NEW YORK CITY: Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) has announced two statewide funding opportunities aimed at supporting 2,700 artists. The Guaranteed Income for Artists program will award $1,000 per month for 18 months to 2,400 New York artists with demonstrated financial need, and The Artist Employment Program will fund employment for 300 New York artists working with community organizations or municipalities. Artists and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply jointly for funding to support artists’ employment for two years. Artists will receive a salary of $65,000 per year plus benefits and dedicated creative time. Partnering organizations are able to receive between $25,000 and $100,000.
In acknowledgement of the fact that privilege often determines access to financial security, CRNY is committed to reaching out to New York’s historically under-resourced communities. CRNY is also determined to support artists throughout the application process, including providing necessary accommodations to non-English speakers, English language learners, disabled applicants, and those without internet access. All applications should be submitted by March 25.
“Artists’ employment and livelihoods are notoriously precarious, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated this unpredictability and uncertainty,” said CRNY executive director Sarah Calderon in a statement. “CRNY is thrilled to launch our Guaranteed Income for Artists and Artist Employment programs as a step toward building financial security, agency, and freedom for 2,700 New York artists, as well as supporting the broader ecosystem of organizations that employ them.”
According to the Mellon Foundation, New York state lost 50 percent of its performing arts jobs during COVID-19. In pre-pandemic times, the state’s arts and culture sector earned $120 billion and accounted for half a million jobs.
“Today brings us one step closer to realizing a vision that was born just months into the pandemic when, through my work on the governor’s commission, it became clear that we needed to address the deep-rooted disconnect causing artists to not be seen as workers and to be compensated as such,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in a statement. “As we continue to envision and work towards our post-pandemic reality, it’s critical that we not overlook the artist workers whose labor is an essential part of our economy and whose continued work sustains us in our most joyful and our darkest hours.”
CRNY is a three-year, $125 million initiative dedicated to providing guaranteed income or employment funding to artists, formed for the purposes of revitalizing New York’s creative economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. CRNY was devised and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with support from the Ford Foundation and Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
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