As many artists are left without employment and future prospects, efforts around the country are mounting to create ways to organize emergency funds and disburse them to the neediest candidates within artist communities.
Darryl Ratcliff, Dallas artist and co-founder of the artist advocacy group Creating Our Future, along with Marcos Yturri, Stepanie Amate and Diallo West, has mobilized the Dallas community to make online donations to a Gofundme campaign for crisis relief. These donations will eventually be turned over to artists who live at the intersection of poverty and marginalization.
As the Gofundme campaign states: “We will be withdrawing to funds and sending digital increments of $200 to the artists who have filled out the grant applications helping as many artists as our resources allow.” These donations are intended to be disbursed within a few days after applications are approved.
Elizabeth Macwillie, Director of Urbanism at Dallas nonprofit buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, developed a point-scoring system for determining needy candidates, and set up the survey for non-monetary donations. Macwillie acted as a sub-consultant for the 2018 Dallas Cultural Plan which was adopted by the Dallas City Council in November, 2018.
Non-monetary assistance such as bartering, pro-bono offerings, and so on, are part of the effort put forth by Creating Our Future. Local band Honey Folk has committed to a benefit concert to donate to the fund, and according to Ratcliff, artist Sara Cardona has guaranteed artwork to individuals who donate at specified levels.
Ratcliff also states the NYC Low Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund was a reference for modeling this donation pool, and that a group effort led to the use of Facebook and other web-based resources for the campaign. Creating Our Future is also looking to developments with two other artist relief funds that are hosted on Gofundme’s platform: the ongoing Seattle Artist Relief Fund, which has raised over $238,000 of its $300,000 goal from 2,400 donors, and the Fort Worth Artist Relief Fund, which is now completed and refers interested donors to the United Way of Tarrant County.
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