In the US, artists can now get a $5,000 unrestricted grant—and they don’t even have to put on a dog-and-pony show to prove their talents.
Conceived by a consortium of nonprofits, the Artist Relief fund aims to quickly assist artists impacted by the Covid-19 economic downturn. The pandemic has been particularly devastating for the arts and culture sector, as a recent Americans for the Arts survey attests. Working as gig workers, freelancers, or small-business owners, many artists suddenly lost their sources of income as museums, concert halls, stores, and studios were forced to shut down last month.
The emergency package has an initial pot of $10 million for 2,000 grantees. The funds are culled from the operations budgets of the seven US-based organizations: Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists. With most of the arts programming cancelled, the grants-giving organizations formed a group to design a mechanism that will allow them to give money to artists directly.
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