Artist Trust Announces a New Phase of The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund

Artwork detail: Eliaichi Kimaro, 2018 Fellowship Award Recipient

February 3, 2021 – Artist Trust’s board of trustees and staff announce a new phase of COVID-19 relief funding for Washington State artists, with $100,000 available to seed funding for a minimum of 100 artists at $1,000 each. To support this effort visit www.artisttrust.org/donate or contact Development@ArtistTrust.org for more information. Artists interested in applying will find the application live on Artist Trust’s website on Friday, March 5, with more information forthcoming at artisttrust.org in the coming weeks.

The $100,000 in seed funding for 2021 was made possible by generous donors to Artist Trust at year-end. “Thanks to our donors’ continued generous support, Artist Trust ended 2020 over $100,000 ahead of our fundraising goal for the year,” said Cezanne Garcia, president, Artist Trust Board of Trustees. “Once we assessed our position in January, our staff and board moved quickly to use these funds to create this second wave of emergency financial support for artists. We are proud to serve artists through this mission-critical work and invite the community to join us.”

Donors are invited to help us grow this fund through March 3, with 100% of donations directly supporting Washington State artists in need. The application for funding will open on March 5, 2021, with a deadline of March 26. Funding will be distributed in early April. Washington State artists of all disciplines who have been affected by COVID-19 financially and have not yet received funding from the Artist Trust COVID-19 Relief Fund are invited to apply, with priority given to individuals who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including artists from historically marginalized communities, BIPOC artists, artists who are immunocompromised, and artists who identify as LGBTQ. Applications will be reviewed by the Artist Trust program team using a scoring rubric developed through collaboration with local and national partners in artist relief funding.

Beginning in early March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic set in, Artist Trust went into immediate action, raising funds from the community and creating the COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund. By November, with the community’s support, nearly $750,000 had reached 429 artists of all disciplines across twenty Washington State counties. This was followed by a period of evaluation and planning for the next phase of this critical source of support for Washington State artists. A full report on this work, including recipient and applicant demographics, is forthcoming.

“This is a really scary time, and the support [I received] relieves some of the anxiety from not knowing where my next paychecks are coming from,” said Christopher Icasiano, Seattle-based percussionist, composer, and 2020 Relief Fund recipient.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues into the New Year, Washington State artists remain in need of additional financial support not available from other sources. Working Artists continue to see unemployment at rates significantly above the national average — more than 50 percent of performing artists were out of work in the third quarter of 2020, a time when the national unemployment rate was at just 8.5 percent (Source: NYTIMES). While recovery from this crisis may be on the horizon, artists and their families need additional direct financial support now.

Help the COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund increase its reach in 2021 by supporting Washington State artists now. To donate in support of artists’ urgent needs, visit www.artisttrust.org/donate.