(Sarah Bahr’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/24; Photo: Elizabeth Alexander, the president of the Mellon Foundation, said, “We continue to call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to illuminate our path forward.”Credit…Djeneba Aduayom; via Pam Green.)
Creative professionals can receive $5,000 grants through the end of the year, thanks to additional funding by the Mellon Foundation and others.
The Artist Relief fund, a national coalition of arts grantmakers that distributes $5,000 grants to creative professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, has awarded $13.5 million to 2,700 individuals since April.
Now, thanks to additional funding from partners like the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the coalition announced Thursday that it will continue to distribute grants through the end of the year.
The 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 provided a $5 million seed gift to the initial $10 million pool the fund started with.
“Over the last six months, we have witnessed artists face extraordinary fiscal challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” Elizabeth Alexander, the president of the Mellon Foundation, said. “We continue to call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to illuminate our path forward from this prolonged pandemic.”
Artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers and other creative professionals who are 18 and older and facing “dire financial emergencies” because of the pandemic can apply for a $5,000 grant. The organization said that applicants demonstrating the most severe needs in four categories — rent, food, medical, and dependent care — will be prioritized.
The fund is administered by seven national arts grantmakers — the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation and United States Artists.