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  • Rowan Coughlin

Artist Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus or COVID-19 has put a crashing halt to our businesses and general way of life as we know it. The toll this pandemic has taken is immense and one of the most pressing problems is financial. As businesses come to a standstill, profits plummet, budgets are slashed and discretionary spending is frozen, the creatives in our communities are floundering. How do artists stay afloat when shows have been pushed and commissions have dried up? Governments and nonprofits alike have stepped in to provide relief but with an overwhelming amount of information out there, what is the best option? In order to provide some clarity, Rowan Coughlin Art Advisory has created a list of the most helpful places for artists, makers, photographers, art advisors and consultants to find financial aid. A handful of these are Bay Area specific but many are available to artists anywhere in the U.S.

Payment Protection Plan (PPP) | PPP is a federal government funded loan that is up to 100% forgivable provided you use the funds for payroll and qualified business expenses. Don’t let the word “payroll” think you aren’t eligible. Yes, even artists and sole proprietors can apply. If you can prove that you pay yourself an income you can qualify for the PPP. You can find this information on line 31 of your Schedule C on your taxes.

YBCA Artist Power Center | The newly launched Artist Power Center provides an extremely well categorized list of Grants, Loans and Relief Funds for the Bay Area as well as the United States.

Artists Now | Artists Now aim is to provide an immediate $500 to artists who live in the Bay Area, who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are POC, women or identify as LGBTQIA+.

Artist Relief | Artist Relief is a coalition of national arts grantmakers that have come together to create an emergency initiative. AR is offering $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial need due to COVID-19. Currently they are offering grants through September 2020 to a wide variety of disciplines. | An extensive list of relief funds, grants, loans and peer to peer to peer support platforms for artists across all disciplines and walks of life. Financial aid ranges from $200 - $15,000+.

Devos Institute of Arts Management | The Devos Institute isn’t offering funds but instead offering pro bono consultation to arts and cultural organizations through June 2020.

While this crisis has knocked the wind out of us, we as a creative community will continue to find unique solutions and support each other. To the agencies that have stepped up to provide relief to those in need, thank you! To the first responders, essential workers and medical professionals, thank you! To all of you out there still creating, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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