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Cultural Solidarity Coalition Opens Microgrant Applications for NYC Artists and Cultural Workers

Right now, 62% of arts and cultural workers are entirely unemployed, including more than 69% of Black and Indigenous artists and artists of color. Creative workers faced an average individual loss of $22,000 each in 2020. In response, NYC arts and cultural organizations created the new Cultural Solidarity Coalition to take care of their own communities. Now, the Cultural Solidarity Fund will award $500 relief microgrants to individual artists and cultural workers to ensure that they make it through this critical time. Applications will open for one week from February 26, 2021, at 9am, to March 5, 2021, at 5pm. The short application is estimated to take no more than 10 minutes to complete and will be available online in both English and Spanish at culturalsolidarityfund.org/get-a-grant.

The Cultural Solidarity Fund will initially open applications with $100,000 raised to support 200 artists and cultural workers. Organizations and individuals are invited to join the Coalition and increase the Fund's capacity by sponsoring one or more artists/cultural workers with a donation: culturalsolidarityfund.org/sponsor. If additional funds are received, a new round of grants and/or lottery will be announced weekly.

Cultural Solidarity Fund grants are open for artists and cultural workers who resided in the five boroughs of New York City as of April 1, 2020: Actors, Administrators, Choreographers, Custodians, Curators, Dancers, Designers, Directors, Drivers, Dramaturgs, Front of House, Guards, Janitors, Installers, Musicians, Playwrights, Production Managers, Receptionists, Technical Crew and Art Handlers, Stage Managers, Teaching Artists, Technicians, Ushers, Visual Artists, and anyone working in any capacity in the arts/cultural non-profit or community-based sector.

The Cultural Solidarity Fund aims to direct funds specifically to artists and cultural workers in most urgent need of assistance with rent, groceries, medical expenses, and other essential services. Priority will be given to applicants who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), immigrant, undocumented, and/or disabled/deaf as it is documented that COVID-19 has impacted these communities most severely.

Randi Berry, executive director of the Indie Theater Fund, says, "The Indie Theater Fund is thrilled to partner with the larger cultural community to create and operate the Cultural Solidarity Fund. Artists have been living on the edge since way before this pandemic. The global majority, immigrant and disabled artists have been excluded from support year after year, decade after decade. As a community we must join together to create a more fair and equitable environment for workers to thrive. This show of solidarity from cultural institutions, led by the incomparable LEIMAY, a small, indie arts organization, even under the most difficult circumstances, is a beautiful example of the world I want to live in."

Ximena Garnica, LEIMAY Artistic co-director, says, "As a small community-based artist-run organization, LEIMAY has spent the past two decades learning about the power of community and witnessing resilience through resource sharing. Spearheading this Cultural Solidarity Fund is both an act of action in solidarity with artists and cultural workers, and an opportunity to inspire coalition-building among art and cultural organizations of different sizes and structures."

The first round of funding will be announced by March 19, 2021. Details on eligibility, selection, and timeline are available at culturalsolidarityfund.org.



(19 February 2021)

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