Artists in New York can finally expect financial relief.

Business Insider reports artists in the Big Apple will receive monthly stipends ranging from $1,000 to $2,400 over 18 months. Creatives Rebuild New York — launched by Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander in 2021 — are spearheading the effort to combat the difficulties of navigating the pandemic in one of the world’s most expensive cities. The program will distribute $125 million in funding with $115 million of it coming from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

“Funding in the arts and cultural sector has long prioritized support for organizations rather than for individual artists,” said Jamie Hand, the Director of Strategic Impact and Narrative Change at Creatives Rebuild New York, according to Business Insider. “CRNY aspires to build longer-term, replicable funding structures for artists that can be sustained outside the context of emergency relief.” 

The funding is long overdue as artists have suffered greatly. The outlet reports: “In New York City in particular, the entertainment and recreation sector saw the largest decline among all sectors due to the pandemic, with employment declining by 66% between December 2019 and December 2020,” according to The Office of the New York State Comptroller.

“Things are not yet ‘back to normal’ for the arts sector as a whole, which typically generates $120 billion and half a million jobs for the state,” Hand said, Business Insider reports. “We believe that improving the lives of artists is central to the vitality of New York State’s social and economic well-being.”

Artists will have the freedom to use the funds as they please. Creatives Rebuild New York will also help 300 artists land jobs with community-based organizations. Selected creatives can expect a salary of $65,000 per year for two years. 

The Creatives Rebuild New York website also states organizations hiring artists will be supported with annual grants between $25,000 and $100,000.

Applications for artists in financial need opened this week and will close on March 25. To apply, click here.