As COVID-19 necessitates a society-wide all but lock down, the art world too feels the sting of canceled events, closed galleries, curtailed gigs and sales slumps. Here is a round-up of some of the best, most comprehensive and eclectic sites aggregating emergency grants and other resources tailored for the needs of the creative community.
One grassroots effort that is really helpful, consistently updated, and casts a wide net as far as the kinds of help people in the creative field might be needing right now is the COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resource blog. Hannah Fenlon, Ann Marie Lonsdale, and Abigail Vega aggregate and administer this blog which solicits and posts helpful resources (not project promotion) that includes streamed conversations, pro tips and webinars, as well as tangible emergency grants as they become available. They also tweet under the hashtag #ArtistResource.
The kind of emergency resources they disseminate address visual as well as performing artists and include emergency medical grants, programs for women artists and also grants that cover creatives whose day-jobs in the service and teaching sectors have been impacted.
The Artwork Archive blog keeps a similar list of opportunities with an emphasis on immediate financial relief from both charitable foundations and more personal, ad hoc and crowd-sourced resources, and with a tighter focus on visual artists and craftspeople. Like many such services, this is also a national effort rather than L.A.-specific. Some of what they list is specific to New York or Boston, but most of it is available nationwide, and the applications are not that difficult to navigate.
NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures) is physically based in San Antonio but has always operated nationally and continues to do so. They have started a clean and comprehensive spreadsheet where they list every relevant information source, grant opportunity and support network they can find and vet — and they are also actively soliciting new information and conducting an arts-organization community field survey to better understand and gather the most salient and up to date information possible.
The PhotoShelter blog lists resources and informational support with a focus on photographers and photojournalists.
Creative Capital (again, national) is also keeping a list, as well as collecting specific information on cancelled and postponed art events. The Artist + Activist Relief Fund is taking donations via GoFundMe and has already begun distributing $250 emergency grants. And the Kickstarter platform has created an archive of artist resources as well.
Closer to home, the Department of Cultural Affairs is in close partnership with the Mayor’s office to get basic general information on civic positions out to the community. When it comes to direct help and support for the creative community, they are a great source of at-home art activities for adults and children, home-school resources, accessible archives, and a host of ways to keep your cultural life on track while our social and economic lives are on temporary, necessary hold.
The League of Experimental and Immersive Artists (LEIA) has announced an emergency relief fund. And just today, the Long Beach Community Foundation opened its first round of disaster relief grants for artists.
The Weekly will continue to update our Arts & Culture Twitter, amplifying any resource, event or grant program that might help us get through this together.