CREATIVE WASHTENAW AID
My worst case scenario could very well be homelessness and a severe financial set back. - Independent adaptive dance instructor, Ypsilanti
CREATIVE WASHTENAW AID aims to raise $100,000 in emergency funds to aid artists, creatives and creative businesses in the greater Ann Arbor area: Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake and Ypsilanti plus the 21 townships in the county.
COVID-19 hits the Arts + Creative Sector Fast and Hard.
...feel the financial strain. There's just no way to avoid a massive financial hit and also be responsible about social distancing and isolation.- Independent musician, Ypsilanti
Among the first to respond responsibly to help slow the spread of the virus in the greater Ann Arbor area. As early as March 6, venues immediately canceled or postponed prepaid events, reduced hours and even suspended operations.
Individual artists and creatives lost gigs – and pay – without warning.
Still wanting to flatten the curve and now by mandate of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Creative venue doors are now locked until further notice.
The ripple effect is devastating.
Our programs are facing complete collapse which would result in our inability to serve our community with music and art programs for at least six months. - Riverfolk Music & Art, Manchester.
In the best of times these chronically under-capitalized arts and cultural nonprofits struggle to meet their monthly obligations. During a crisis, without cash flow or reserves, it is almost impossible to pay the past due show expenses, rent and other obligations now due while attempting to take care of employees.
Many emergency funds - such as the Washtenaw United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund - deny support to nonprofit arts and cultural orgs.
Gig artists – musicians, actors and event production teams, etc., are hired and paid per engagement. They lost gigs and paychecks the moment events were canceled. Their upfront and ongoing costs are significant too. Even with the CAREs Act, most gig artists are still at great risk: many do not have “day jobs” they lack health insurance and have no true safety net.
High Value is Placed on Arts + Creative Assets
It's my nightmare to have to cancel on working artists and musicians. An entire April tour was canceled, leaving four other full-time musicians out of work. - Independent musician, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti
The greater Ann Arbor region places a high value on the arts + creative assets that add so much to its quality of life and place while contributing significantly to its economic vitality.
These individuals, for profit and nonprofit businesses represent an industry that employs more than 6,400 people and generates $390 million in wages in Washtenaw County.
Yet, public and foundation funding does not reflect community values. There is no established general fund and certainly no emergency fund for individual artists and creatives or arts and cultural organizations in Washtenaw County. It is not for lack of trying, still unlike other communities, we have no provision such as a funded arts commission or foundation in Washtenaw County prepared to offer a substantive lifeline to protect the creative sector.
Private funding - people and businesses - in the greater Ann Arbor area sustain the arts and creative sector. And we are grateful. Yet, it is not enough to stave off the permanent devastation to our arts and creative sector being caused by Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
Let’s match our values to our support of artists and creative businesses.
The worst-case scenario is that we dry up our funds on the final two months of payroll and have nothing going forward. - Dance company and arts education provider, serving all of Washtenaw County.
To stave off the permanent devastation to our arts and creative sector being caused by Covid-19 pandemic crisis, the CREATIVE WASHTENAW Aid Fund was created to collect donations and extend assistance the artists and creative organizations adversely impacted by Covid-19.
$100,000 Creative Washtenaw Aid Fund
We are asking our community members to remember the artists and creative organizations not covered by public services and programs afforded other sectors.
Please add your support today to assist the organizations and people who are here for you year after year and want to be here again when the green light is given.
Creative Washtenaw Aid needs YOU! Please make your gift today.
Thank you for aiding Washtenaw-based artists, creative workers and arts +creative organizations shutdown due to Covid-19.
With your support, once the green light is given, they will more readily return to the cultural gathering places across Washtenaw community to do what they do so remarkably: give of their art so that we can rejoice, renew, remember and reflect on our humanity individually and as community.
For more information contact: The Arts Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-213-2733.
Arts + Creative Industries = Impact
The Arts Alliance is the arts + creative industry authority in Washtenaw County. A regional agency, its mission is to advocate for and support Creative Washtenaw and ensure that the greater Ann Arbor, Michigan, region remains a great place to create, live, work, learn, play and visit.
The intrinsic and aesthetic values of the arts and creativity are determining factors of success for the members of The Arts Alliance: Creative people from students to industry experts leading the sector locally, nationally and internationally. They are professionals and amateurs who have creative practices, own creative businesses, hold creative jobs in profit, nonprofit and government entities; and offer creative products, services and programs throughout the Washtenaw community.
The Arts Alliance serves Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake and Ypsilanti plus the 21 townships in the county.
The Arts Alliance is committed to, forever evolving and learning about diversity, equity and inclusion.
It is supported by its members, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.