Over the past several weeks, we have seen many relief funding mechanisms come together for the small business community throughout the United States. These have ranged from mini-grants to larger scaled loan programs. It seems that many of these funds started to grow once the Federal stimulus package was created.
Artists are businesses too. They have the same needs as other small businesses, but sometimes are not taken as seriously because of the nature of their business. These artists solely make their income from displaying or sharing their art in person. Whether it is a music playing a festival or event or a painter showing their work at a gallery, these artists are dependent on the personal connection and since COVID-19 has halted any gatherings, the livelihood of this industry has also been silenced.
Temporarily or not, any disruption an artist experiences can be a severe one as many artists are normally underpaid and therefore some have to live from gig to gig. It is the reality of being a full time artist.
Fortunately, the artist community is responding in many different ways.
Artists are forcing to reinvent themselves by moving to a virtual platform and offering concerts, both solo or with video conferencing with other isolated artists. We are seeing musical concerts from local musicians to world-renown musical acts. Many musicians are playing for free and some are asking for donations so that they can continue their efforts.
Artist organizations around the country are trying to do their part and help those same artists that may be experiencing dire financial issues. Check out some of these resources as well as what some of the bigger foundations are doing in response to COVID-19:
COVID-19 & Freelance Artists
The American for the Arts has created a survey for gathering critical information of each artist so that they can share their story so that they can be supported through this crisis. Click here to access the survey.