Mutual aid is a form of participation in which people not only share responsibility for caring for one another through symbolic acts, but also change the conditions of their everyday lives by building new social relations. In response to the health and economic crises that have arisen due to COVID-19, a number of mutual aid and stopgap resources have been created by artists and arts organizations. These responses recognize the way this emergency affects all aspects of our lives, and these recommendations thus represent an equally broad range of resources. While these measures cannot meet the full needs of artists and artistic communities or provide long-standing solutions to structural problems, the possibilities generated by resource sharing provide necessary services and ways to keep each other healthy and alive in times of crisis. Check out a few of these efforts below.
We’ll continue to update this list of resources. If you know of initiatives supporting artists’ welfare that you think should be highlighted, please let us know at [email protected].
Creative Capital, the Vera List Center, and the Department of Cultural Affairs have put together a fulsome set of resources to meet some of the immediate needs of artists during the pandemic. In addition, Cultured magazine has published a great list of Resources and Emergency Grants for Artists Affected by COVID-19. A few of the resources listed include:
- Anonymous Was a Woman is distributing $250,000 in grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Wethos outsourcing platform has teamed up with the Freelancers Union to create a $500,000 Freelancers Relief Fund which will provide $1,000 to freelancers in need of emergency assistance.
- Artist Relief is providing $5,000 emergency grants to artists who have been affected by COVID-19
- A relief fund for artists affected by cancellations due to COVID-19 has been started by Artist Relief Tree.
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts has created a new fast-track intake process for COVID-19 related issues faced by artists. The best way to get in touch is via email.
- The NYC Consumer Affairs website has an outline of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act that includes a copy of the rules and laws for freelance workers in New York City.
- Wiggle Room has launched Workers Need Childcare to connect NYC parents to free and low-cost childcare options during COVID-19.
- Color of Change has partnered with Black Entertainment Television to create an action plan for the Black community that includes essential information and tools to fight injustice during this time.
- Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action have launched a reporting center to allow community members to report incidents of hate they have experienced.
- We Are Not COVID-19 has created a spreadsheet documenting racism against People of Asian-American and Pacific Island Descent.
- Check out this list of at-home mental health resources: COVID-19/At-Home Mental Health Resource List.
- Hire Artists is a marketplace designed to facilitate creative exchange during an unprecedented economic crisis.