Arts aid

ArtsWestchester has launched an emergency fundraising campaign aimed at helping local artists, who are the heart of Westchester County’s cultural community.

“Artists are hurting due to the abrupt loss of work (caused by) the COVID-19 crisis,” Janet Langsam, ArtsWestchester’s CEO, said in a statement. “Artists throughout Westchester County are feeling the pinch of canceled gallery exhibits, darkened theaters, shuttered museums and no artist residences in closed schools and community sites.”

According to a national survey by Americans for the Arts, the COVID-19 outbreak has dealt a $3.2 billion blow to America’s nonprofit arts sector as of mid-March. Much of these devastating losses are trickling down to creative practitioners locally with no end in sight.

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 at charity.gofundme.com/awrelieffund.

“We have all felt the power of the arts to touch our soul, heal our spirit and make us sing out loud,” Langsam added. “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 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 respondents are asked to share the fundraising effort widely with their social media networks.

For more, visit artswestchester.org.

edited by Georgette Gouveia

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