Coronavirus Response: Where are they now?

The full transcript of this podcast is coming soon.
Explore the full GIA podcast.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Welcome to the podcast by Grantmakers in the Arts, a national membership association of public and private arts and culture funders. I'm Grantmakers Sealy, GIA's program manager. As GIA reflects over the past year, we cannot help but look back at the work and recommendations that so many funders offered when we launched our coronavirus response programming in 2020. The conversation and insight that was shared with the GIA community ignited and energized funders to begin and continue their support for individual artists and arts organizations. But what has happened since then? We are glad to welcome back Laura Aden Packer, Executive Director of the Howard Gillman Foundation, and James Hafferman, Deputy Director for CERF+, to the GIA podcast. They will share how things have been going since beginning our coronavirus response programming in 2020. This podcast includes two separate dialogues between the presenters and GIA, and we address how each presenter is continuing their efforts as we navigate our response to the coronavirus pandemic. So thank you so much for joining us today, Laura.

Laura Aden Packer:
Of course.

Sherylynn Sealy:
We'll start off with our first question, kind of a recap from March, 2020, until now. And so when we last spoke, the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to impact our nation deeply. Funders were urgently preparing to respond in a careful and prompt manner. And you shared with the GIA community what you were seeing and what you'd recommend. So what's been new since then?

Laura Aden Packer:
Well, I think we've built upon a lot of what we tried to do starting right away in March. So, you know, we were faced with a lot of the same problems and issues almost immediately as our own grantees. Number one, among them being, how are we gonna communicate with each other, our staff, you know, we were all working from home. I mean, we sort of abruptly left the office on Wednesday, March 10th.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Right.

Laura Aden Packer:
You know? So we had to sort of figure out what we were gonna do and how we were gonna communicate with one another. And when we realized that, we realized, well, of course, all of our grantees are having the exact same issue. You know, how are they gonna communicate? So when we decided that we were gonna purchase Zoom licenses for the staff, we realized what we really needed to do was purchase Zoom licenses for all of our grantees. So that could solve one problem immediately. They would know that they would have a way to communicate with one another and eventually, you know, use those Zoom licenses for ways to communicate with their audiences, and their patrons, and their board, and all the things that we needed as lessons for.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Yeah.

Laura Aden Packer:
So, so we were really happy to do that immediately. And I think it made a huge difference, and we actually renewed everybody's Zoom licenses this year. And I think-

Sherylynn Sealy:
Oh, that's great.

Laura Aden Packer:
Yeah, I think going forward, and getting a Zoom license, will just be, you know, you get a grant from the Gillman Foundation, you get a Zoom license. So it's just gonna be a part of your, you know, your grant dollars will also go towards us purchasing you a Zoom license.

Sherylynn Sealy:
So, and I think that was really important. And then communicating immediately with our grantees, you know, to let them know that we were well aware that this was a traumatic period of time, that we were all in crisis, that we didn't know what was gonna happen tomorrow, next week, next month. But to let them know that we were here, and that we were already planning ways to make life as easy as we could, from our perspective and from their perspective, to make sure that we got money out the door as quickly as possible, that we assured them that their grants would all be renewed. That, you know, we have very limited reporting requirements now, but we sorta just totally threw those out the window. We had basically no application, you know, we just had them, all of our grantees basically send us like a paragraph or two about, "How is this immediately impacting you?" And then each of our program staff, or me, you know, we got on the phone with each of our grantees and sort of talk to them as we were rapidly trying to get all the money out the door in that first, you know, three months after we were all working at home. So I think that those were, those were sort of some of the key things that we did that we continue to do. I mean, we try and stay in touch with our grantees as much as we can and find out from them what it is that they need. That's always our question. What do you need and how can we help you achieve that? So, you know, we've been just building on that throughout the year. I think those are sort of the big things, you know, and we did some things that we had never done before, like doing emergency grants to, for individual artists. We did some, you know, granting through a lot of those emergency funds early on. And then of course we were part of, here in New York city, the New York Community Trust put together a huge fund, the total about $28 million that had dozens of foundations and individuals put into this fund. And those were very rapid response grants that really made a difference. So I think you saw a lot of collaborative effort as well, early on, and I'd like to see that continue. So I think a lot of what we did in the beginning, we're still trying to do, you know, make the grants process as easy as possible. We continue to primarily, almost exclusively, give general operating support, you know, the most flexible dollars that we can. So those are sort of what we did then, and what we're doing now, a lot of which is, you know, the same, or building on anything additional and that are referred from our grantees that they need.

Yeah, no, that's awesome. I still remember on the webinar, you were urging folks to, you know, limit their reporting requirements that they give to their grantees, converting grants to general operating support. There was a lot that you were doing to respond immediately. And it's great to hear that you're continuing to do that and more.

Laura Aden Packer:
Right. Oh, go ahead.

Sherylynn Sealy:
No, no, no, go ahead.

Laura Aden Packer:
Yeah, and it was also nice for you to highlight the collaboration between The New York Community Trust and others with, to pull into this fund so that, you know, more grantees can benefit and recover as best as possible. Because we know that a lot of institutions ended up shutting down because of, you know, lack of funding, even before the pandemic, and not being able to sustain. And so you mentioned some of what you adjusted, and how you are responding in the recovery stage. So can you share with us how you're approaching long-term investments and sustainability with your grantees? Like I mentioned, kind of knowing that before the pandemic, there were a lot of communities, a lot of communities specifically who were not fairing well.

Right, well, you know, our theory, or, so let's say the core value here at the Gillman Foundation has to do with- a lot of it has to do with financial stability of our grantees. That's something that we're very, very focused on. So our, you know, our belief in general operating support is part of that. We also do a lot of other kinds of grantmaking that not a lot of other foundations do. We do a lot of debt reduction knowing that, you know, having some loans from years and years ago that are still on your books, can really be a deterrent for other foundations, other funders, you know, if you have that sort of long-term debt. To help help our grantees eliminate that long-term debt is very important. We do a lot of cash reserve grants, cash reserve, artistic reserve, building facility reserves, those kinds of working capital that all of our grantees need. So we do a lot of that. I would say we step that up even more over the last year, but that's something that we've always done. And I think that's very important. Last year we were able to do a lot of things that we were never able to do before. And a lot of that, of course, anything that we got to do, I have to give credit to our board, because our board was, you know, amazingly responsive, and flexible, and anything that we pretty much asked them, told them that we wanted to do-

They were like, "Great, you know, go for it."

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's awesome.

Laura Aden Packer:
So it was, it was great. And then what we did was, in late May or so, we did a kind of very quick little email to our grantees and just said, "Tell us the top three things you know you're gonna need money for over the course of the next three, four months, you know, not cash. We know you need cash, but what, what other sorts of specific things do you need?" And so, you know, we got like a 90% response rate from our grantees, which was fantastic, because we had, you know, hundreds of responses that we were able to compile and present to our board in June, to say, "These are the kinds of needs that are facing our grantees." And we were able to use that as part of the argument to get the board to increase our payout. So they increased our payout pretty significantly. Last year we went from a $21 million grants budget to a $34 million grants budget. So that was a huge-

Sherylynn Sealy:
Fantastic.

Laura Aden Packer:
increase, yeah. In August, we sent every single one of our grantees, without any application required, we sent them all another check. So we sent them exactly what they had gotten earlier in the year, you know, what their general operating support grant-level was. We sent them another check for that amount of money. And then for the organizations on our roster that are, you know, BIPOC organizations, we actually doubled the grant. So if you were an organization, say like Dance Theater of Harlem, they get $150,000 a year from us. So they got $150,000 early in spring when we did our regular grantmaking. And then they got $300,000 from us in August.

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's awesome.

Laura Aden Packer:
And that was the greatest day. I said to my captain, Kimberleigh Costanzo, who's our Grants Manager, that I just had this amazing, that was an amazing day. When she sent out $14 million worth of notifications of grants on August 4th, it was really the greatest day. To be able to say to our grantees, "This money is gonna be deposited into your account. You don't have to apply for it. You're not gonna have to report on it. It's just additional general operating support because we know that's what you need."

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's awesome.

Laura Aden Packer:
So, yeah. And the board, you know, again, our board was fantastic. And so then we were able to, once we did that, then we were able to really hone in on the other things that our grantees told us that they needed. So this is where we addressed some of the other areas that were not, that we don't necessarily traditionally fund. So they, you know, there was a lot of need at that time for residencies, bubble residencies, for dance companies. That people really were looking for funding for artists, for some of their online streaming work, commissioning, all kinds of dollars like that, that we were able to make grants for that. Again, nobody had to apply. We did a second sort of follow-up to that survey in late September, early October said, "What are the three things you need money for?" And we sort of looked through all those results, and we'd contacted our grantees, and we talked to them about what they needed. And then we made just a whole other set of grants in the fall, about $5 million worth of grants for, you know, streaming, equipment, technology, commissioning, residencies, regranting, all kinds of other programs that our grantees told us that they needed.

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's excellent.

Laura Aden Packer:
Responsive grantmaking, isn't that what we all talk about, like-

Sherylynn Sealy:
Yes, absolutely.

Laura Aden Packer:
That's what we wanted to be doing?

Sherylynn Sealy:
Yeah!

Laura Aden Packer:
So we were really thrilled to be able to do that. And we're able to continue to do that this year because our board renewed our grants budget at the same amount as last year. So they realized that-

Sherylynn Sealy:
Fantastic.

Laura Aden Packer:
Yeah, that it's not over, you know? It's this year, this is tricky. So we were really grateful that the board renewed the grant level so that it will allow us to do a lot of what we did last year, more of the same, and more of whatever it is that we're hearing from our grantees, about what they need and want. A lot of grants that we'll be making around re-opening costs, things like that.

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's fantastic. That's awesome. And it's, again, great to hear all of the different things that you all are doing, and adjusting, to make a better situation for artists. Have any of your advocacy efforts changed to kind of further this better situation that, you know, we hope to see, and re-imagine the present, and think about institutions reopening?

Laura Aden Packer:
Yeah, I think, you know, we had a few things that were in the works prior to March of 2020 that we really, you know, brought more to the forefront. One of them was we fund- we should start following by just saying, maybe you'll have said this, but we fund performing arts organizations in New York city. So the five boroughs in New York city Performing Arts. So we have a very specific narrow focus, which allows us, I think, to be responsive to the needs. And, you know, we're not a big national funder, we don't fund all arts. We only fund music theater and dance, presenters, service organizations. So it, you know, we do have a certain flexibility because we are, you know, as opposed to a lot of our peer colleagues who have, you know, competing needs within their own institutions, we don't have that. You know, we work solely for that sector of the arts in New York city.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Sure.

Laura Aden Packer:
So, you know, but one of the things is that we, we don't fund organizations with budgets under $250,000, which is not uncommon for a lot of foundations. But we had realized years ago that we had to find a way to fund organizations with budgets under $250,000 because so much great work is being done-

Sherylynn Sealy:
Of course.

Laura Aden Packer:
by smaller, right, community-cased, out in the boroughs, organizations that just haven't reached that plateau, you know, that $200,000 budget levels. So we had started researching doing regranting programs, which we had never done before. And we realized that that was truly the way to not only reach a smaller-budgeted arts organizations, but also individual artists, artist collectives, you know, or, you know, non-501 s, which we cannot fund. Except we do do some through fiscal agents, but you know what I'm saying, under $200,000. So we did start some regranting programs last year, and end this year with two of the county arts agencies in our city the Bronx and Brooklyn, we're looking into starting them with the other three boroughs. We provided a lot of funding to Dance NYC, which is an extraordinary organization.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Of course.

Laura Aden Packer:
Extraordinary. But we also gave them money for some of their regranting programs, for organizations with budgets under 250, Chamber Music America. Also for small music ensembles of all stripes, all genres, with budgets under 250. So I think, you know, we sped that up. You know, like I said, we really needed to try and get more money out to a larger part of the performing arts ecosystem in New York city. So that was one thing. And we also did a lot more funding of residencies, which we hadn't done a lot of in the past, but we did fund a lot of residencies. I give a huge shout-out to our colleagues at Mellon, who did an amazing amount of grantmaking for residencies that really truly saved so many of our beloved, you know, dance companies. To be together in these bubble residencies in residency centers around the country really made a huge difference. So we did it on a much smaller base, on as much smaller scale, but we're inspired by what-

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's okay.

So that's fantastic. And so last year we closed our coronavirus series, reflecting on how to shape a resilient cultural ecosystem. And as we consider the partnerships and collaboratives that have been forged, which you, you know, just mentioned, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, how can folks continue relationship-building within sectors and across sectors for long-term impacts, and to see a different, more equitable-funding ecosystem?

Laura Aden Packer:
Well, you know, that's a great question. That's like, you know, that's a thesis topic, right? That's true, it absolutely is, but we know you're ready to kind of like,

Yeah, yeah yeah.

Sherylynn Sealy:
you know, write it in your mind and give us the answer, thank you in advance.

I think, you know, I think a lot has happened over the last 15 months that I hope we will see continue, you know? There's the grantmakers in New York City, arts grantmakers in New York City, we're in pretty regular contact with each other, through our own little, you know, unofficial grantmakers in New York, grantmakers in the arts. And we were really very, very active in the beginning months: March, April, May, June, when we were meeting every other week to really just put our heads together, "What are you doing? What are you doing? What can we do together?" And I hope that that will continue. I think, you know, we spend a lot of time talking to our peers around what they were doing. And I think the most important thing, always, constantly, is to just listen to what your grantees are telling you, hear what they're saying they need. I mean, my staff is, you know, the program staff, the entire staff at the Gillman Foundation is, I think that that is their reason for being, you know, they want to be in constant communication with our grantees, finding out what it is that we can do next to help them. And I think that that's key to making anything sustainable in the future, to dealing with past inequities. You know, we need to be aware, talking, listening, hearing what people are saying, and responding, you know, in the best way that we possibly can. So I certainly hope that we're able to continue to do that. I mean, I think the staff, you know, I'm really, you know, I mean, I am incredibly thankful to my extraordinary staff. I mean, you know, like everybody last year was a year that really tested everybody to the limits, you know. And if it was testing us to the limits, you could only imagine what it was doing to our grantees who,

- Right, of course.

- you know, I mean, you could never compare, you know, our issues, problems, you know, with what was going on in every single arts organization that we care so deeply about. So we just tried to do what we could to ease their agony, you know, ease their mind about, at least for us, you know, that we were gonna continue to be there for them. They never had to doubt that. And I think that that is one of the most important thing that funders can do. I mean, we fund our grantees every year. You know, we don't do a three-years-and-out, or, you know, they know they can count on us. And I think that that's really important and something that I'm very proud of and that our board allows us to do. We do multi-year funding, you know, all those kinds of things that I think, more and more, other funders are really also realizing these are the kinds of things we need to do, general offerings for multi-year funding. Our grantees have been clamoring for that for years.

Yeah.

Laura Aden Packer:
They've never needed it more than now. They have never needed that stability, knowing a grant check is gonna be coming, you know. Now we do direct deposit, right? So everybody's doing this, right? We'll be directly depositing to your account every year is so important. So that's sort of how I would tackle that huge question, you know, directly. It's just to stay in touch and answer their needs, you know, and do your best to answer to their needs. And don't ever presume that you know what they need.

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's right.

Laura Aden Packer:
We don't know what they need. We have to ask them and they will-

- That's right.

- happily tell us, so.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Of course, of course, I mean, you know, it's so funny to even think that someone would think otherwise, right? Like, you know what you need. I know what I need. So like, why wouldn't grantees not know what they need?

- People are always telling you what they think you need.

Yeah, it's just so funny. So, well, you know, I really appreciate you spending time with us here on the podcast, and really sharing kind of all the possibilities, you know, that other funders can think about as they continue in this recovery space, but thinking about re-imagining what the present will look like. So thank you again for your time.

Laura Aden Packer:
Thank you, Sherylynn, and thank you for everything that GIA has been doing, you know, for the last 15 months and longer. But I know that that you and the staff at GIA, you have really, as I think we've talked about, been functioning at, you know, 150, 200% of what you normally do, and it's really showed, it's been very beneficial to the field. So thank you and all your colleagues for everything you've been doing.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Thank you. All right. Thank you so much for joining us today.

James Hafferman:
Thank you for having me.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Of course. So when we spoke in March, 2020, the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to impact our nation deeply, and funders were urgently preparing to respond in a careful and prompt manner. And you shared with the GIA community what you were seeing, and what you'd recommend. What is new since then?

James Hafferman:
Well, I remember when I spoke to the GIA panel last year, and the first thing that I said was that this is a marathon, not a sprint. And while it feels like we should be at mile 26 for artists, the reality is the recovery is gonna be a lot, a much longer road. Life has not necessarily turned back to normal. And especially for the artists we serve at CERF+, a craft-based, material-based artist, very few shows are back up and running. And the shows that are, tend to be smaller, more limited. This is also complemented by the new data that we have from the Americans For the Arts and Artist Relief that illustrates the importance of continued investment in recovery. Artists remain, you know, the most severely affected segment in the nation's workforce. I mean, lost to an average of $34,000 in the creative-based economy. And this has especially impacted BIPOC artists who have had higher rates of unemployment due to the pandemic, and have lost a larger percentage of their income, their creative income. And some alarming data that we've seen is that 37% of artists have been unable to access food, or at some point, unable to afford food. And that 58% of them haven't visited a medical professional due to inability to pay. So all of that combined, plus you have other emergencies, and other life realities, social emergencies, other hurricanes that have happened, et cetera, it's gonna take artists a while to get back on their feet. And it's gonna require some support and investment to make that, help that happen. In terms of response, what we saw is that artists needed cash at that immediate time of the pandemic, the onset of it. And we immediately saw hundreds, if not, maybe thousands, of emergency relief funds cropping up. These were highly localized, in many cases, and very discipline-focused. And they were created by state art agencies, and arts organizations, along with organizations that always have emergency funds like CERF+ or Actors Fund. But, you know, for the most part, these new emergency funding initiatives, where they're new or modified to be fast moving, to get cash in the pockets of artists. And due to that high need, including CERF+, many organizations had to resort to conducting lottery-based funding mechanisms. And so that means a lot of artists potentially never got any support whatsoever. And so as I addressed in my previous talk, this is also a challenging time for BIPAC artists, and we know that the pandemic disproportionally affected them. And that that combined with the events of last year and the murder of George Floyd, and the social justice movement, it's further galvanized. And thankfully we're seeing more conversations, more education, and most importantly, I think more action on the part of funders and grantees of the community to build more inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist construct, which is really important and needed. So we also know that these environmental and social emergencies are continuing to happen and that they're compounding, and that infrastructure and collaboration are really key. And bringing those together, I talked about the importance of collaboration during the last talk. And in terms of funding, we saw a really great example of that through Artist Relief, coming in together, raising tens of millions of dollars. CERF+ joined as a field partner and advisor, and that helped to raise money for that, to support craft artists. And we saw a new community of collaboration, knowledge sharing, school sharing, guides. One example is the Tremaine Foundation bringing together a cohort of organizations to discuss how organizations can respond.

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's right.

James Hafferman:
Yeah. And then collective advocacy work, which I think we'll talk a little bit about a little bit later. But to circle back, I think, you know, to the beginning, what assistance was out there, and has been out there, whilst surely helpful, you know, the range is, I think we're somewhere in the range of 500 and maybe upwards of $5,000. But when you're talking about a 14 to 18 month lost income and the ripple effects financially and emotionally, that comes from that, combined with the fact that many of these artists didn't obtain funding for those lotteries, or didn't qualify to meet federal assistance.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Yeah.

James Hafferman:
We know that there's more that needs to be done. We need to continue to invest in those resources and tools to help people get back on their feet.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Yeah, that's great, thank you. And so what are some of the practices that you've adjusted when moving from the initial response to this recovery stage? And who have you been working with? And you just mentioned, "Collective advocacy", I'm curious about that.

James Hafferman:
Yeah, so on the recovery front, I think, you know, we're still in response mode, CERF+, I think that the Americans For the Arts data still shows that. We're gearing up to hopefully do a fourth round of COVID-relief grants, our COVID-relief grants are $1,000 to date. We've helped almost 900 individual artists with nearly $900,000 of direct assistance, but we're also looking at our other programs. So for instance, our Get Ready Grant Program in which we offer $500 grants to improve studio safety. We've shifted that or added to it, to incorporate career resilience, both in terms of technical needs, such as website development or marketing, but also helping artists with costs associated with childcare or elder care, to really help them get back in their artistic practice. And our funders, who in the past, have underwritten more traditional studio safety. But we're glad and excited to add to this and fund this new angle of Get Ready grants. And we've also attracted new funders. So, you know, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, for example, is a perfect example of a sort of cross-sector funder, you know, not directly involved in the arts, but who has been a pivotal partner, both in terms of education and resources. On the advocacy front, you know, there's been a lot of initiatives, and I think we can go into more detail on that, but the getting Creative Workers to Work Coalition is a great example of that, and The Cultural Advocacy Group. These are multi-discipline groups bringing together their ideas and their policy actions that can get support, like federal financial support, to directly in the pockets of unemployed artists and gig workers.

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's great. And can you, you mentioned this earlier, kind of like the importance of getting more involved in long-term investment, because, you know, while we're sort of in recovery, we're still sort of in response mode. So can you share with us how you're approaching long-term investments in sustainability with your grantees, knowing that many communities, as you mentioned, were not fairing well before this pandemic, this particular pandemic?

James Hafferman:
Right? Yeah, you know, our support that CERF+ offers is never gonna make an artist completely whole, but it can serve as a stepping stone toward recovery and resiliency, especially when paired with other support structures. So, for instance, our Get Ready Grant Program, but also education offerings that many of our partners are offering regarding resiliency. So looking at, how can artists expand their career practice in ways that are not in-person based opportunities? And I think been a theme that's coming throughout the pandemic since the beginning, because we have had to shift online. But we're also looking at our own preparedness and readiness education resources, and making sure that they are culturally responsive. The curriculum in particular, recognizing that there's a broader definition of what an emergency is, than I think-

- Yes.

- we've appreciated in the past. So with, in our case, with our current funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we're gonna be partnering with BIPOC lead in BIPOC, serving artists, organizations, to formulate programming that really addresses the needs and realities of BIPOC artists as we venture into this recovery mode. And then I think-

Sherylynn Sealy:
That's great.

James Hafferman:
Yeah, and I think with the power of the relationships and the partnerships, looking outside the arts, and in finding ways to build on what we've already accomplished together, I think is an important component of it as well.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Mm-hmm, so you kind of just addressed my next question. And you talked about some of your partnerships with Mellon and others, but I'll ask it nonetheless, in case there's anything you wanted to add. Have your advocacy efforts changed to ensure a better situation for artists as we reimagine the present and see institutions reopening?

James Hafferman:
Yes. I think we've seen a much stronger investment and collaboration. And so CERF+ has always been active in educating decision-makers about the needs of working artists. We have now been actively working with the Americans for the Arts, and the Getting Creative Workers to Work Coalition, and The Cultural Advocacy Group, as well as advocates for small businesses and self-employed workers, to help ensure that COVID-19 federal focus, relief packages, and related efforts really address the needs of working artists and particularly self-employed artists who most often work alone. In addition to that, we've been working with NCAPER, National Coalition of Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, on a proposal to more fully integrate the arts sector in disaster readiness ,and response, and recovery. In conjunction with the Cultural Advocacy Group, working on a statement that will be released soon, and along with commenting on discussion drafts of the CREATE Act, which will be introduced soon.

Sherylynn Sealy:
Okay. So we closed our coronavirus series last year, reflecting on how to shape a resilient cultural ecosystem. As we consider the partnerships and collaboratives that have been forged as a result of COVID-19, how can folks continue relationship-building, both within sectors and across sectors, for long-term impacts, and to see a different, more equitable-funding ecosystem?

James Hafferman:
Well, I think that we're in such a better position than we were a year and, you know, four months ago. We've learned a lot in this process, through so much that was done by the seat of our pants, so to speak. And as we move toward recovery, I think the first really important step is just taking stock of the experience, what has worked, what didn't work, and what are the gaps, so that we can learn from those lessons and then shift our focus and our priorities in that direction. And I think there's still a lot of work to be done as we talked about, especially in terms of the equity and culturally responsive angle as well. But we've also seen the power of looking outside of the arts sector and building relationships there. And so finding opportunities to continue to do that is important as well. I think from what we've seen, the investment in leadership, a willingness of funders to continue to listen and support their grantees and giving them the flexibility to prepare and respond. The Artist Relief is a perfect example of this, of how strong we can be together and how much impact we can have. And I think there's a lot to learn from that experience, and being able to respond without having to build as we go along. So this pandemic illustrated to us that no one is immune from large-scale disaster or emergencies. You've got planning, preparation, relationship-building. And that coordination being done ahead of time has always been a key to a successful response and recovery. And this is a perfect example of that as well. So it allows us to be more thoughtful and intentional and work toward all of our goals, in particular, maintaining equity and inclusion in our sights from the start.

Sherylynn Sealy:
All right, thank you so much, James.

James Hafferman:
Well, I really appreciate the opportunity. This was excellent, and thanks.

Sherylynn Sealy:
And to our listeners, we look forward to continuing these conversations. So be sure to tune in to our upcoming webinar, "Surviving a Pandemic: From emergency response, to best practice," taking place on Wednesday, July 28th, at 12:00 PM Eastern time, 9:00 AM Pacific time. To keep up with GIA updates, be sure to follow us on Facebook at GI arts, Twitter at Giarts, and Instagram, at Grantmakersinthearts. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. Sherylynnnsealy@sherylynnatgiarts.org. Thanks so much for listening.