Artist Emergency Fund Distributes Grants


ArtsMemphis and Music Export Memphis are distributing $77,190 to 159 artists in Shelby County. The funds come from the Artist Emergency Fund, which became public April 1st and supports artists of all types across music, visual art, film and media arts, literary art, theater, and dance.
The fund was created through a Community Foundation of Greater Memphis COVID-19 Regional Response Fund grant and was compounded with contributions from the Assisi Foundation, Crosstown Arts, Hyde Family Foundation, and individual donors to Music Export Memphis.

Additionally, the Kresge Foundation is giving $100,000 to ArtsMemphis and $85,000 to Music Export Memphis to make continued Artist Emergency Fund granting possible.

ArtsMemphis began a community-wide survey on March 18, 2020 of arts organizations and individual artists across Shelby County to assess the impact of COVID-19. As of this week, 61 organizations and 200 individuals had completed the survey.

Survey data forecasts a total projected loss of income for March 2020 exceeding $1.19 million for organizations and $507K for individuals. Anticipated loss of income for April-June based on cancellations/postponements exceeds $7.4 million for organizations and $1.45 million for individuals. See full survey data here.

The application deadline for the next round of Artist Emergency Fund grants is April 22. Among applications of all artistic genres, Music Export Memphis will continue to partner with ArtsMemphis in receipt, review and reallocation of funds to local musicians.

"In our first round of applicants we saw an average reported loss for musicians of more than $4,000, just for gigs canceled in March and early April,” says Elizabeth Cawein, executive director of Music Export Memphis. “The hit to music professionals who rely on live performance to make a living is truly catastrophic, and it's far from over."

Artists may learn more and apply here.

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