Here is a list of resources dedicated to the economic impact of the coronavirus on the cultural sector.
Organizations offer grants for emergency care, while other groups use crowdsourcing data to quantify the impact of the health crisis on the culture-related labour market.
The Boston Artist Aid Foundation, CERF+ Emergency Assistance and Artist Relief Tree are some of the initiatives that hope to help cultural workers affected by Flickr Coronavirus.
As the financial impact on cultural workers in the U.S. and the U.K. begins to grow due to concerns about coronavirus proliferation, The Art Newspaper has compiled an initial list of grants and other resources currently directed toward artists and cultural producers.
Emergency grants for artists and writers
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has compiled an exhaustive list of emergency grants for artists and writers, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation partnered with the organization to launch a new grant program to help professional artists in need of medical care, with a $5,000 one-time grant to provide emergency medical care in the event of a medical emergency. The timing of the grant “unfortunately coincided with the increased threat to the global community posed by Covid-19,” says a spokesperson for The Art Newspaper. The goal of the grant is “to provide artists with peace of mind in times of stress and to help them return to the creative life as quickly as possible.
Some organizations, such as CERF+ Emergency Assistance, a non-profit organization, have refocused their aid program on cases involving coronaviruses and artists in need of intensive medical care. “We are thinking of an artistic community that deals with canceled exhibitions, exhibits, and conferences; living with so much unknown and lost income is not an easy task,” the group said in a statement.
The Boston Artist Relief Fund also says the next round of grants will focus on Boston artists “whose work and income are negatively impacted by the coronavirus,” the fund said in a statement. “With the cancellation of all activities aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19, people who earn some or all of their income from concerts and freelance work are losing critical opportunities to maintain their well-being.
Members of the New York-based non-profit organization A Blade of Grass, which supports the socially active arts, “are discussing within our network and with specific solutions to develop others over the next few weeks options for the online platform to enable us to continue paying royalties to artists, writers, activists, and scholars, many of whom are freelancers and devastated by the loss of these opportunities in the coming months,” said the spokesperson. “Right now, we feel that the most useful thing we can do is to send money that artists can use for things like rent and food, and later turn to the reality of projects that will need to be massively reorganized and scaled up,” adds Deborah Fisher, CEO.
Meanwhile, the non-profit organization Pen America says it is “working to strengthen” its emergency fund for writers in response to the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the literary community. The emergency fund provides about $2,000 to published or produced writers, depending on the situation and level of need. “This grant existed before the crisis, but we are working to replenish it now,” says a spokesperson for the organization, which plans to share more details in the coming weeks.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Creative Capital launched a permanent resource list for artists. There are also recently launched websites such as Covid-19 and Freelance Artists, which provide a rolling list of financial resources, advocacy and legal and information, crowdfunding efforts and general information about the coronavirus. The Brooklyn Arts Council has also launched a digital resource booklet on health, finance and other information for artists.
The London-based Seb’s Art List project also launched a platform containing information and resources for those affected by the Coronavirus in the art community in London, including an open call list, health tips and links for work and employees. The platform is “a place where anyone who works in the art world and in other countries can come, stay connected and be heard,” says its founder Max Mallows.
Marguerite London, a social group for women in the visual arts, has launched a contact list to link creators to available jobs and concerts. “Since we had to cancel our [online] events for the foreseeable future, it was important to act quickly to provide an alternative space where people of all genders could come together to support each other in these difficult times,” said Joanna Payne, the band’s founder, in an interview with The Art Newspaper. “It’s a pity these circumstances caused such a forum, but we are already in seventh heaven happy to be able to offer a service that works for both employers and employees.
Last week also saw the launch of several crowdfunding campaigns, including the Artist Relief Tree (ART), which raised more than $172,000 and plans to distribute 250 donations to artists in line once it reaches its $250,000 goal.
Surveys to measure the economic impact of coronavirus
The Artists’ Literacies Institute has issued a document inviting artists and cultural workers without salaries to register their jobs, as well as projected income and losses caused by the coronavirus. The Organization also encourages event organizers to share this document with the workers concerned. It plans to share the data with art organizations and sponsors to show the extent of the impact of the outbreak.
“Our society proclaims a love of art and culture and the well-to-do use their donations to culture as badges of honor, but what we’ve set up is a system where we work out of ‘love’ for what we do, and those who ’support’ the arts do so without establishing any kind of security or sustainability for the people who make it,” says Andrew Freiband, the founder and director of the Artists’ Literacies Institute. “Our goal in aggregating the artist, freelance and creative gig worker data is to share it with arts organizations who can pass it to funders, such as governments, foundations, private donors and etc, to ensure that relief funding is at a scale proportionate to need.”
A non-profit organization, Americans for the Arts, also launched a survey to assess the impact of the Coronavirus on U.S. art and culture, and the Brooklyn Arts Council has released its own survey to assess the impact on Brooklyn artists and arts organizations.