The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Northampton Arts Council's Second COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund

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The Northampton Arts Council (NAC) is pleased to announce its second COVID-19 Artist Relief Grant. Last year, with support from our local community, NAC distributed $42,570 to 129 artists. We As need remains high in our community, NAC has decided to continue the COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund. In addition to funds allocated from NAC’s budget, the Council will subsidize the grant with community fundraising efforts.

This decision was made in response to the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s most recent COVID-19 impact survey of the arts sector in Massachusetts. Since March 2020 working creatives in Massachusetts which includes individual artists, teaching artists, and scientists/humanists cite $30,403,616 in lost personal income due to the pandemic. In Western Massachusetts alone 558 artists reported lost income of $4,901,683. NAC is grateful to the many artists who are using this time to create and support our local community online. The Board would like to award as much money in artist relief as possible; to that end, we invite members of the community to donate to our artist relief fund via MightyCause.

All artists and arts producers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and contribute to the artistic vibrancy of Northampton, Florence, and Leeds are eligible to apply online at northamptonartscouncil.org. The application is due May 15, 2021. The Northampton Arts Council usually administers the ArtsEZ grant round in the spring to support local arts projects that take place in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. Since all public gatherings are on hold, and in light of the severe economic impact of COVID-19, the Board has voted to allocate $TBD to fund artist relief. 

“Artists and arts producers play a vital role in making Northampton a great place to live and work. We want to ensure that members of our artistic community have the support they need to make it through this crisis and create beauty on the other side of it,” said Brian Foote, Executive Director of the Northampton Arts Council. “I’m grateful to the Northampton Arts Council Board for making the decision to allocate this fund towards artist relief and to the community for an outpouring of support for local artists at this time.”

The Northampton Arts Council remains committed to supporting arts in the City of Northampton. Our monthly board meetings will continue via Zoom, under the leadership of executive director, Brian Foote. All are also invited to join the Northampton Arts Council Facebook Group, which aims to create an online community for artists and arts producers or check out our COVID-19 Resource page. The Board will continue to seek new ways to bring our community together, even remotely, through the arts. 

The Northampton Arts Council believes that art is for everyone. We strive to produce, support, and sustain arts and cultural initiatives that uphold all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically marginalized based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodiversity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion. We affirm the need to redress historical inequities in the arts and cultural sector and commit to supporting equitable and inclusive practices through all aspects of our work.

Learn more about our programs and initiatives at http://northamptonartscouncil.org


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