Bristol United Guild (BUG) is a new non-profit company designed to support the arts sector.
The initiative is backed by a roster of creatives, such as Massive Attack, IDLES, Portishead, Maisie Williams, Daniel Day-Lewis, activist Jen Reid, Roni Size and Stephen Merchant. The Bristol creatives have all signed a statement of support.
BUG has been created to support the independent and freelance creative community in Bristol. The company state that jobs in the arts sector could be cut, resulting in a “lost generation of talent and vocation”. BUG explains that Covid-19 has catalysed this issue. To tackle it, the company will “work collectively to build frameworks of support”. They plan on developing “a whole new civic ecosystem whereby the freelance/independent arts community is given not only recognition for the value it brings to this city and its communities, but is also offered the access and investment to forward a multiplicity of paths that it deserves”.
BUG’s first proposal is to establish a city-wide Business Improvement District, whereby large commercial companies are charged a levy. The levy will be used to support community projects.
On the initiative, Robert Del Naja says, “As established Bristol artists, we can see the danger now of a lost generation of creativity. We recognise that social conditions have changed a lot in the last few decades; especially in terms of housing costs and the hollowing out of local services.”
“With the BUG project, we want to prevent a forehead engraving culture of ploughing young people into low skilled, insecure work. We want to invest in unlocking potential and expression, and vitally, to encourage independence.”
You can find out more via BUG’s website.