Apply for the Tait Emergency Relief Fund

Round 2 funding applications will close cob 5pm BST Friday 26th February

Financial Assistance

We have established the Tait Emergency Relief Fund for Australia/New Zealand Artists to assist our talented young artists who overnight lost 6 months or more of work. Professional artists, some with losses in excess of £40,000, to artists just out of college who had a regular income of £500 to 3,000 per month which has now disappeared. Most, but thankfully not all, of the performing arts companies are claiming force majeur and leaving our awardees with an uncertain future.

Currently many of them can’t get any assistance from the U.K. government stimulus package because they are self employed, nor do they qualify for Universal Credit because they are here on restricted visas and have no access to public funds.

Those who’ve taken maternity leave, had an enforced work break due to injury, or a myriad of other legitimate reasons may suffer because their taxable income will be far less than it should be to qualify for the terms of the 80 percent government payment scheme and may fall between the cracks.”

Isla Baring OAM. Limelight Magazine, May 2020

We opened the fund in March 2020 and are actively fundraising. This is quite a gear change for us so please bear with us through this crisis as we adjust to this new reality. I can assure you that we are taking this all very seriously

At the moment the fund is available only to Tait Awardees and to the artists who performed for us in the Bushfire concert in March. If more money comes in we may be in a position to broaden its scope. 

Applications for support  must show that you have suffered quantifiable losses with major Australian/New Zealand and overseas performing arts companies and concert organisations due to the Covid-19 crisis.

All applications will be assessed by the TERF Advisory Board who will make recommendations to the TERF Artistic Board, and to the Tait Trustees. The Trustees will make the final funding decisions based upon the recommendations of the TERF Advisory & Artistic Boards.

TERF Advisory Board

Matt Custance | Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Matt Phillips | CPA | Project Director – Financial Reporting Council.

Nick Shiren | Lawyer | Partner, Cadwalader

Eugenie White | City Finance, Not-for-Profit Boards.

TERF Artistic Board

Jessica Cottis | Chair Tait Music Board | Conductor

Simon O’Neill ONZM | Tenor

Isla Baring OAM | Chairman TMT

Leanne Benjamin AM OBE | Chair Tait Ballet Awards |former Royal Ballet principal dancer | Vice Chair of Governors of The Royal Ballet

For Australian professional opera singers we strongly recommend that you contact Freelance Artist Relief Australia 

For those of you in the UK this initiative from Help Musicians UK could be of assistance to you.


  • Scan of your passport, or another official document which will confirm proof of age and your nationality / residence.
  • Documentary evidence that you have the right to work in the United Kingdom
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Biography
  • Cover letter: that includes a clear summary how the covid-19 crisis has affected you financially and must provide the following:
  • Evidence of loss of income, for example:
    • Opportunities lost eg contracts that have been cancelled / suspended
    • Statement of monthly income for the 18 months prior to March 2020, evidenced as much as you are able for example by contracts, letters of offer, bank statements or other documents.  This is to demonstrate your success as a performing artist up to March 2020.
      • if you don’t have any of the above because you only recently started working professionally please tell us this in your application. The panel will judge each case on its merits.
  • cost of living budget with the last three months receipts or bank statements to show your expenditure
  • proof of ongoing expenses eg mortgage / rent
  • a statement of any income you have received since March 2020 including through the HMRC scheme or from other charities.
  • If you have been working in a non-artistic field in order to support yourself, but you are looking to TMT to help you move back into the arts and maintain your skills, please explain this and set out the implications for you of the potential support.

Prioritisation of applicants

Tier 1: Tait Memorial Trust Awardees, Australian Bushfire Benefit Live performers

Tier 2: The wider community of Australian and NZ performers in the UK

Selection Criteria

Need: To what degree is the performer able to maintain their skill and career without financial assistance?

Talent and Stature as a Performer:  How accomplished is the performer in their chosen field?  At what level of proficiency do they currently perform?

Contribution to Artistic Life in the UK: To what degree has the artist contributed to artistic life in the UK?