272 individual artists and individual teaching artists, humanists, and scientists have each been awarded $1,000 grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Covid-19 Relief Fund for Individuals, the state arts agency announced yesterday. With a total of $272,000 awarded to creative professionals statewide, the agency said it funded 14 percent of the more than 1,800 applications it received.

Massachusetts creative professionals have lost $16,527,749 in personal income—
averaging $7,048 per person—due to coronavirus closings and restrictions, the Mass Cultural Council says its surveys have shown. “These are not projections, but actual income figures and employment opportunities lost by Massachusetts artists and teaching artists, humanists, and scientists during this pandemic,” the agency says.

On April 15, the agency reported that more than 15,000 cultural jobs across the state had been affected by coronavirus and Massachusetts cultural organizations had lost more than $264,000,000 in revenue.

With these Mass Cultural Council’s relief funds granted, the agency said the fund is now empty. “Mass Cultural Council is actively seeking and accepting funding from other sources to support this program,” the agency said on its website. “If additional resources become available, Mass Cultural Council will use the randomized selection process on the existing unfunded applications to make additional awards.”

It is just one of the artist relief funds running out of money. The Essex County Community Foundation in Danvers put out a call April 27 for additional donations: “In March, ECCF launched the Essex County Artist Fund to help our creatives stay afloat by providing $400 grants to artists facing income loss due to the pandemic. Since its inception, the fund has raised more than $35,000 and made grants to nearly 90 artists. But the fund is now depleted and there are hundreds of artists who are still struggling.”

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Categories: Art