Image credit: Jade Solomon Curtis, 2017 Fellowship Award Recipient
“I want to let creativity win over fear, even though the times are uncertain. No matter what the outcome I don’t want fear to break my creative spirit.” – Washington State Artist, response to Artist Trust’s COVID-19 Impact Survey
Washington State artists were among the first to face career disruption and financial loss from the COVID-19 crisis. As gig economy workers whose revenue sources are deeply tied to the events and service industries, it quickly became clear that artists needed rapid response from Artist Trust to cover essentials, and they needed support now. That’s why we went straight to work serving one of our organization’s primary purposes: raising funds to support artists.
On Friday, March 20, thanks to the generosity of our growing coalition of donors, Artist Trust launched the COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund to give direct support to Washington State artists facing financial crisis. Within three days of starting this program, more than 1,000 artists statewide applied for over $1.9 million in funding requests. On Friday, March 27, Artist Trust will provide $100,000 in much-needed relief funding to artists across the state, with the goal to distribute funding on a weekly basis throughout this triage period. It is our hope that this financial support will help artists cover basic daily needs to make life a bit easier during this challenging time. Clearly this is just a first step: the need is great and we must continue to raise funds in order to be with artists through COVID-19 immediate relief, recovery, and rebuilding.
Our work continues – In addition to triage through rapid relief funds, Artist Trust is keeping an eye to the future so we can stand alongside artists through the duration of COVID-19 crisis and beyond. To join us in support of these efforts, please consider donating today at https://artisttrust.org/donate/. For more information on Artist Trust’s COVID-19 relief efforts, visit https://artisttrust.org/covid-19-response/.