Our Original Plans
We had originally planned to submit another application for Arts Council funding this year, for a longer term project to expand and develop Lesley magazine and accompanying events over the next two years.
This plan consisted of:
Expanding our core team and making more freelance work available for people who want to work with us going forward.
Community engagement, meetings, surveys, and experimentation for our community to help shape us in to the magazine that you want to see.
Making time for, and hiring people to help us develop and maintain our advertising and brand work management, to make us more sustainable long term.
Ultimately producing more print issues and putting on exhibitions and events to accompany their release!
As you may remember, we held an open meeting, the date of which landed just before lockdown, to get the ball rolling with these plans. This meeting was relocated to zoom at the last minute due to the looming viral threat. We still had a really great meeting and discussed a lot of wonderful ideas for the magazine going forward! Thank you to all those who attended. We were very optimistic in this meeting but when COVID-19 truly hit there was a lot more for us to consider than we had originally imagined.
What has changed
Within the first full week of lockdown our editor was taken sick with the virus and the realities of COVID-19 began to set in. Our core team was already stretched with the responsibilities associated with Lesley Magazine alongside other work and commitments (hence our plans for expansion) and due to the nature of our work as individuals, and personal priorities, we had to focus on other issues that most needed our attention.
Arts Council England’s regular grants have been put on hold until 2021 due to COVID-19 and replaced with emergency grants. We discussed applying for emergency organisation funding for Lesley Mag to cover a project deliverable during lockdown. However that grant application window was only a few weeks long and we all had other work that demanded our primary attention in terms of applying for emergency funding. Lesley magazine is not established enough to be hit hard financially by this crisis. We don’t have any regular outgoing expenses yet unless we are working on a project or producing a physical magazine, so we had to prioritise commitments that were under a greater threat.
This means we have unfortunately had to pause the majority of our offline activity. Our original plans and ideas are still there and we are still excited to put them in motion as soon as we can. We have just had to put them on the shelf for the time being in order to look after ourselves and make sure that we can hit the ground running once it is possible to do so.
What comes next
- We’re still here online, on Instagram and Facebook, and we are still working behind the scenes on a couple of things too, but we are taking it slow, one day at a time.
- Our priority is to continue to act as a platform for all the incredible work that our community is doing and how you can get involved.
Please send us anything that you are doing that you would like us to promote.
Please message us on Instagram with a post we can repost or an image and caption, or simply tag us in your Instagram post or story and we will share.
- We have set up a new mailing list system, using mail chimp, to improve the organisation of our email updates. There is now a button to subscribe to our mailing list in our Instagram bio and on our website.
- We are working behind the scenes with Rebel Dykes on an exhibition project for 2021 which is very exciting! We hope you will be able to join us. Follow Rebel Dykes for more info and updates. We will be letting you know more in future Lesley updates too.
- We will keep you posted with developments via email and on our socials. You will be the first to know when we can get the ball rolling on our funded plans again. Thank you for your continued support.
Thank you for bearing with us. We’re still here! Still thriving! And we hope to be back on track with our bigger plans very soon. In the meantime we look forward to continuing to act as a unified voice for our community in sharing all the wonderful work that everyone is doing.🤍
Much love and solidarity,
The Lesley Team x
Hope this finds you as safe and well as possible in these strange times.
Here is a long-overdue update on Lesley Magazine.
Thank you for being so patient with us. A lot of our plans have had to change significantly due to the current situation with COVID-19.