Essex County Artist Fund
We need artists, Artists need us. Now more than ever.
A Lawrence artist whose teaching stipend and tips from waiting tables suddenly stopped.
A dancer living in Swampscott whose unemployment check doesn’t cover basic living costs for her and her dependent mother.
A Beverly drummer with three young children who is ineligible for unemployment and whose steady gigs at churches, restaurants, and performance halls suddenly ended due to venue closings.
A freelance sound engineer living in Salem who has no savings or other safety net and whose work at local theatres has evaporated with closures.
Artists, musicians, writers, actors, and other creative makers bring meaning to our world and connection to our communities. They depend on social integration, not distancing. They mostly work as freelancers and cannot access unemployment benefits. They are among the most hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we can’t see them fail.
The Essex County Artist Fund, in collaboration with administrative partner Rocky Neck Art Colony, Inc. is Essex County Community Foundation’s response to the immediate and everyday needs of artists to be supported and lifted up across the county and across sectors. At ECCF, our philosophy is to build a creative ecosystem focused on awareness and appreciation for arts and culture, capacity building, collaboration and cultural planning. Individual artists and arts/culture organizations are key to this network. www.eccf.org/creative-county.
As a community foundation, ECCF provides critical support to nonprofit 501c3 organizations, but cannot directly pay individuals. We are grateful to our trusted administrative partner, Rocky Neck Art Colony, Inc. which will voluntarily receive all donations and make all individual payments during this campaign.
ECCF’s Creative County Initiative (CCI) will provide the fund’s first $20,000 to meet what we know is a much greater need. We hope to raise at least an additional $25,000 in this campaign.
Funding will be provided as long as funds are available.
We will support artists in two ways:
1. The fund will provide $400 per applicant to support full or part-time professional artists who have lost income used to sustain their creative practice due to the COVID-19 crisis.
2. We will invest in the county-wide visibility of all artists who receive funding by featuring their websites and their work on www.essexcountycreates.org and our ECCF social media platforms.
Applications for the Essex County Artist Fund will be open on Monday March 30. Funding will be distributed beginning April 13 and through May 30. Applications will be reviewed by a panel weekly and we will notify you within 10 business days about the status of your application.
We welcome applications from all individual artists, musicians, actors, writers, or other creative professional living in Essex County, Massachusetts. We will prioritize lower-income artists.
Other ways we are supporting our arts & culture ecosystem during this time - and in the future:
1. If you have creatively responded to the crisis by modifying your event, educational offering, or other public event through online, social distancing outlets, we respect your effort to support public health. We will help you connect with our Essex County community by spreading the word through www.essexcountycreates.org which has been updated for posting virtual, online events.
2. To help all Essex County artists and culture organizations sustain and thrive through good times and bad, we invite you to join our nonprofit Learning and Development Workshops and next CCI grant round later in 2020. Sign up for our newsletters at www.eccf.org/creative-county.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Rocky Neck Art Colony is not part of the selection process. The review panel, through ECCF, is comprised of impartial representatives from across Essex County.
Special thanks to the team at Creative Collective for the marketing assist and implementation of these efforts.