IF Oxford receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

12 October 2020

IF Oxford, the science and ideas festival in Oxford hosting over 100 creative events throughout October, has been awarded £74,929 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

IF Oxford is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The Festival is working towards a world where the complexity, wonder and opportunities of scientific research and cultural topics are explored, questioned and enjoyed across society. IF Oxford works year-round to encourage people who don’t normally think of science as for them, and works with artists to bring complex issues to life at its series of events in October. Over 40% of people who attend wouldn’t normally do “science” and 47% are more interested in these topics because the Festival made these topics meaningful to them.

Examples taking this place October within IF 2020 are: Convergent Pulses, a music video that used physically distanced motion capture and young dancers from Oxford’s Parasol Project, scientists from the University of Oxford and Alexander Whitley Dance Company to explore the origin of a beating heart; a video play, small hours, produced with Oxford Playhouse to highlight scientific research on sleeplessness and anxiety; and Explorazone Digital, a large family-friendly virtual exhibition hall where molecules dance, energy becomes a game and the cells and organs inside our bodies become exquisite visual art.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Festival Director, Dane Comerford, said:

“We’re in the middle of the 29th science and ideas Festival in Oxford, which this year is welcoming people from across the country with a month of digital events. The COVID pandemic has challenged us to rethink how a Festival can happen at all, and we have found new ways to share arts and culture, technology and human connection. This funding has provided the confidence to build on our community and cultural links, and once IF Oxford draws to a close on 31 October, I’ll be able to put together our 30th Festival in October 2021!”