ArtsMemphis opens emergency COVID-19 relief fund for local artists

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The arts are back in Memphis.

But the last 18 months amid the pandemic have been trying for many artists.

“It was a frustrating time, honestly,” said musician Michael Mosby.

Pre-pandemic, Mosby spent most of his time playing the drums for live events all across the city. But live events canceled, and venues closed meant very few gigs.

That’s why ArtsMemphis stepped up to help after a more than $20 million loss in income among local arts organizations.

“We have done everything that we could to keep artists and arts organizations connected and to provide resources to help them through this time,” said Arts Memphis president and CEO, Elizabeth Rouse.

That includes providing more than $2 million to local arts organizations and launching an artist emergency fund that’s supported more than 640 artists.

Mosby, who also serves as the Fellowship Coach for Memphis Music Initiative says he’s grateful for the funds that also helped keep organizations going for kids during this time.

“We can cultivate our youth, cultivate our students, cultivate the opportunity that’s before us and our youth is the way to do it,” Mosby said.

Rouse says the next few months are critical for the organization.

“We encourage anyone who’s willing to be part of helping the arts recover to contribute via our website, and that funding will go to support arts recovery and provide critical dollars to arts organizations in 2022.”

ArtsMemphis has recently opened its artist emergency fund again, an opportunity for artists to receive up to $750 of unrestricted funds.

The deadline to apply is October 15.

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Posted by Josie Ballin at 15:30

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