Artist Resources During Covid
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
By Gizara Arts
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What resources have you, as artists successfully applied to? Have you received any financial assistance? Please share your experiences and results so we can help each other- please post your comments below.

While social distancing and lockdowns are the right moves to protect the health of our communities, the complete picture of the financial repercussions are still unknown. With canceled exhibitions, classes, conferences and workshops over the span of a very short time, many artists are feeling the stress of lost income and an uncertain future. 

In the face of the unknown, artists have, unsurprisingly, gotten creative about how they are changing their artistic practice. However, if you, like many, are finding that you need additional financial resources to get you through this time, there are emergency grants available for artists. 

We, like many other arts organizations right now, have compiled a list of emergency resources for artists as well an ongoing list of crowdfunding efforts to provide financial relief for artists.

If you have a resource that we haven’t mentioned, please send us an email and we will add it to the list. This is an evolving list that we will be over the next few weeks. 


Emergency Grants for Artists


CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund)

CERF+ provides rapid relief and career recovery loans through their own grants (for artists working in craft disciplines) as well as a list of emergency resources for artists in other disciplines. Additionally, CERF+ just launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to support artists working in craft disciplines. "This fund is essential to our rapid and effective response to those artists who are suffering severe health impacts from the coronavirus, ensuring that CERF+ has the funds necessary to respond to this unprecedented crisis," said CERF in an email release. If you are able, please donate to the CERF+ COVID-19 Response Fund.

Artists' Charitable Fund

Colorado-based Artists' Charitable Fund assists American visual fine artists (painters and sculptors) living anywhere in the United States by paying a portion of their medical/dental/eye-care bills. For example, the Fund has purchased a wheelchair, paid for eye surgery, provided funding for an artificial leg, paid partial medical expenses of several artists who have cancer, as well as other needs for medical assistance. You can find out more about the fund as well as donate here

Artists' Fellowship, Inc.

The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship.

The organization defines eligibility to “Professional” is defined as those visual artists who make their livelihood through sales as reported on a Schedule C with a U.S. Federal tax return. An active exhibition history is also an important part of documenting “professional.” You can find the application here.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

Emergency Grants offers immediate assistance to artists that have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding. Artists should be living and working anywhere in the United States, though projects can occur in the U.S. and abroad.

Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Grants range in amount from $500 to $2,500, and the average grant is now $1,600.

These grants do not cover life-related emergencies such as food, rent, medical bills, childcare, and other basic necessities, reimbursement for expenses that you have already incurred, or projects with no scheduled exhibition or performance dates, so look closely at the requirements and limitations.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts 

The Foundation will disburse $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 virus.

American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund– (USA)

Any AGMA member in good standing is entitled and encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the AGMA Relief Fund. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need.

Haven Foundation

The Haven Foundation provides financial assistance up to  $10,000 to artists who have a health crisis; grants are one-year, and the financial amount provided is to the discretion of the Foundation. Grants can be renewed up to four more years, with a supplemental application. Read the guidelines for application here.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation partnered to offer a new medical emergency aid program for artists. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses. There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020. 

National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER)

NCAPER is a voluntary task force of national, regional, state, and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations, NCAPER helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses have the capacity and ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.

Sustainable Arts Foundation
Awards supporting artists and writers with families with up to $6,000.

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund

If you are a musician who has lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, this new grant provides monetary support to musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Anonymous Was a Woman Relief Grants

This grant allows women-identifying artists to apply for up to $2,500 for financial hardships from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. The application opens April 6.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

This emergency fund can provide up to $200 for people of color that are either working artist or art administration and are affected by COVID-19.

The Creator Fund

ConvertKit has established a fund to help creators in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have already received more applications than they have funding, but encourage creators to still apply.

Kinkade Family Foundation Emergency Grant for Curators

This emergency grant provides funding for a curatorial project that sheds light on the world during this time of darkness. Priority will be given to curators who have a venue secured for their project and are greatly impacted by the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19.

The Photographer Fund

Format has put together a $25,000 relief fund designed to help photographers facing financial difficulties during the outbreak. The fund offers $500 per person.

Art Interrupted Emergency Arts Fund

Twenty Summer launched an emergency fund for artists and arts organizations suffering from unexpected and unmanageable financial loss as a result of the COVID-19. Artists can receive up to $500, while arts organizations can receive up to $1,000.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council 

The Emergency Fund for Artists will now provide up to $500 in assistance to artists experiencing loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Emergency Fund also remains available for other unforeseen emergencies that may impact your ability to work, such as flood, theft, or fire.

Artist Relief

To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States. Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists. Check out the FAQs and apply here.

Countering Hate with Art

The Slants Foundation is seeking art that sparks conversations about anti-Asian racism using compassion and empathy in an unconventional manner. More specifically, these are works that resemble an open letter to those who are directing negative and hateful acts towards Asians and Asian Americans. While their actions are not tolerated, we understand that hate is often fueled by pain, ignorance, and shame. We are looking for works of art that can build bridges with others by exploring ideas through an open letter. Multiple grants of $250 are available for new or existing work that meet the criteria. For more information, visit:


This article was published from this informative website: Please visit it for more helpful resources and support for artists.



Financial Relief Resources for Artists During COVID

What Inspires and Influences You As An Artist?
Saturday, April 18, 2020
By Gizara Arts
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What Inspires you and as Influences you as an Artist?


Please feel free to post your inspirations in the comment section of this blog! Here are my inspirations:

 The very first piece of modern art that inspired me as a child was Chicago PicassoI was only 8 at the time, and I had never been dwarfed by a sculpture, and one that was abstract in nature. My mother patiently described Picasso's work to me and said "Not everything has to look exactly as it does in real life. All things are open to interpretation and inspire artists to make new things." 

"The Chicago Picasso (often just The Picasso) is an untitled monumental sculpture by Pablo Picasso in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture, dedicated on August 15, 1967, in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop, is 50 feet (15.2 m) tall and weighs 162 short tons (147 t).[1] The Cubist sculpture by Picasso was the first such major public artwork in Downtown Chicago, and has become a well-known landmark."

A painting that mesmerizes me to this day is George Inness' Sunset, Montclair, 1892. As I stood transfixed by the painting, I could actually feel the heat of the setting sun as it turns golden and melted into the landscape. I saw this painting for the first time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC when I was just graduating from art school. It was a retrospective of the American painter, who was a part of the Hudson River School. But he took his expression a step further into the realm of painting best known as Romantic Realism. He leaves many things un-painted and obscured which imbues a feeling of mystery and magic into his moody landscape paintings. 

I used to be a realistic painter of New England Landscapes- but I have been an abstract painter now for over 30 years. My favorite painter is Joan Mitchell, and her painting East Ninth Street- 1956. This painting's explosion of color and frantic, yet intentional brush strokes embodies what I would like to achieve with my abstract landscape paintings. I study her fantastic and expressionistic paintings often- they help me loosen up my own compositions and remind me to trust my own process and creative expressions.

I traveled to Italy many years ago and wandered into the town of Orvieto- just north of Rome. In the center of town is the Orvieto Duomo: The Orvieto Cathedral Literally Took My Breath Away! The entire front facade of the cathedral is adorned with an ornate mosaic of tiny tiles.  And imbued into the mosaic are tiles made of pure gold. The church faces west and as the sun sets, the pieces of gold reflect back the golden light of the sun inviting everyone to come and see its magnificence. It is truly breathtaking. I wandered inside on a hots summer day and settled in a pew, my skin feeling cool in moments in the hushed stillness. It took me a very long tome to take in all of the beauty. I think I sat for an hour, as time stood still. I marveled at all of the people that must have come together to create such beautiful piece of history.

"Orvieto Cathedral (ItalianDuomo di Orvieto; Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta) is a large 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and situated in the town of Orvieto in Umbria, central Italy. Since 1986, the cathedral in Orvieto has been the episcopal seat of the former Diocese of Todi as well."

 Ultimately, and most consistently, the beauty of nature inspires me. I find beauty in light, in trees, in the clouds every day. I have put one of my abstract landscapes as the last photo here it's part of The Cosmos Series. Please feel free to share what inspires you too!



The Beauty of Black & White Photography
Wednesday, April 08, 2020
By Gizara Arts
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"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." Ansel Adams

There are days when it is just too beautiful outside to stay inside. Nature is so grounding, and in these times of the Corona Virus, it is so important to stay centered. Nothing grounds me and comforts me like nature. Tell me how you stay centered in times like theses by posting a comment. And stay safe fellow artists!

The Cosmos Series
Tuesday, April 07, 2020
By Gizara Arts
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I started the "Cosmos Series" in the hope that the paintings would help to foster a rebirth. A rebirth in terms of my going back to color, the birth of a new series, the birth of a new beginning. I have been painting for over 30 years now, and I seldom dictate what my paintings are going to look like. But they do appear out of a somewhat peaceful place of creation. I just try to not overthink them, and get out of the way and let them come through me. Let me know what you think of this new series, I would like to complete 10. Staying at home during this Covid virus crisis, the theme of this series seems very appropriate. The hope that all will be well again. 


“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Einstein

Creativity amid the Coronavirus: how Local Artists are Enduring the Crisis
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
By Gizara Arts
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Artist Nico Sauceda spends time with his youngest son, Epic, 18 months, as they create art at their home in Huntington Beach on Thursday. Sauceda’s regular job is at a custom framing store, but he’s off for at least a month because of the coronavirus outbreak.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

As the coronavirus pandemic pummels industries across the globe, one group of professionals is particularly hard hit. Yet it may be the most practiced at spinning beauty from bleakness.

With honed tenacity and perseverance, many artists continue to do what they do best: make art.

“It truly is some sort of blessing in disguise,” said Nico Sauceda, 28, a painter in Huntington Beach. “I’m able to not think about the worries of work and get to focus and hone all my skills.”

State and local directives calling for nonessential businesses to close put Sauceda’s job at Gorman Framing in Costa Mesa on hold for at least a month. Now, instead of squeezing his painting into late-night hours after putting his three children to bed — sometimes staying up until 3 or 4 a.m. before returning to the store by 8 a.m. — his creativity has space to breathe.

“There is something I’m looking forward to” Sauceda said. “It’s really a gift.”

Paintings of Americana trucks, landscapes and food by artist Anthony Salvo, of Costa Mesa, at the Fe
Paintings of vintage vehicles and landscapes by artist Anthony Salvo of Costa Mesa are displayed at the 2019 Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. The summer festival is Salvo’s biggest annual revenue source. 
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)


The struggle

But no amount of creative time can completely buffer artists from the economic suffering afflicting the arts industry.

“Now that the stock market’s taken a crash, people are not going to want to buy art because it’s sort of a luxury, it’s not a necessity,” said Anthony Salvo, 60, an oil painter who owns a studio in Newport Beach.

When the arts flourish, so do surrounding industries. Think of the crowds flooding downtown Laguna Beach after a day at the summer art festivals. Or the gallery visitors going to cafes and other shops on Newport’s Balboa Peninsula. Or the theater-goers visiting Costa Mesa for dinner and a show.

In a strong economy, art and cultural activity can contribute as much as 4.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product, as it did in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But as the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis has burgeoned, the market to display and sell art has vanished. Musicians can’t go to theaters, restaurants or bars to play. Museums and galleries are closed. Weddings — and the related industry of designers, florists and photographers — are being canceled. The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa announced Wednesday that all shows through April are canceled or postponed. The Laguna Playhouse is closed until further notice.

For many artists, the sudden evaporation of venues and events has decimated their income. According to an Americans for the Arts economic impact survey, artists and arts organizations and agencies across the United States had lost $3.6 billion as of Thursday.

In California, 96% of the 411 organizations that responded to the survey said they had canceled events, contributing to $5.7 million of economic loss to the industry statewide.

Salvo is holding his breath that the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach will still open in July as scheduled. Like many festival artists, the two-month festival is his biggest show and largest revenue source of the year.

“They either buy your work there or they find you and buy it later,” Salvo said of festival-goers. “It’s just a great exposure for an artist to be in that show. So if that cancels, it’s not good.” 

‘We can help each other’

Resources for struggling creatives have popped up in various ways. On Friday, it was monetary. The $2-trillion federal stimulus deal that President Trump signed Friday includes $75 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities and $50 million to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The National Endowment for the Arts has compiled a list of various organizations offering resources for struggling creatives. One of those, “COVID-19 Freelance Artists Resources,” gained steam online with a series of panels about how to apply for emergency funding, quantify work lost and learn other financial best practices.

The coronavirus pandemic coincided with the California Arts Council’s annual grant program, which the council next week will consider adjusting to accommodate artists affected by the virus.

“We know the arts and culture fields are particularly vulnerable to the economic repercussions of the emergency. With public events canceled and revenue sources for organizations and individual artists severely threatened, we are among the most impacted sectors in the U.S.,” Council Chairwoman Nashormeh Lindo and Executive Director Anne Bown-Crawford said in a statement on the CAC website. “But we are also one of the most innovative sectors, and together we will find our way through this moment.”

Locally, exhibitors at the Festival of Arts have been contributing for years to a nonprofit Artists Fund to help those in their community who “don’t earn enough to afford healthcare or to put aside funds to carry them through a personal or natural disaster.” Similarly, the Sawdust Art Festival stewards an “artists’ benevolence fund” to help any working artist in Laguna Beach.

Individuals are stepping up too. Costa Mesa resident Salina Mendoza, 28, paints and designs socks and fanny packs, but during the day she works at consulting firm Brix Labs. When she began hearing from artist friends about their diminishing incomes, she decided to leverage her tech income, put her artwork on a half-off sale and donate all the proceeds to artists in need.

“They make art because they love it. This is them. This is sacred,” said Mendoza, curator and founding partner of Low Key Gallery in Santa Ana. “Whatever I can do to help my friends that are really living out their purpose, then I’m all for it.”

As of Thursday, she had collected $625 to direct to artist friends in need.


Creative solutions

Some artists are finding alternative ways to connect with their audience.

Instead of its usual gallery reception March 14, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. livestreamed its annual awards ceremony. There were some electronic kinks, said Salvo, an association member, but it worked.

Following the lead of museums worldwide, the Orange County Museum of Art announced Friday that it would hold several virtual art events, including behind-the-scenes videos of artists and screenings of independent films, in collaboration with the Newport Beach Film Festival, which has postponed its 2020 run to August because of the coronavirus outbreak.

OCMA also commissioned artists to create “listening sessions” — “unique sound-based projects for an engaging at-home experience that doesn’t keep you tied to looking at your screen,” according to a news release.

Like many of his colleagues, Cody Parole, 28, relies on Instagram to promote his artwork. The Costa Mesa-based multimedia artist posts YouTube videos showing his art process, such as a recent mural painting at Victoria Elementary School.

His newly founded artists collective, Highway 1, was planning to hold a party at the end of the month to celebrate the release of a new magazine, The 27 Club. Instead, he said, it will likely be an online-only release.

“The one good thing is we do get a lot of exposure and a lot of business from just online and social media,” Parole said. “There’s definitely still opportunity, but really it’s about still trying to network and just stay on top of the trends.”

Mendoza had just launched her organization Artist Safe Spaces, which is intended to help artists find places to do live art, when the pandemic hit. Since gatherings outside are no longer permitted, she invited artists to livestream their performances on Instagram, beginning with harpist Jillian Lopez. Mendoza also is collaborating with a Costa Mesa gallery to hold a private figure-drawing class via video.

But viewing art online changes the experience. Wendy Wirth, 57, a landscape painter with a studio in Laguna Beach, doubts the success of buying online for the foreseeable future.

“There’s so much to art that isn’t digital, because there’s nuances you don’t get when you see something live in a framing, and how the light hits it,” Wirth said.

Still, she expressed faith in her fellow artists: “All the artists get very creative when there’s trying times.”


Social distancing already a way of life

For many artists, “stay at home” and 6-foot social distancing guidelines aren’t far from their norm.

“We’re a solitary people anyway,” Salvo said. “We paint by ourselves, so we’re not really meeting a lot of people in our studios.”

So as the world is changing, inside an artist’s studio, not much is different.

“You can’t really be creative on demand, but since we have to stay home ... it’s no big deal to just keep painting,” Salvo said. “I’m going to finish all my paintings. If there’s a show or no show, I’m still going to finish them.”

For some artists, the coronavirus actually has planted seeds of inspiration. Sauceda, the Costa Mesa painter, said he is grateful for the unexpected time off work to spend with his girlfriend and their three children, each in creative endeavors: floristry, photography, building and crafts. Even Sauceda’s 18-month-old colors beside his painting daddy.


“There’s definitely a lot of sadness and dark energy coming from [the virus], but the planet’s going to be regaining its strength through lack of all the stuff we’re using,” Sauceda said. “I think everyone’s going to realize the time that they took for granted spending with their families and all this positive that they’re going to see.”

He’s dreaming up a new painting: tall grass pushing through a vacant lot where an old building was bulldozed. He’s already picked a spot in Costa Mesa.

“Once that happens, plants start growing,” he said. “Even though that house has been there 10, 15 years, nature will always prevail and grow from it. ... Negative turning into a positive.”


Writer Faith E. Pinho covers Costa Mesa for the Daily Pilot. She came to the newspaper in 2018 after finishing the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship with the Indianapolis Star. Before that, she reported for Virginia public radio station WMRA and The Washington Times, and interned for WBUR public radio in Boston. She studied journalism and politics at Washington and Lee University and King’s College London. (714) 966-4627