UPDATED: 4/8/20 1:39 p.m.
More than 100 Pinellas County artists are set to receive over $55,000 in emergency funds this week.
That’s according to a release from Creative Pinelass, which worked with community partners like St. Petersburg Arts Alliance to create the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund. The fund aims to “provide immediate financial relief for artists, arts businesses and arts organizations affected by the Covid-19 emergency.”
“The first wave of funds will be released to artists within the next week with additional funds to be distributed a few days later,” the release said.
Dugan Cooley, CEO of the Pinellas Community Foundation, aid that more than 300 applicants responded when applications for the fund opened on March 31. The release adds that applications are reviewed and evaluated by a volunteer advisory committee “using a common set of guidelines for a fair-minded process.”
Grants are being awarded based on demonstrable need, according to the release, and the most vulnerable are receiving funding first. Applications for the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund are temporarily closed as the current applications are reviewed and available funds are distributed.
John Collins, Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that the a list of the first recipients is not public.
"The artists have to respond first with some very brief paperwork," Collins explained. "So that would be premature."
“The need is clearly great, and we are moving as quickly as possible in order to get the funds into the hands of the people who need them,” Cooley, who is managing the Arts Community Relief Fund, said. “We started with the artists first and have worked our way through that. Over the next few days, we will be focusing on arts businesses and organizations, and getting to them as quickly as possible as well.”
In less than two weeks since its debut, the fund has already collected $110,000 in donations from groups like the Gobioff Foundation and the Milkey Family Foundation.
“We are seeing donations from artists and supporters of all kinds. It is truly uplifting in all this time of challenge, to see the power of our community coming together,” Cooley added.
Support from donors, philanthropists and foundations could reopen the fund to new applicants. Visit pinellascf.org to contribute or get more information.
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