Everyone wants to help, however they can — and people from the arts community are no different. As baffling as it is to hear some in power wonder about the value of the arts in crisis times — before starting their latest Netflix binge, good book, virtual museum tour or crafts-based educational lesson plan, of course — we all know better. We would argue that the arts are more, not less, essential at a moment like this than ever. Light in dark times, the arts not only keep us sane, connected and human, they are also uniquely ready to express and encapsulate this time in our culture through empathy, beauty, poetry, humor and unflinching honesty.
At the same time, artists are among the most precariously funded workers in America, and many are being hit harder and sooner than our other neighbors. With this mind, we’ll publish regular updates on new information regarding resources and relief grants being made available to artists and writers (see our previous post dealing specifically with emergency grants), as well as what is shaping up to be a spate of topical calls for art and writing specifically dealing with COVID-19 life experiences. From the DCA to indie galleries and the L.A. Press Club, there’s some stuff in here that might help.
DCA’s arts emergency fund for performing artists and ensembles in dance, music and theater is aimed at artists and small arts groups who had planned public events canceled due to social distancing and Safer at Home orders. This emergency relief grant is open to performing artists and small ensembles in dance, music, and theater. It works by reallocating funding through a micro-granting process for artists to recoup a portion of lost wages/revenue. Solo artists can request up to $400 and ensembles up to $1,200. Funding in this first round is focused on artists and groups who were headlining an entire event (neither a festival nor a private thing, it had to be singular and public), scheduled for between March 16 and May 16. Submission deadline: Friday, May 1. culturela.org/grants-and-calls/aer-fund.
The Women’s Center for Creative Work is offering $1,000 emergency relief grants for artists, with rolling deadlines starting now.
The Kinkade Family Foundation Emergency Grant for Curators is to support developing curatorial projects that “shed light on the world during this time of darkness.” The program will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected emergencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. kinkadefamilyfoundation.org/emergencygrantforcurators.
As it happens, the L.A. Press Club is running one of each — a contest and a new grant program, announcing the establishment of an Emergency Fund for Southern California journalists. Made possible through a grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the fund is now open for applications, in recognition of “the hardship put on journalists through the coronavirus pandemic and/or the changing media landscape.” Applicants do not need to be members of the Los Angeles Press Club nor HFPA but do need to reside in Southern California. The application form is available on the Press Club website and distribution of funds will start in April. The Press Club plans to make this a permanent emergency fund. lapressclub.wufoo.com.
The Press Club also announced the new Life in the Time of the Coronavirus Award. A call has been issued for work in writing, video, podcast or photo essay directly related to your current experience with the COVID-19 new normal. Entries must not have been previously published anywhere — social media doesn’t count as publishing — and there is no entry fee. The deadline to apply is May 1, with the winners announced in late May and published on the L.A. Press Club website. Prizes in each category range from $100-$1,000 and there is a special student category. lapressclub.wufoo.com.
SOVO// Magazine’s Department of Social Distancing: An interactive online art installation archiving the thoughts and feelings of the public during this fraught time. They are now accepting voicemail submissions, “general observations, existential crisis reports and any random thoughts you would like to share with our staff. We take these reports seriously and listen to every single transmission with the utmost diligence.” Recognizing that the COVID-19 virus and quarantine has generated a parallel epidemic of existential musing, and also insomnia, the answering machine is here for you 24/7. Just call (805) 334-5286 and leave a message. The Department of Social Distancing website archives these and other materials which are mostly pretty hilarious but which also includes real-time CDC-based news and updates, and surprises in the “Not Porn” folder. departmentofsocialdistancing.com.
Lucie Foundation Social Media Photography Call. “Photography can inspire, shed light and give a moment of reflection during this time of social distancing due to COVID-19,” writes the Lucie Foundation, and they are using social media to bring everyone into the conversation. Al are invited to share images and stories by tagging @LucieFoundation and using the hashtag #LucieCovidPhotos.
Visitor Welcome Center’s emi kuriyama Spirit Award is dedicated to the memory of luminous talent emi kuriyama’s (1991-2016) whose writing explored themes of transformation, collaboration and empathy. It offers two unrestricted grants of $2,000 each to one writer and one artist who find themselves in a “transitional moment in their life or work,” and is “open and expansive to multiple possibilities, such as, but not limited to, bodily transitions (e.g., aging, genders, pregnancy, health), geographic transitions (e.g., a cross-country move, displacement, im/migrations), spiritual transitions, and/or a transitional shift in a creative practice.” At this critical time, the Spirit Award fund is further staging an Emergency Relief Lottery awarding two $500 emergency relief awards to individual artists and writers whose creative practices and incomes have been impacted by COVID-19. The two recipients will be determined by a lottery, with the application closing on April 6, and recipients notified shortly thereafter. emikuriyamaspiritaward.org/covid19relieflottery.