So that was my reaction this morning. Lucky I didn’t spit my coffee. I saw the link on a page of a fellow artist and wondered if it’s April’s Fool coming a tad early.
In the times of high tuition fees (in the arts especially), in the times when Googling “lack of working class actors” gives you page results from Judi Dench to Julie Walters, from David Morrisey to Jimmy McGovern, the last one stating that lack of working class voice affects what gets made.
In the times when artists wonder whether they should leave London, or be priced out; when the phrase “art cuts” commands nothing but dreary recognition; when iconic places, like Madame Jojo’s and Tin Pan Alley are being closed…
Ideas Tap is a beacon of hope and help for all of us artists – offering funding not only for under-25s, but also under 30 or with no age limit. It is one of the few organisations that understand that making a career in the arts can take years – that we’re not all fresh-faced 16 year-olds (who are brilliant and deserve the support, but so do their slightly older sisters and brothers, a.k.a. US).
London lives and breathes art, but it is worth to ask: what kind? If, alongside of hit-factories, crunching out musical hits to awestruck tourists, we want to have conversations, realisations, young artists and artists who are slightly older and from all walks of life – if we want to have our voices heard, if art is not just for people who can afford to make it – we need communities. We need skill exchanges, we need support networks. Ideas Tap is an existing network that does a brilliant job. It is a charity, that – like many charities – steps in where the government does not engage anymore.
To me personally, Ideas Tap, along with poetry-specific Apples and Snakes, are a source of artistic community, free workshops and guidance. When I write any artistic content, I check Ideas Mag; it is a source of pride that I was shortlisted in the Editor’s Brief; it is an existing community teaching and enabling me to create my career in the world of art.
If you want to get involved, we’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter – #SaveIdeasTap and we’re gonna make some noise!