A newly created relief fund will distribute $655,000 to visual artists in Los Angeles County who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced Monday.
The Relief Fund for LA County Visual Artists -- launched by the California Community Foundation together with the J. Paul Getty Trust and a coalition of local artist-endowed foundations -- was created with CCF endowment funds and by repurposing the biennial Fellowship for Visual Artists program, which began in 1988 with a founding gift from the J. Pa ul Getty Trust.
Additional support has been provided by a group of artist-endowed foundations based in Los Angeles, including the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, the Sam Francis Foundation and the Shepard and Amanda Fairey Foundation.
The artist relief fund is being administered by the Center for Cultural Innovation, a nonprofit intermediary focused on the financial well being of those in the arts.
"During the current crisis we are becoming ever more aware of the vital role artists play in our society,'' said Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation, an operating program of the Getty Trust.
"They guide us through dark times, they challenge us to think critically, and they stimulate us to imagine new futures," he continued. "We're grateful to the artist-endowed foundations who clearly recognize the unprecedented economic challenges our artists are facing and have joined us in this effort to sustain them.''
Getty and CCF have been long-time collaborators in support of the arts in Los Angeles. They announced earlier this month that they would work together on a fund supported by $10 million from the Getty and administered by CCF to provide emergency relief and recovery grants to nonprofit museums and visual arts organizations in Los Angeles County.
That partnership and the contributions of artist-endowed foundations to the new artist relief fund reflect a shared belief that the arts are central to the vitality of the region, according to the partners.
"Artists are often among the most vulnerable in our region, particularly those from underserved populations across Los Angeles,'' said Antonia Hernandez, president and CEO of the CCF.
"For these reasons, the artist relief fund will focus on financial need with priority consideration given to the region's cultural and geographic diversity. We encourage others who can contribute to donate to the fund and help us sustain artists and build healthier communities for all Angelenos.''
Eligible applicants may apply for up to $2,000 in one-time support, and grants can be used toward any expenses that alleviate financial pressures.
The application can be accessed online.