SNF Supports Artists in New York with New $125 Million Initiative

February 15, 2022

NEW YORK – Envisioning a new paradigm for supporting artists and the contributions they make to our communities, Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) has launched two programs that seek to provide transformative opportunities to 2,700 artists.

The Guaranteed Income for Artists program will offer $1,000 in no-strings-attached monthly income to 2,400 New York State artists over 18 months. At the same time, the Artist Employment Program will partner with community-based organizations and municipalities around the state to employ artists in salaried positions. More information about how to apply for the guaranteed income and employment programs is available online: https://www.creativesrebuildny.org/apply/guaranteed-income/ and https://www.creativesrebuildny.org/apply/artist-employment/.

CRNY is a major new three-year initiative from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the Ford Foundation that seeks to help kick-start a renaissance in New York’s creative sector, following a catastrophic period under the pandemic during which the field shed half its jobs.

“The pandemic underscored, more sharply than ever before, the vital role that art and artists play in their communities, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is proud to collaborate in recognizing this role by supporting artists in pursuing their work,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos when the initiative was first announced in June 2021.

Support for individual artists to pursue their calling and grow in their practice, through the SNF ARTWORKS Fellowship for instance, is an important part of SNF’s work to open up access in the arts. SNF grants recognize the role the arts can play in connecting, healing, and inspiring communities, like through the Porch Light program from Philadelphia Mural Arts or in the Greek mountain village of Vamvakou.

“There are guaranteed income programs that have been launching across the country, many of them pilots to understand if this work has been working,” Sarah Calderon, the executive director of the CRNY program told the New York Times on February 14.

“Creatives Rebuild New York has seen that data and really believes that it does work,” she said, adding that “the intention is not just to generate guaranteed income for artists, but to make sure than any broader guaranteed income programs that are being considered take into account the needs of artists and the importance and value of their work,” the Times reported.

“The program, which will accept applications through March 25, will attempt to reach communities that are historically underserved by philanthropy,” the Times reported, noting that “the application process will include accommodations for non-English speakers, people with disabilities and those without internet access.”

“This isn’t just about the pandemic,” Calderon told the Times, adding that “the goal was to find new, better ways to support artists.”

“Often funding is merit-based, often funding involves rather burdensome processes to get the funds, and often there’s not enough to go around,” she told the Times.

For those interested in applying, “the program’s definition of an artist is fairly broad, describing it as ‘someone who regularly engages in artistic or cultural practice’ to express themselves, pass on traditional knowledge, offer cultural resources to their communities or work with communities toward social impacts,” the Times reported, noting that “disciplines that fall within its definition include crafts, dance, design, film, literary arts, media arts, music, oral tradition, social practice, theater, performance art, traditional arts, visual arts and interdisciplinary arts.”


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