This is mainly going out to other writers, artists and generally creative people who live in the United Kingdom.

You may or may not heard of the website called IdeasTap. IdeasTap is an arts charity that helps creative people, especially young creative people, get to where they want to be. Working with a number of leading arts organisations including BFI, Magnum Photos, Mother London, The National Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre and Sky Academy, they create numerous industry opportunities for their members, as well as providing funding, competitions, jobs training and advice. Since they launched in Dec 08, they have awarded more than £2.3 million worth of direct funding and expert mentoring to emerging artists. With membership currently standing at over 195,000 it is clear that it reaches out to a lot of artists, and provides a lot of opportunities for them, especially those who need a little help to turn a love into a career.

Save IdeasTap

However, despite the best efforts of the people who runs this amazing charity, they have recently announced that due to financial troubles they are going to have to close their doors on June 2nd. Despite repeated attempts to appeal to government or corporate businesses for financial backing, they have had requests denied, and have not been able to secure the money that they need to keep going with their wonderful work.

Considering that a report from the Warwick Commission has found that 1.7 million people in Great Britain work within the creative industry, and that it contributes somewhere in the region of £77 billion to the economy, you would think that there would be a little more support out there for organisation who help to get people into this fantastic industry. And what does this say about how we view the arts in the grand scheme of things? Nothing good that’s for sure.

Although I have never won any of the competitions or managed to get the time to attend any of the helpful seminars, I do value what IdeasTap has done for me as a writer. It introduced me to the world of competitions, and how to write to deadlines, word counts, and to follow submission guidelines to the absolutely letter. It gave me a lot of practice, and the option to connect with a lot more people out there who had the same ideas and interests as me. I can build up a portfolio on there, so in the future if people ask me for examples of my work, I can direct them to my portfolio on there. Without IdeasTap, I’m going to lose out on some of that sense of community, and access to competitions that are sometimes hard to find.

Sorry to add a bit of politics into this blog, it’s not something I would normally do. But I am immensely sad that this is coming to pass, since it has been a fantastic aid to me, even in small ways, and there are thousands of people it has helped to make a career out of creativity, and that is something we should be trying to preserve.