The Artist Relief Fund, a national coalition of art donors that distributes $ 5,000 grants to creative professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, has allocated $ 13.5 million to 2,700 people since April.
Now, thanks to additional funding from partners such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the coalition announced Thursday that it will continue to distribute grants throughout the year.
Additional contributions, including $ 2.5 million from the Mellon Foundation and $ 1 million from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a San Francisco music festival, bring the total raised to nearly $ 20 million. The Mellon Foundation also donated $ 5 million to the first $ 1
The fund is managed by seven national artists – Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation and United States Artists.
The coalition said it has focused on tackling structural barriers to access to grants for disabled artists, people of color, those in low-income communities and other vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Of the 2,700 allocated so far, 48 per cent are women, 24 per cent are black, 14 per cent are Latinos and 13 per cent are members of indigenous groups.
Since April, a Covid-19 survey has been administered by the non-profit organization Americans for the Arts. shows that 62 per cent of the artists in the country lost all employment due to coronavirus, 95 per cent experienced a loss of income and 80 per cent of the artists surveyed do not yet have a plan to recover from the crisis.
The fund has received more than 130,000 applications. It distributes an average of 100 out of $ 5,000 grants per week.
Although individuals can only receive one grant, they can reapply if they are not elected immediately, said a spokesman, Adam Abdalla.