I had some very sad news delivered to my inbox on Monday. After six years of being an absolutely fantastic arts charity, supporting and funding arts organisations and creatives across the UK, IdeasTap have announced that they’ll be closing on 2nd June.
Set up in 2008 at the beginning of the financial crisis, IdeasTap have become a complete lifeline for young artists, performers, producers, writers and literally any creative to get a foot up in the arts. IdeasTap’s website hosts a community of likeminded people that they offer funding, advertise jobs and opportunities to; provide a ‘Spa’ of training and workshops for – everything from acting skills to marketing; and a constant stream of career advice, articles and case studies from those people already working within the arts. There’s also the opportunity to use IdeasTap’s amazing office space, something which is invaluable to funded arts organisations for whom paying office overheads just doesn’t make any financial sense.
On Monday Peter De Haan, the founder of IdeasTap, explained in The Huffington Post that IdeasTap doesn’t have the funding to continue. But IdeasTap’s 200,000 members aren’t giving up easily and have quickly set up a campaign ‘Save IdeasTap’ to stop the closure from happening. I know first hand that getting experience in the arts isn’t easy, particularly juggling unpaid or part-time opportunities with other jobs that will pay the bills.
If you don’t know about IdeasTap, go and have a look at their website and see all of the fantastic support and advice they provide for emerging artists. If you’re interested the Save IdeasTap campaign they have a website, Twitter and Facebook group to get involved with by writing to your MP, brainstorming ways to save the charity or organising an event to raise awareness.
As the government make heavy cuts to the arts, the closure of IdeasTap is a clear impact of those decisions, one that will only further discourage people from following a creative career. I just hope that we don’t have to wait until there’s none left to see the value of arts and culture in our lives!