New York City is giving back to its creatives with a major outlet to not only benefit them but the city too.
The New York Times (NYT) reports that the city is launching a brand new $25 million recovery program to lend financial support to artists and performers whose income has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new program, the City Artist Corps, will reportedly provide funding to artists and musicians as well as other performers to help them create works across the city through public art, performances, pop-up shows, murals and other community arts projects.
According to Gonzalo Casals, New York City’s cultural affairs commissioner, the initiative aims to ensure artists are not being left out of the city’s recovery efforts during the pandemic.
“We want to make sure that we put funds in the pocket of artists,” he said in an interview with the NYT. “Artists have been one of the hardest-hit populations. They have so much to offer and so much give.”
City officials say that the $25 million program is expected to create jobs for more than 1,500 artists in New York City, and marks a significant investment for the city’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene.
Many clubs and performance venues had to temporarily shut down amid the pandemic, and others who didn’t survive from canceled shows and slashed budgets were forced to close down for good.
Additionally, a survey by nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts concluded that 95 percent of artists lost income during the pandemic as well.
Mr. Casals and other city officials wish to help independent artists who may have been previously disconnected from larger institutions and left out of city, state and federal programs.
Though New York has not finalized specifics on how to distribute money to these artists or qualifications for the City Artist Corps, officials hope to have some art projects on display for the public to see no later than July 1, also the set target date for the full reopening of New York City.