Arts Council creates COVID-19 Relief Fund to support working artists

Working artists in Long Beach who have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 and are struggling to have their basic needs met can apply, starting Monday, May 18, for a $500 grant from a relief fund created by the Arts Council for Long Beach.

The funds are limited to those who are members of the Arts Council’s artist registry as of March 1, 2020.

With $42,000 raised in contributions for the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Long Beach Artists, applications will be received on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted, according to the announcement.

Artists applying can be of all disciplines, but must meet the following criteria:

  • Are a professional, working Long Beach artist age 18 or older
  • Live in Long Beach
  • Be a member of the Arts Council’s artist registry as of March 1, 2020

The term “professional, working Long Beach artist” is defined in the guidelines as individuals who devote a significant portion of their time to the creation of personal artwork, are likely paid for performances, sell their artwork, or share their independent body of work with the public on a regular basis.

“Artists who have alternate sources of income, a financial safety net, or are able to meet their most basic needs, we ask that you refrain from applying so that we may serve those who are most vulnerable,” the Arts Council’s announcement stated.

Basic needs include shelter, food and medical needs.

“We want to make sure we are serving artists who were already on our registry when the stay at home order went into effect,” said Director of Programs Lisa DeSmidt in an email. “We have limited funds and want to make sure people are not just registering to receive the grant fund.”

Contributions were raised by the ACLB, Edison International, Long Beach Community Foundation and the Uplift LB Fundraiser organized by the Long Beach Post. Anyone can still contribute to the fund by donating at artslb.org/donate and writing “COVID-19 Fund” on the donate page.

Applications for artists open Monday, May 18 and are available at artslb.org. For all guidelines and details, visit the COVID-19 Fund for Artists document here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.
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