The coronavirus crisis has impacted nearly every facet of the cultural sector, with institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum in New York laying off employees in the face of financial hardship and working artists reporting huge financial losses because of the pandemic. To provide support to workers in the cultural sector, four New York–based foundations have teamed up to establish a grant program offering $1.25 million in aid.
The Willem de Kooning Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Teiger Foundation, and the Cy Twombly Foundation have created an emergency effort, administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts, for arts workers based in the tristate New York area who have sustained financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak. The fund will give one-time, individual grants of $2,000 to freelance, contract, or non-salaried archivists, art handlers, artist assistants, registrars, cataloguers, and others.
The relief fund will have three rounds of applications, with the first running from May 5 to 6. Subsequent rounds will go from May 19 to 20 and June 2 to 3. To be eligible to receive a grant, applicants must provide proof of residence in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, and they must have at least five years of experience in their respective fields. Applicants must also demonstrate their financial need for the grant.
Amy Schichtel, executive director of the Willem de Kooning Foundation, which initiated the program, said in a statement that the foundations involved “all rely on the expertise of these dedicated, hardworking individuals” whom emergency fund will serve. “We feel the imperative to acknowledge their importance by helping them get through this difficult time,” Schichtel added.