Allied Arts of Whatcom County COVID-19 Response:
Information for artists, arts organizations and patrons of the arts
(Compiled from Edmonds Arts Commission and other sources)
Arts and culture creative organizations are a key part of community identity in Whatcom County. As with other businesses, COVID-19 has brought major hardships to the creative sector as venues close, programs and festivals are canceled, and staff are furloughed or laid off.
ArtsFund released the results of their recent (March 12-19) survey of almost 120 arts and culture nonprofits in the Puget Sound area showing “staggering and immediate impact to the arts sector.” The estimated financial loss just through March is over $21 million (www.artsfund.org). At the national level, Americans for the Arts estimate that the financial losses to date in the nonprofit arts sector are about $3.6 billion.
Americans for the Arts is working hard to make sure there is direct support for both nonprofit cultural organizations and state and local arts and humanities agencies, as well as economic relief provisions for independent contractors, “gig economy” workers and artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses working in the creative economy. Find out the latest arts advocacy news on the national level at www.AmericansForTheArts.org
There are several ways you can support our Whatcom County arts community:
- Make a donation this month to a favorite organization. A list of some of Whatcom County organizations is available as part of our Arts and Culture Guide found here.
- Donate the cost of your ticket for a canceled show instead of requesting a refund.
- See a show or view “virtual galleries” online
- Many artists, galleries, restaurants and businesses feature ability to purchase goods and services online.
State and National Level Advocacy:
- Artist Trust is a state-wide organization that support individual artists of all genres from all around the state. Donate to their relief fund: www.artsfund.org
- Inspire Washington, a WA state arts, heritage, and science advocacy agency, anticipates a special state legislative session to address impact of COVID-19. They ask for signatures on a letter they want to send immediately to Governor Inslee. The letter will serve as a template for subsequent letters to all other elected officials, including federal, state, county and local jurisdictions. For a copy of the letter and to find out how to participate, email email@example.com.
- Americans for the Arts has championed a $4 billion dollar ask to Congress which they just approved for coronavirus support for the arts. If approved by the Senate, these funds would be appropriated to the NEA for non-profit arts and culture (theatres, zoos, performing arts, museums, science-technology centers, orchestras, ballet companies, etc.). Fill out the Americans For The Arts survey: To secure relief funding, there needs to be a clear story that articulates the economic losses and programmatic impact.
- Advocate for federal arts and cultural relief funding: Click this link and fill out the form to send an advocacy letter to your federal lawmakers.
The following is a list of information and resources made available to assist artist and arts organizations manage the current economic crisis:
Whatcom Community Foundation The Whatcom Community Foundation’s Resilience Fund is our community’s bounce-back fund. It’s here to help anyone and everyone in our community —individuals, families, nonprofits, businesses—recover from a crisis or disaster through a combination of emergency preparedness investments and response funding.
Whatcom Unified Command COVID 19 Response has a website with the most up to date information about how COVID 19 affects our residents and local businesses.
Washington State Employment Security Department information about workers affected by COVID-19. In the Youtube video link below, Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine has an update for Washington state on the federal stimulus bill.
You can sign up for COVID-19 action alerts at www.esd.wa.gov..
1. Extends unemployment benefits to those currently not eligible – those self employed, those with fewer than 680 hours, and others currently not eligible for social security.
2. Adds $600 to your weekly benefit through July.
Washington State Arts Commission has created a resource page on the ArtsWA website where you can find the latest agency news and updates, as well as other local and statewide resources.
Artist Trust COVID-19 Relief Fund Information about grants to WA State artists and how to donate to support this fund
National Endowment for the Arts have FAQs and relief resources and opportunities related to COVID-19 available on our website, and we will continue to update these sections with new information as it becomes available.
Inspire Washington has a list of state-wide resources and information, including activities for the kids
The Actors Fund has partnered with several industry organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to those who have immediate financial needs
COVID 19 & Freelance Artists is a list of several resources:
Authors League Fund helps professional writers in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses
Methow Art Alliance in Twisp WA pulled together a comprehensive list of emergency resources for artists of all genres:
Washington Tourism Alliance introduces the showWAlove.com website. A place where Washingtonians can purchase gift cards from YOU and show their support for tourism-related local businesses.
Washington State Labor Council https://www.wslc.org/
American Federation of Musicians www.afm.org and http://AFM105.org
Washington ESD is encouraging freelance & independent contractors to apply for unemployment anyway, even though their application forms don’t allow for it, and they said they will have a human being get back to those individuals to assess their specific situation. That was even before the federal stimulus was passed. https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19 The middle section addresses independent contractors & gig workers specifically. this is directly from ESD: https://youtu.be/Qa7dhvJD5j0
This list will be updated as opportunities arise. Check back frequently! Last updated 3/30/2020