“We could be looking at a loss of $100,000 or more when it’s all said and done.” That’s C4 Atlanta’s Jessyca Holland assessing the toll Covid-19 is taking on Atlanta artists and arts organizations.
She knows professional artists — DJs, musicians, set engineers, theater artists, dancers, visual artists and more — losing as much as $10,000 per contract. These are the people applying for grants through C4’s Atlanta Artist Lost Gig Fund, which launched March 17 and, to date, has raised more than $27,000, or 91 percent of its $30,000 goal. (To apply or donate, go HERE. Donations only HERE.)
The fund is designed to provide financial assistance to metro artists who have unmet essential needs due to lost revenue from canceled events and gigs — utility bills, mortgages, groceries, health insurance.
“We were going to launch no matter how much money we had,” says Holland, C4’s cofounder and executive director. Before Covid-19, the Atlanta Artist Lost Gig Fund was going to fund health emergencies just as the nonprofit Giving Kitchen does for food-service workers. When the pandemic closed workplaces and sent many artists home, C4 altered the funds’ path. The goal, she says, was to “get cash into people’s hands as soon as possible.”
Mailchimp donated $15,000 at the beginning, Holland says, and the nonprofit arts service organization has been receiving donations from people who’ve never given before, including one gentleman who contributed $15,000. The fund has gifted more than $16,000 in amounts up to $500. “That,” Holland says, “doesn’t even begin to touch the money that’s been lost.”
Obviously the more donations C4 receives, the more artists it can help. It’s hoping to assist at least 70 artists, if not more, and wants donors to know that 100 percent of the money given goes into artists’ hands.
The gifts are capped at $500 so recipients don’t have to worry about income taxes. C4 is turning applications into cash (via PayPay for self-distancing reasons) as soon as possible. Artists receive their money in two or three days and sometimes within 24 hours. If it takes longer than that, or the application isn’t available, it’s because the fund is temporarily out of money. (C4 members are given priority, but all artists can apply.)
This Atlanta Artist Lost Gig Fund is open to arts professionals in any discipline, Holland says, including administrators, visual artists, craft artisans, performing artists of all kinds, musicians, writers and all others.
C4 Atlanta has broken down donation amounts to show what size donation covers what kind of bill:
- GAS BILL: $50 covers what an artist might need to pay for a gas or internet bill.
- LIGHT BILL: $100 covers a moderate bill, like electricity or water.
- GROCERY BILL: $250 is enough for groceries for a family.
- RENT: $500 is enough for one artist’s portion of monthly rent or mortgage payments.
“Several arts organization’s leaders have personally donated,” Holland says, “which is so generous because we know arts orgs are also in critical need.”
In times like these, when we are separated by necessity, ArtsATL is needed more than ever. Please consider a donation so we can continue to highlight Atlanta’s creative community during this unprecedented time.