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CANCELLED PT 1: Debut Of New Column For The Covid-19 Era

By Steve Grigelevich for Brain Arts Org

March 26, 2020


2020 is not a throw away year, folx! If you are worth your weight in human reflection, in fact, 2020 is, and will continue to be, a time to suffer, heal, rage, come together, and celebrate…oh yes, and ORGANIZE. Many citizens are confused, and not just by the evolving science of COVID-19 infection control theory. We’re confused existentially and relationally; we don’t know where our fellow human beings, and for some of us, where we, ourselves, stand on the ethical principle of interdependence, the principle that drives collective civic action. Many of us don’t trust our scientists, or don’t trust our government, or don’t trust each other. And that’s a shitload of people when you add ‘em all up. As Biden waxes and Bernie wanes, lefties are asked to consider who, and what, they stand for this election season. Those of us who are pregnant or helping to raise the next generation are asking, “what world are we bringing these children into?”

In my circles, there is much talk of healing, community, and looking out for each other. I say, if there was ever a time to affirm the value of collective struggle, to give praise to the spirit of our communities, to reject our imposed capitalist identity as passive American consumers, it is now! In this post, I shine a light on artists and institutions of creativity, and on our relationship to them, during COVID-19 season. Healthcare workers are taking care of our bodies and minds. Organizers are bringing us together to fight for our humanity and for our planet. And artists are doing….well, too much to really put into words. In short, they are affirming our humanity, and are reflecting our fantasies, fears, and questions. We owe them a lot.

More than money, actually. A lot more than money. Some of us are alive because their words, melodies, movements, or depictions caught us just in time. Because they were there for us when no one else was. In this series, I connect with artists, venues, and artist platforms over their experiences during COVID-19 season. They are still planning on being there for us, and we damn well better be there for them.

And now for the official Public Service Announcement:

If you or someone you know is, represents, or appreciates an artist (that covers all of us, I believe), please share this post. With the help of Brain Arts’ very own Sam and Emma, I compiled a list of resources for artists, from how-to guides to arts grants! Take a look, spread the word. The list includes funds that are accepting donations from you to support artists. Let’s keep the arts where they belong, at the center of our communities.

Artist/Art Educators/Organization Grants

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund Grant of up to $200 per applicant. For BIPOC artists and art educators who demonstrate financial need as a result of COVID-19. View and fill out application HERE.

Boston Artists Relief Fund For Boston Area artists whose income has been impacted by COVID-19. $500 and $1000 grants available.

Boston Music Maker Relief Fund Grant of up to $200 per applicant. For performers in the Greater Boston area who have demonstrated lost income due to performance cancellations related to COVID-19.

Boston Singers’ Relief Fund Grant of up to $500 per applicant. For singers who are residents of New England and who earn at least 15% of their income from singing.

New England Foundation for the Arts Many links to many resources!

Theatre Community Benevolent Fund Grants for individual theater performers and non-profit theater organizations of the Greater Boston area who have suffered financial loss due to COVID-19 or related events of a severe nature.

COVID-19 and Freelance Artists Offering a collection of artist grant resources.

Club Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund For artists who have performed at Club Passim within the last 10 years. Grants offered are up to $500.

How-To Guides/Artist Education

HowlRound “is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.” Learn how to livestream on HowlRound HERE.

COVID-19 and Freelance Artists Offering everything from online platforms, advocacy opportunities, wisdom, grants.

Mass College of Art and Design Offering digital marketing and fundraising classes for artists and art organizers.

Common Field is an arts organizing platform that has so much to offer artists of all levels!

Artist Funds Seeking Donations (Pick one and donate, fool!)

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund In support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.

Boston Artists Relief Fund For Boston Area artists whose income has been impacted by COVID-19. $500 and $1000 grants available.


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