When COVID-19 hit, we heard from artists who were suffering immediate income loss. To best serve these artists in crisis, we quickly pivoted our work to COVID-19 relief, pressing pause on “business as usual,” including our merit-based grant programs. In March, we launched The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund and focused solely on this rapid relief work. In July, we announced we were pausing the Fund, as we had disbursed all the donated funding.
Thanks to a generous $25,000 donation to the Fund from The Gatherings Project, Artist Trust has been able to provide a final round of COVID-19 Relief Funding for Washington State artists. Due to this gift along with other support, $30,000 reached 34 artists this week. Since March, our Relief Fund has provided nearly $700,000 to more than 430 artists across the State. This would not have been possible without the support of donors like The Gatherings Project and so many others, including artists. Our community of donors has shown tremendous commitment to standing with Washington State artists.
This will be the final funding round of this iteration of The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund. At this time, all the money donated has been distributed to artists. Artist Trust was one of the first providers of COVID-19 relief funding for artists. Over the duration of most of this year, our small team worked tirelessly to raise and distribute these funds while offering crisis-responsive programming. Since then, other relief funds have emerged, including the national effort artistrelief.org. We are now evaluating our COVID-19 response work, including how we can continue to support rapid relief funding for artists in the future. We are also moving forward with our core programs, including grantmaking, and will distribute $90,000 through our Fellowship award in the New Year.
We recognize that the financial fallout from this crisis is ongoing and that this pandemic will have long-term effects on artists and their communities. If you are an artist in need of immediate relief, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page to learn more about current funds offered by other organizations, resources, and opportunities. We will continue to amplify other relief funds and organizations providing support to artists through our website, newsletters, and social media. Artist Trust is here for artists.
We have learned so much as an organization throughout this process. Next month, we’ll share those takeaways with you. Stay tuned!