We’ll continue to do periodic round-ups of news of interest to artists, related to the COVID-19 crisis.
The image posted above is Watermelon by Zach Horn (Drawing & Printmaking Finalist ’20). It struck the ArtSake staff as particularly appealing right now with its suggestions of summery socializing, picnic cuisine, and an all-around warmth and vibrancy (even in graphite, it feels bright) that might be otherwise missing right now.
CARES Act We recognize that artists often operate as freelancers, contractors, and gig workers, and that COVID-19 has had a profound effect on these opportunities. On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act (H.R.748) became law. The bill creates a “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” program that allows self-employed people, freelancers, and contractors to apply for unemployment assistance. The program is set to run through the end of this year. The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is holding Virtual Town Halls in the upcoming days to better understand applying for unemployment assistance. Learn more and sign up for a town hall.
Legislative Listening Session Mass Cultural Council is hosting an online legislative listening session with State Senator Edward Kennedy and State Representative Paul McMurtry, Co-Chairs of the Tourism, Arts, & Cultural Development Committee, along with MASSCreative. The forum, which will focus on the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the Commonwealth’s cultural sector, takes place Thursday, April 2, 2020, 1 PM.
Culture Chats Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker is holding online Culture Chats to highlight creative strategies our sector is developing to adapt to the current realities. This week, she’s chatting with Kristen Sherman, Director of Development for Rehearsal for Life (3/31, 1 PM), Christopher Schroeder, Executive Director of the Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program (4/1, 1 PM), and Eric Booth, international teaching artist (4/3, 1 PM).
Virtual Connections Artists are finding innovative solutions to social distancing. Grub Street Writers, for instance, has moved its educational offerings for writers to Remote and Online Classes. They’re also offering free, live video versions of Happy Hour Writing and Brown Bag Lunch writing sessions.
Got to Be Home The Gottabees is a Boston-area company that produces innovative and creative theatre for family audiences, incorporating puppetry, movement, and music. Needless to say, Bonnie Duncan of The Gottabees would rather be performing with an in-person audience. But since that’s not possible right now, she and her troupe are producing a weekly video and activities called Try This at Home. If you’ve got any young ones (or young-at-heart ones) in your current shelter-in-place, check it out.
Webinar for Filmmakers The Center for Independent Documentaries hosts webinars with great information for filmmakers, and in April, they’re hosting a free webinar with National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Senior Program Officer David Weinstein discussing applications for NEH Media Grants (4/23, 12:30 PM).
Online Workshops for Artists Creative Capital has launched a series of free online workshops, Coping with COVID, designed to help artists mitigate the effects of the pandemic and economic situation.
Related reading: check out our COVID-19 Funding for Artists and COVID-19 Resources and Info for Artists posts. Also, read Staying Connected in the Face of COVID-19 on Mass Cultural Council’s Power of Culture blog.
Image: Zach Horn (Drawing & Printmaking Finalist ’20), WATERMELON (2018), graphite on Stonehenge, 35×47 in.