Art

Colorado Emergency Artist Relief Fund Needs Your Support

The Colorado Artist Relief Fund seeks support.
The Colorado Artist Relief Fund seeks support. Karsh Hagan
Colorado funders are rallying to support artists through the COVID-19 crisis, though the grants that are available are hot commodities — and few will pay all of the bills. One of the largest statewide pools of money is the Colorado Artist Relief Fund. That’s a granting collaboration between Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Arts & Venues (through its IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund), the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Colorado Creative Industries and RedLine Contemporary Art Center.

“The fund will provide grants of up to $1,000 to individual artists living in Colorado, working in multiple disciplines including visual, digital, film, music, performing, teaching, etc., and whose incomes are being adversely affected due to cancellation of events, classes, performances, and other creative work,” according to the RedLine website.

When Denver Arts & Venues opened its emergency fund several weeks ago, it was flooded with requests — many from artists outside the city. So RedLine, which is serving as the fiscal sponsor for many of these funds, offered its own grants to support artists living within eighty miles of Denver.

After Colorado Creative Industries, which is under the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, opened up its Artist Relief Fund, more than 450 creatives across the state applied for emergency assistance. To increase the pool, CCI began to solicit donations and run PSAs on local television channels.


“Donations are beginning to come in,” says Margaret Hunt, head of Colorado Creative Industries. “But not as fast as the applications for relief are, so we can use all the help we can get with this effort.”

In addition to CCI's granting efforts, the organization has compiled a robust list of resources for out-of-work artists and struggling arts organizations at coloradocreativeindustries.org. The site offers guides to applying for small-business loans for nonprofits, cultural organizations and individual artists; it also has suggestions for those seeking unemployment benefits. Too often, artists forget that they are running businesses as well as paying their own bills, notes Hunt.

To donate to the Colorado Artist Relief Fund, go to Redline's Colorado Artist Relief Fund.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris