THANK YOU to everyone who pitched in to provide $1,000 Emergency Grants to LA County Art Workers struggling in the aftermath of the COVID-19 closures. Between the two rounds of grants in June and October, we distributed a total of 85 Emergency Grants. If this project has shown us anything over the last six months, it's that collective, grassroots efforts can and DO make a difference in our community.
We are grateful to all of you for digging deep at a time when uncertainty and instability have cast long shadows on nearly every aspect of life. Unfortunately, the LA Art Workers Relief Fund will not continue with a third round of Emergency Grants. We will, however, not stand idly by in the coming months and years as we watch the LA County arts community rebound. We will stay active and involved to help usher positive change into our shared labor reality. Our hope is that our institutions and arts organizations find more humane and socially expansive ways of operating so that our collective 'new normal' includes true financial stability and parity for a greater number of Art Workers.
Keep up the good fight!
The LA Art Workers Relief Fund was an emergency response to the sudden, widespread economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal was to raise as much money as possible in order to distribute $1,000 grants to as many art workers across LA County as possible.
With the shuttering of our arts institutions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Art Workers across Los Angeles have found themselves unable to meet basic financial obligations like rent. The LA Art Workers Relief Fund directed support from every strata of the LA art industry toward this valuable ecosystem of workers.
Beyond the boundaries of this fundraising endeavor, we invite you to invest in the well-being of LA Art Workers on an on-going basis, whether you're an established artist or art collector with a big heart, a gallery director who values your team, a museum board member interested in changing the culture of your institution, a lover of the arts who wants to help, or a fellow Art Worker invested in fighting the good fight.
An Art Worker is an individual who works in the art industry in a wide variety of essential professional roles:
Visitor Services Associate, Museum Educator, Art Handler, Docent, Maintenance Worker, Intern, Writer, Administrator, Fabricator, Artist's Studio Assistant, Fine Art Shipping Dispatcher, Picture Framer, Museum or Gallery Guard and many more. Over the past several years, art workers have built LA into a thriving arts capital. Unfortunately, a frequent lack of benefits, full-time positions and guaranteed work also leaves many especially vulnerable to the effects of an economic downturn.
Am I eligible to apply?
Art Workers living and/or working in LA County who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 business closures, and who can show that they worked in a visual arts-related job in the six months prior to the corona virus-related closures were eligible to apply.
How do I apply?
Unfortunately, the LA Art Workers Relief Fund will not continue with a third round of Emergency Grants. Please see the Resources page on this website for information about other emergency grants and opportunities for funding.
The LA Art Workers Relief Fund is organized by a small group of artists who pay the bills with museum, gallery and freelance work while maintaining their own creative practices. Beginning in March, 2020, we saw most of our colleagues, the talented and highly-skilled Angelenos who build and maintain exhibitions at successful institutions across LA, fall out of this labor market with little to no institutional support or safety net.
We believe this crisis is best met by promoting unity across a wide range of interdependent labor roles in the arts, and we see this as a unique opportunity for the art world to reinvest in the well-being of its labor force.
We donated our time, energy and passion to the campaign so that 100% of the funds raised (minus GoFundMe and fiscal sponsor fees) could be given directly to our grant applicants. In order to be responsible stewards of the funds, we partnered with several community organizations that helped us spread information to as large and diverse an audience as possible before the application periods began. To maintain clear boundaries in the application process, our community partners independently reviewed applications.
Our Community Partners were Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, The Women's Center for Creative Work, Los Angeles Artist Census, Thank You For Coming, Vielmetter Los Angeles, The Homer Project and more. With the extraordinary $25,000 matching grant that they provided, Metabolic Studio was our most ardent supporter. Fulcrum Arts, our fiscal sponsor, made the project possible and guided us every step of the way. We are immensely grateful to each of these organizations!