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Donate: Emergency Relief Fund for AZ Artists and Arts Professionals

by Artlink Inc.
Arts & Culture Community Artlink Inc. April 2, 2020

A message from Downtown Phoenix Inc.: Downtown Phoenix was built on the arts, and now more than ever the artists and arts professional that have spent their lives enriching ours need our support. If you’ve ever been inspired, impacted, moved by or simply enjoyed the arts and culture of our community, we encourage you to please donate what your budget allows.


As part of broader crisis response strategies, Arizona arts funders and service organizations have set up a collaborative fund to provide emergency relief grants of $500-$1,500 to artists and arts professionals experiencing cancelled events and residencies or terminated contracts due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to make an online donation to the fund.

Based on the experiences of other communities with similar funds, it’s expected that the number of artists and arts professionals applying for funds will significantly outpace the funds that are initially available.

The grant is open to individual residents of Arizona, 18 years of age or older, whose primary source of income is related to artistic production, teaching artist residencies, arts and cultural events, or contract work with nonprofit arts organizations. The online application will open Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Additional information can be found at azarts.gov.

The Emergency Relief Fund for Arizona Artists and Arts Professionals has been initially seeded with $130,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation (using funding already dedicated to individual artist support), and another $25,000 from other partners. The submission process will be managed by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona. Other generous fund partners include Artlink Inc., the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, and the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

According to Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the fund addresses an urgent need.

“Some have balked at relief for the creative sector in this crisis. Let me be clear: this relief is about human beings who make up a significant percentage of our workforce, who are among the least likely to have employer-based healthcare, and who are facing unprecedented loss of income due to widespread cancellation of events and contracts. Every artist and creative sector worker that I know has to buy groceries, care for kids or elders, and pay rent and utilities and taxes, while contributing outsized benefits to our civic and economic life, lifelong learning and community wellbeing.”

Dempsey added, “Already in this crisis, artists and creatives have stepped up—adapting their work to virtual platforms, providing educational opportunities for our kids at home, and discovering new creative ways to engage our elders from a safe distance. Make no mistake, when we begin to navigate a recovery, artists’ skills—to adapt, invent, inspire, to imagine and reimagine—will be more valuable, more essential to our collective human cause, than ever before.”

Beyond this program of support for individuals, several Arizona arts funders and service organizations have begun rolling out relief strategies for arts and cultural organizations, with additional collaborative support strategies in development.

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