Grants available to artists due to health crisis

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 9:30am
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The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts submitted the following announcement to The Block Island Times:

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), in cooperation with the Rhode Island Foundation and the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, is launching a fund to help Rhode Island artists who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Artist Relief Fund will provide grants of up to $1,000 to artists who are in financial distress as a result of the health crisis. Guidelines and the application are posted at https://risca.online/grants/artistrelieffund/ . Applications can be submitted at any time and awards will be made on a weekly basis until funds are exhausted.

Initial contributions to the fund are approximately $100,000, with more expected to follow.  Donations to the Artist Relief Fund can be made at https://www.artistcommunities.org/arf . The Fund will be managed by the Alliance of Artists Communities in Providence.

This crisis has significantly affected individual artists, many of whom are living paycheck to paycheck. The declared State of Emergency and orders from the Governor to stem the spread of the pandemic have affected the ability of the arts community, and particularly individual artists, to perform, teach, make and sell a wide variety of art during the period when all Rhode Islanders are ordered to stay at home and avoid crowds.

"I'm incredibly grateful for this effort and for all who have stepped up to support Rhode Island's vibrant arts community during this difficult time," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "The arts are integral to our state's cultural identity and make up a critical sector of our economy. This is just one way Rhode Islanders can help our state through this crisis."

“Individual artists tend not to be covered under the standard safety net programs available to others, and they are having trouble paying rent, feeding themselves and their family and paying for basic necessities as their work is canceled over the next few weeks or months,” said Neil D. Steinberg, President and CEO of the Foundation.

“In spite of unprecedented challenges, our creative community continues to inspire us daily,“ said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Art and design are the heart and soul of the Creative Capital, and I’m proud to collaborate with local and state partners to offer much needed relief for artists and community partners who power the creative economy.”

Artists interested in this funding opportunity should reach out to Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artists Program Director at the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, at Mollie.Flanagan@arts.ri.gov.