Artist Emergency Relief Fund: Supporting the arts community during covid-19

By Tiana Binns

The world is facing troubling and uncertain times right now. For many, being out of work is putting immense financial strain on them and their families.

This is the very immediate reality for many artists, who are already facing financial hardships due to cancellations of exhibitions, shows and not being able to continue to create or make a profit from their art.

LIFE Civic artists relief fund compressor

The Civic Theatre in Tallaght noticed this all too well through artists that often perform at their venue when they had to cancel all upcoming shows indefinitely until the Covid-19 pandemic calms down.

In support of local artists in Ireland, the General Manager of The Civic Theatre, Niamh Ferry, along with the rest of the staff at the Civic organised the Artist Emergency Relief Fund to aid artists during this time of financial distress.

 

The fund was created via GoFundMe and to date has raised €43,444 from 780 donors through 90 different grants.

Created on March 14, 2020, the Civic has sent funds to over forty artists and art workers within the creative arts, music and film industry, distributing €19,185. The Civic Theatre’s goal is to do its part to help everyone come together as a community to try to make this pandemic a bit easier for people to get through.

Although the Civic Theatre itself and many other venues have made a commitment to honor wages and fees on co-productions currently in progress and on hold, this cannot meet the emergency needs of artists.

It is also important to recognise that not all artists have the privilege of still gaining wages during this time and the Civic wants to ease some of the weight put on those artists as well.

Niamh said: “Artists, arts workers and performers are one of the most instantly impacted groups of people in this unprecedented crisis that we find ourselves.

Thirty percent of artists, performers and arts workers earn under the minimum wage already.”

Due to the unknown timeline of closures and cancellations due to Covid-19, artists are left in the dark with no income from their art.

Many venues have cancelled exhibitions and shows with no payment to the artist and with everyone except for essential workers being out of work, even those artists with part time jobs are struggling.

The Artist Emergency Relief Fund wants to provide financial relief to Irish artists who had guaranteed income that was lost due to Covid-19.

Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.

Donations to the fund are accepted by individuals and corporations in order to replenish the fund and continue to make payments to eligible artists in the queue.

The Civic is covering all admin/processing costs so 100% of every donation goes directly to artists in the community. You can donate to the fund online at: Artist Emergency Relief Fund

“Artists in Ireland are living with no safety net, working from gig to gig, event to event.

The grim reality is that some are living in poverty with no security, no pensions, no sick leave, no parental leave and no means to plan for the future.

The impact of this pandemic is particularly savage for artists in Ireland at this time”, Niamh said.

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