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Arts & Culture

New Program To Help Bexar County Artists In The Age of Coronavirus

NALAC-20060916-BVGMural-0047.jpg
Courtesy National Association of Latino Arts & Culture

Update on April 1: San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture and the Luminaria Artist Foundation announced they are suspending the program to help artists during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a large number of responses.

Applications submitted before April 3 at 5 p.m. will be evaluated for funding.

Many Bexar County residents are reeling from job loss or work hours being cut back. Artists have suffered major losses too, due to canceled concerts, art shows and other events. 

Now the Corona Arts Relief Program hopes to alleviate that pain. It's being overseen by Luminaria's Kathy Armstrong.

“The objective is to help artists who have lost out on opportunities to earn their income,” she said. “So, artists who were scheduled to perform at venues now shuddered temporarily, artists who were going to be showing their artwork. Really just a support program for the artists of San Antonio.”

As to how its funding works, she says it's a collaborative effort, and conceivably could be ongoing. 

"This is a collaboration with the city's Department of Arts and Culture,” said Armstrong. 

“The funding is coming through the Luminaria Arts Foundation

, (which) is a branch of Luminaria that began earlier this year when the Artist Foundation of San Antonio decided that they could no longer exist."

Funds from that entity were rolled over into the Luminaria Arts Foundation, which is seed money for Corona Arts Relief. 

That fund has just less than $25,000 at this point, but donations could make the account grow as it pays out monies to artists. Armstrong detailed the process artists will use to apply.

"It's an online process. It's with anyartist.org and anyartist.org has waived all fees for using this service,” she said. “The online application asks you to give information about you and your artwork, and if you are seeking funding for professional development or if you are seeking funding for lost revenue."

Artists who are accepted will receive awards up to $600, but if subsequent donations to the fund grow it, there could be a second round of awards. Armstrong says there is a short window for artists to submit applications.

Kathy Armstrong
Credit Fred Gonzales
Kathy Armstrong

"The applications are open until April 14. As soon as it closes, we'll get our panel moving to evaluate and fact-check all the applications that we have, and we hope to turn it around within one week,” Armstrong said.  “We'll be able to distribute the funds by the end of April, early May."

To qualify, artists applying must live in Bexar County.