A periodic round-up of news for artists related to the COVID-19 crisis.
Over $264,000,000 Mass Cultural Council collected data from nearly 700 organizations and learned that cultural organizations have lost more than $264,000,000 in revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The losses impact over 15,000 employees. Read our report.
Assistance We are offering our COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals (deadline: April 22, 2020), $1,000 grants to individual artists and independent teaching artists/scientists/humanists who have lost revenue due to COVID-19. If you are eligible, please apply. But also keep in mind the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a range of assistance programs for residents, from healthcare to food assistance to housing resources.
FAQs for CARES Act Unemployment If you’re a self-employed artist interested in applying for special unemployment benefits made possible through the federal CARES Act, check out the FAQs for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) just published by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance. As of today, the platform through which to apply for those benefits is not ready (UPDATED 4/20/2020: the online PUA application is now available).
Arts and Culture in the Virtual Realm Massachusetts artists and cultural organizations are continuing to find ways to connect through art. Some examples:
- The annual Massachusetts College of Art and Design Auction has moved entirely online. (Speaking of MassArt, Greg Cook reports that the school will temporarily house area medical staff in its empty dorm units.)
- TransCultural Exchange is a Massachusetts-based organization focuses on international exchange through the arts, most visibly through its biennale International Conference on Opportunities in the Arts. The organization has issued a call to artists to participate in its Hello World project – learn more.
- Arts Extension Service of UMass Amherst is offering an online class, Grantwriting for the Arts, starting July 6
- Art World Conference is offering a free, online workshop for artists: Taxes for Artists, Freelancers, and Creative Businesses with Hannah Cole (4/21, 5 PM).
- Grub Street Writers Artistic Director Christopher Castellani (a 2016 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow) is offering free Write On prompts – find the first one.
Mass Poets The video embedded above is In This Place (An American Lyric), a poem by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, performed by 16 Massachusetts poets. It’s a project of Mass Poetry. The poets include our awardees Amy Dryansky (Poetry Fellow ’18, ’12), Jennifer Martelli (Poetry Fellow ’00), Richard Michelson (Poetry Fellow ’16), and Karen Skolfield (Poetry Fellow ’14), and the videographer is Somerville-based Paula Champagne. The video was supposed to be unveiled at Mass Poetry’s annual An Evening of Inspired Leaders event – one of many gatherings canceled amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Please watch and share widely.