Grassroots Campaign Provides Immediate Financial Relief to Westchester Artists Adversely Affected by Pandemic-Related Loss of Work
ArtsWestchester has launched an emergency fundraising campaign aimed at helping local artists and creatives who are the heart of Westchester’s cultural community. Janet Langsam, ArtsWestchester CEO explains, “Artists are hurting due to the abrupt loss of work due to the COVID-19 crisis. Artists throughout Westchester County are feeling the pinch of canceled gallery exhibits, darkened theatres, shuttered museums and no artist residences in closed schools and community sites.” The COVID-19 outbreak has dealt a $3.2 billion blow to America’s nonprofit arts sector as of mid-March*and much of these devastating losses are trickling down to creative practitioners locally with no end in sight. (*2020 national survey by Americans for the Arts.)
The ArtsWestchester Artist Relief Fund is seeking donations from members of the community to help provide fast relief to artists who are suffering from the loss of work due to cancelations resulting from the novel coronavirus. The goal of the campaign is to award much needed $500 grants to individual artists who live or maintain a studio in Westchester. People are encouraged to give to the ArtsWestchester GoFundMe Artist Relief Campaign to help Westchester artists during this crisis: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/awrelieffund
Langsam, continues: “We have all felt the power of the arts to touch our soul, heal our spirit and make us sing out loud. One thing is sure—we need the arts more than ever in times like these. Artists and creatives are at the heart of Westchester’s cultural community and our support for them remains strong, especially at this difficult time. As the County’s designated arts council, we have a responsibility to support local artists during these unprecedented times.”
The application process for artists will open on May 1, 2020 and will continue on a rolling basis. Submissions will be reviewed by ArtsWestchester Staff and the Grants Committee of ArtsWestchester’s Board of Directors. Donations will continue as long as funds are available from the public. Distribution of funds to artists will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The number of artists supported is directly dependent on how much funding is raised, so the public is asked to please share the fundraising effort widely with their social media networks.
ArtsWestchester is asking individuals and businesses to help support its efforts by contributing to the Artist Relief Fund GoFundMe Campaign: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/awrelieffund
For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to provide leadership vision and support to ensure the availability accessibility and diversity of the arts. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.