The Orange County Arts Commission has announced the fifth and final round of Orange County Arts Support Fund grants. Nineteen individuals and seven organizations received a total of $51,000 in relief grants.
The fund was created on March 15, 2020, in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts industry. Since its creation, the fund has provided $134,150 in grants to the local arts community through 159 grants to arts workers and 16 grants to local organizations, including:
- Art Therapy Institute
- Chelsea Theater
- Daylight Community Arts Foundation
- FRANK Gallery
- Hillsborough Arts Council
- Kidzu Childrens Museum
- Musical Empowerment
- North Carolina Arts in Action
- North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble
- Playmakers Repertory Company
- Sisters’ Voices
- VOICES Chapel Hill Chorus
The fund was supported by 365 individual donors and twenty-four foundation and corporate donors.
“The average individual donation was $125, proving how this was a community-based grassroots effort. Many donors gave more than once over the last year – a little here and there – and it added up. These grants put food on the table, paid rent, and provided healthcare to members of our local creative community. It was a lifeline during what has probably been the biggest crisis to ever impact our industry,” states OCAC director, Katie Murray.
While the relief fund has concluded, it has illustrated a need for similar efforts during times of crisis. “We are discussing ways in which we can have a permanent and ongoing relief fund for artists facing temporary hardship. Artists are the heart and soul of our community, and we want to support them in every way we can. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we never know what is going to happen. We need to be prepared.” states Murray.