Denzel Kessie and 0 others are organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Josh Akapo.
Hey, I'm Josh Akapo, a proud Londoner and creative industries person (in merch, research/insights and strategy - but that's not important). My friend, Denzel Kessie, is a talented illustrator and graphic designer, and is helping me with this. I've worked in the creative industries for over 5 years, and thankfully I'm blessed enough to be able to have an emergency fund to survive through tough times. However, literally before January 2020, this was not my life, and having just one cancelled contract would've near bankrupted me.
Currently the UK's creative & cultural industries are worth over £100 billion, creating substantial amounts of wealth for many companies. Yet during times of uncertainty, it's often smaller artists and creatives who bear the biggest financial lost. Sadly the 'struggling creative' stereotype becomes a reality when contracts are pulled, work dries up and there's no safety net provided by the government. From TV to film, marketing to advertising, music to events - all aspects and forms of 'creative' are at-risk of being affected by, if not already, the uncertainity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This fund is inspired by Luke Barnes & Amahra Spence, who created support structures for artists and creatives in Liverpool & the West Midlands, affected by coronavirus/COVID-19 and its various impacts. Their idea is to provide 10 x £200 hardship funds for any artists, cultural workers, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts. I want to increase that to 25 x £200 hardship funds, as London's population is probably full of creatives struggling especially at these times. Denzel & I are also going to support the first person to receive from this fund - we're starting off with £200 in the pot.
These will be distributed on a first come first served basis. We'll be attempting a Google Form to get your details so we can send the funds to you, and also it'll let you request further assistance for bills etc if necessary. If this fund speaks to you, we want to help. If you can give, please give generously. If we make more than what we're fundraising for, we'll be able to support more artists. The first will be available by the end of the month. If we get lots of generous donations, we'll go again, for as long as we can.
I've always known London to be a resilient and giving city. During times of struggle and tragedy, we've banded together as a community and helped each other. I'm certain we'll come together again. London is a global hub for creativity, always has been and always will be. We will get past this, but let's try and do so with as little bad as possible.
Thanks for all your support, kindness, well-wishes and positivity in advance. Thanks Luke for starting this and reassuring me that this is possible. Thanks Amahra for continuing this on. Thanks Denzel for setting up this page when GoFundMe wouldn't let me.
Peace & love,