A new relief program aims to keep professional Oregon artists afloat during the pandemic. More than $1.2 million is available for eligible applicants who’ve had events or performances canceled this year.
The fund is supported by the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.
“We know there’s really a need for art to happen,” said Eleanor Sandys, an OAC staff member who helped develop the Artist Relief Program. “Artists are a big part of the whole arts ecology across the state.”
She said throughout the pandemic artists have raised morale and have helped bring people together. This is why keeping art alive during a challenging time is crucial.
“Supporting these artists is not only providing financial help to individuals that are facing loss but it’s also helping them continue their artistic practice and to bring that practice back into communities in Oregon,” Sandy said.
She adds the foundations are interested in supporting artists from underserved backgrounds and those in the in rural communties.
To qualify, applicants have to live in Oregon, have been a professional artist for at least three years, and be 18-years of age or older. They’ll also have to prove, or anticipate, an income loss of $1,000 between March 1 and Dec. 31 of this year.
Award amounts vary between $1,000 and $5,000. The deadline to apply is Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.