Respond, Recover, Reimagine: How funders are addressing the coronavirus pandemic

Throughout the month of April, GIA will presents this new blog series where funders share reflections and advice from different areas of the field as they strategize the most effective ways to approach recovery and response efforts. While we cannot know how this crisis will impact the future of the field, in this GIA blog series, funders will explore immediate and long-term strategies and respond to questions we are hearing from grantmakers. Check back each week as new post will be added regularly. You can explore all our COVID-19 resources here.

May 20, 2020 by admin

From Esther Grimm and Meg Leary

Responding to: How can funders balance support for people or/and institutions knowing the impact of coronavirus pandemic has unequal impact across the arts ecosystem?

We are just two of the many partners involved in the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (AIRF) effort that set sail in March. What follows is a glimpse into this work-in-progress from our vantage points at 3Arts and the Walder Foundation, along with some of our shared observations.

May 15, 2020 by admin

From Suzy Delvalle and Deana Haggag

Reflecting on: What recommendations do you have for how to create an equitable system of distribution for emergency relief funds?

Among the hardest hit in the COVID-19 crisis are the country’s over 2.5 million professional artists. Social distancing saves lives, but it has also cut off the livelihoods of artists across all disciplines. The answer — because social distancing is an absolute necessity — is an immediate and aggressive financial relief program. In response to this urgent need, on April 8th we launched Artist Relief, a coalition of seven arts grantmakers. While we can only speak to our own efforts, we hope that our experience can be a model for similar initiatives moving forward.

May 11, 2020 by admin

From NDN Collective, by Gaby Strong and Sarah Manning

Reflecting on: What advocacy is being done to address the needs of African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) arts communities in need of greater support?

The last four weeks at NDN Collective have been a poignant demonstration of Indigenous mobilization. We’ve seen this before. Our people have been here before. We are the survivors of disease and pandemics, of biological warfare, now called to respond and mobilize once again for the health and wellness of our people and the planet. We are up for it.

May 8, 2020 by Eleanor Savage

Reflecting on: How can funders apply an equity framework in this moment that’s based on need, lack of access to resources, etc.? Is this moment inherently different from responses to previous crises?

Earth Day 2020. I am sheltering in place in Minneapolis, MN, working from home. I have a Zoom meeting coming up on my calendar, but there’s time to squeeze in at least half of the Facebook Live event for Toshi Reagon’s concert version of Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower, produced by New York University Abu Dhabi. Toshi begins softly chanting “What you gonna do? What you gonna do? What you gonna do?” The chanting builds to the song “What You Gonna Do When This World’s On Fire.” A perfect exhortation for this time.

May 6, 2020 by admin

Mary Dell’Erba and Erika Hawthorne

Reflecting on: What resources are available for arts education organizations seeking immediate relief?

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the many cancellations and shutdowns happening in response to it. Working through a crisis isn’t easy, and we applaud our colleagues for persevering to keep equitable access to arts education a priority as we adapt to a new normal.

May 1, 2020 by admin

From Dance/NYC by Alejandra Duque Cifuentes and Rosemary Reyes

Reflecting on: What are grantees asking for? How can funders listen and respond accordingly?

As a major service organization for dance in the metropolitan New York City area, Dance/NYC had to move quickly to address the needs of all of our constituents when COVID-19 arrived in March 2020.

April 29, 2020 by Brian McGuigan

Reflecting on: What are grantees asking for? How can funders listen and respond accordingly?

I have cried more in the last few weeks than I have in my entire life. My grief began the day Washington State Governor Jay Inslee banned large events in Seattle-area counties, effectively closing all cultural institutions, performance venues, and arts spaces. It was one of the State’s first steps in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Soon, a stay-at-home order would be issued, shuttering all non-essential businesses across Washington.

April 24, 2020 by Gary Steuer

Reflecting on: What strategies exist to support, regrant to, and advocate for cultural organizations (without formal audits)?

The current crisis has necessitated that we — as with many of our colleagues around the country — reassess our “normal” way of conducting philanthropic business because these are not “normal” times. The crisis we are facing is of an existential nature — the very survival of our cultural organizations and artists is at stake.

April 22, 2020 by Ruby Lopez Harper

Reflecting on: What strategies exist to support, regrant to, and advocate for cultural organizations (without formal audits)?

If you asked me where I would be on April 13, 2020, I would have described a fun-filled adventure staycationing with my familia in D.C. over Spring Break. Instead, I am sitting in my “command center” — the spare room in my basement — helping the arts navigate through the worst crisis in a generation. This is not what I had planned, or what any of us had planned. Yet, this is where we are — where a lot of us are — and we must figure out how to make it all work.

April 17, 2020 by admin

Jan Newcomb and Tom Clareson

Reflecting on: How can funders plan for organizational triage and what models can be referenced?

The National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER) and Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) — two services organizations supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation — work to provide education, information, and links to funding resources for organizations in the arts community after all types of emergencies and disasters. Currently, both organizations are looking at a variety of issues in response to and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.