Supporting Black Artists and Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis
Angela N Carroll
As stock markets continue to plunge and states across the nation enforce stricter social distancing mandates, BAIA considers how the COVID-19 pandemic, aka “dat ‘rona” is affecting Black art markets and artists. First, we encourage readers to stay affirmed during this time of deep anxiety and fear. There is a silver lining. Black communities, migrant communities, and communities of color have always known how to adapt, survive, and make do with what we have. There are myriad ways that we are being challenged to dive back into the systems that our elders developed to keep on keeping on. This article hopes to provide guidance for, community members who want to support artists, artists who are seeking support and also give big-ups to some of the virtual art markets who have made it their mission to uplift Black creatives.
In the last few weeks, many of our emails have been flooded with notices about the cancellation of highly anticipated art openings and the closure of major art institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Smithsonian Museums among many others all over the world. Artists, non-profit workers, and freelancers are among some of the populations who have been most affected by these closures. Data released by Americans for the Arts Action Fund noted that America’s nonprofit arts sector has suffered significant losses: “Financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion.” These shifts are challenging us all to reconsider our dependence on systems that are deeply invested in unstable markets, and also inciting artists and art-lovers to devise creative ways to sustain our art practices and patronage.
As we all work to develop new strategies to fund our art practices and support other artists, BAIA has created a list of resources for artists and a list of opportunities for art patrons to assist POC art communities who have been economically impacted by the pandemic.
Lists to Contribute Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations
- Contact Members of Congress to ensure that $4 billion be distributed to the National Endowment for the Arts to help offset the losses of nonprofit arts industries that support artists.
- Contribute to the Shades Collective Fundraiser for BlPOC artists
- Donate to the COVID-19 NYC Black Folk Mutual Aid Fund
- Donate to Pyer Moss Fund for Minority and Women-Owned Small Creative Businesses
- Donate to support Women in Photography
- Donate to Black Art In America as a monthly Patreon
List for Artists, Curators and Arts Organizations Seeking Support
- Creative Capital List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- SuperMaker: Resources for Freelancers Trying to Stay Afloat
- Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
- Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC)
- Necessary Tomorrow’s: Fund to Support Baltimore Based Black Artists/Creatives
- The Ashe Fund to Support Black Women Creatives
- COVID-19 – NYC Black Folk Mutual Aid Fund
- Kinkade Family Foundation: Emergency Grant for Curators
Traditional art markets have been deeply impacted by COVID-19, but Black-owned and operated digital platforms continue to provide service and we’re open for business. Here is a short list of virtual marketplaces that sell art works and other merchandise made by Black creatives.
BAIA understands that new initiatives and fundraisers are being developed daily to support Black artists. If you know about other resources that should be added to this list, drop their name and website in the comments section below.
Stay encouraged, family!
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Angela N. Carroll is an artist-archivist; a purveyor and investigator of art history and culture in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Angela contributes contemporary art, performance and film criticism for BmoreArt Magazine, Arts.Black, Sugarcane Magazine, and Umber Magazine. She received her MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California at Santa Cruz and currently teaches within the Film and Moving Image program at Stevenson University in Baltimore Maryland. Follow her on IG @angela_n_carroll or at angelancarroll.com.
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