COVID-19 Relief Effort Update: Inspiration from Artists

Published: April 24, 2020

Categories: COVID-19 | Featured

Artwork detail: Whitney Evans, 2018 GAP recipient

If you’re looking for a moment of inspiration to help you navigate this strange state we’ve all found ourselves in, look to artists. Artists of all disciplines are moving through this crisis with innovation, resilience, persistence, and the capacity to create community during a time of distance – no small feat! Here are just a few of the artists who are inspiring us: 

  • Rafael Soldia visual artist, curator, and 2016 Artist Trust GAP recipient, recently did a takeover of Artist Trust’s social media platformsRafael is continuing his artistic practice, photographing friends from a safe distance. He shared a selection of these images on our Instagram and Facebook stories and we encourage you to view them in our highlights. Rafael said, “These short, 5-minute interactions from afar are making a difference in restoring my sanity and feeding my creative energy.”  
  • Julia Wald, an illustrator and 2019 Artist Trust GAP recipient is collecting stories from members of the community that surrounds her – a homeless man, healthcare, and restaurant workers – and sharing them as comics. Each piece gives insight – sometimes amusing, sometimes heart wrenching– to the new normal we are living through.  We highly encourage you to check out her work.  
  • Christopher Icasiano, a percussionist, composer, and 2018 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient has been helping keep improv music alive even through social distancing. His band Bad Luck, with saxophonist Neil Welch, will open Racer Sessions: The Zoom Sessions Volume 5 at 4 pm this Sunday, April 26.  
  • Nhatt Nichols, a cartoonist based in Port Townsend, is also doing illustrative work. In a series called “Your Fears Drawn”Nhatt records people’s fears and hopes through this pandemic by transforming them into illustrations. These stories are relatable, powerful, and moving. Nhatt will be doing a social media takeover on our platforms this weekend – tune in to learn more about her work during this crisis.  

Tget sense of what artists have been experiencing, we invite you to view the results from our artist survey that we shared earlier this week. At the very start of the COVID-19 crisis, our team worked quickly to survey Washington State artists so we could understand the impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods and plan the best possible response. More than 1,000 Washington State artists of all disciplines responded between March 11-23, 2020. This early snapshot showed that more than 75% had already experienced income loss due to the virus, and more than 65% had canceled income-generating presentation opportunities. Financial need for artists in the face of COVID-19 was immediate, severe, and only continues to grow. You can find full survey results here. 

Artist Trust is responding on many fronts, and one of the most important has been rapid relief funding through The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund. Thanks to the support of over 360 generous donors, as of April 24, $350,000 in Artist Trust Relief Funding has reached 186 artists statewide. The need far outweighs available funding; to date over 2100 artists have applied for a total of more than $4.8 million in relief. At its current level, the Fund will be exhausted in 3-4 weeks 

While Artist Trust is activating this immediate and vital COVID-19 artist support, we’re also keeping an eye on the future. With the support of our community, we will stand with artists through the duration of COVID-19 crisis relief, recovery, and rebuilding. We hope artists know that the Artist Trust community will continue to be with artists, offering resources, connections, information, and opportunities through this crisis and beyond.  

We invite you to join us in support of this important work. To donate visit For artists seeking support, please visit