come true by working on this agenda-setting brand, the one that inspired me to become a journalist when Marie Claire launched back in 1988.

I’m a theatre addict, lover of Marvel franchises, most hard cheeses, all types of trees, half-price Itsu, cats, Dr Who, cherry tomatoes, Curly-Wurly, cats, blueberries, cats, boiled eggs, cats, maxi dresses, cats, Adidas shelltops, cats and their kittens. I’ve never knowingly operated any household white goods and once served Ripples as a main course. And finally, always remember what the late great Nora Ephron said, ‘Everything is copy.’