30th March 2021

Our annual Cockpit Effect Report gives an insight in to the craft businesses that we work with; the challenges they face, the way we work with them and the impact that we and, just as importantly they, believe that our support makes.

Now in its 10th edition, this year’s report illustrates, against the background of Covid, that support has never been more vital.

For Cockpit Arts and our maker community this has been a year of digging deep and adapting to the situation around us. Often this has meant operating on limited resources, making the most of these to maximise the opportunities in front of us.

We have always emphasised the strength of community at Cockpit, but this year we really saw that play out in practice. Throughout this year we have seen examples of maker helping maker, of shared knowledge and support throughout the community, and of a collective determination not just to survive but to thrive.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT HERE


“I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be part of Cockpit Arts during these turbulent times; the support and dedication has been truly inspiring. What we all needed at this time was a calm, pragmatic and quick response, which the team of Cockpit Arts delivered, and in my opinion, they went above and beyond what was expected of them. It was of enormous benefit to have their expertise and knowledge to guide us through this turbulent time.”

Richard McVetis, Artist-Maker



Resilience and adaptability – playing to our strengths
For Cockpit and our maker community this has been a year of digging deep and adapting to the situation around us. Often this has meant operating on limited resources, making the most of these to maximise the opportunities in front of us.

The need for continual professional and business development
For the Cockpit team and for our makers, the year offered a steep learning curve, both technically and in understanding how to adapt to the changed conditions. What stood us all in good stead was the learning and continual professional development that had taken place in the years prior. This put us all on a solid platform from which to build.

The importance of digital
During the year, the different levels of digital maturity amongst our makers was clear. Throughout, the community makers recognised the need to push themselves to the next level, whether this was to have a basic presence through social media or at the advanced levels having a targeted digital online campaign. For the Cockpit team too, having to make rapid digital progress opened up opportunities that we will seize in future years.

The strength of community
We have always emphasised the strength of community at Cockpit, but this year we really saw that play out in practice. Throughout this year we have seen examples of maker helping maker, of shared knowledge and support throughout the community, and of a collective determination not just to survive but to thrive.


Cockpit Arts exists to launch and empower creative careers, to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity. This year that work has never felt more vital. We could not have supported our makers without the generosity of all our funders, the help of our local authorities in Camden and Lewisham, a hard-working team and a dedicated Board of Trustees. My heartfelt thanks go to them all.

In 2020, Cockpit makers proved themselves resilient, resourceful, and community minded. They demonstrated all the qualities that are at the heart of craft: making something beautiful, useful, or both, with skill and imagination, out of the materials at hand. As we move ahead on ever shifting sands, it is those qualities of agency, ingenuity and care that will see us through to brighter times.

Our future is in our hands.

Annie Warburton, CEO, Cockpit Arts


Looking forward
What we don’t know is how consumer behaviour will look post-Covid, or what the balance will be between online and in-person consumption, digital versus traditional events. But we can see continued opportunities for makers to exploit in reaching new audiences and markets whilst reacquainting with those that have been missing during Covid.

Similarly, for our business incubation programmes, we see an opportunity to take what we do to other communities of makers, beyond London, in an online form. Although there is much that is beyond our control, we know that the attributes of resourcefulness, strength of community, adaptability and seizing the digital opportunity are critical in our ability to continue evolving and progressing as a community, Cockpit and our makers.

 

Photos from top: Jacob Monk, Tamara Gomez, Richard McVetis, Yusuf Osman, Maya Selway, Eleanor Lakelin, Nico Conti.