Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County have launched a grant program to allocate $267,500 in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to Anne Arundel County-based independent, professional artists to assist with ongoing financial losses sustained due to COVID-19. Eligible artists can receive one-time grants up to $2,500.
Independent artists are defined as individuals who earn most of their income from artistic activities and are not full-time salaried employees of larger organizations. To be eligible to apply, applicants must also be 18 years of age or older and must be county residents. Artists who have a studio or workspace in Anne Arundel but reside in another county will also be considered for funding.
A recent study conducted by Americans for the Arts discussed the pandemic’s devastating impact on the art sector. Thirty-seven percent of artists were unable to access or afford food at some point during the pandemic and 58 percent were unable to afford medical care. The arts, as an industry, continues to recover more slowly than other economic sectors. Ninety-five percent of independent artists experienced income loss due to pandemic closures, cancellations and restrictions, with the decline in estimated total annual income per creative worker averaging $27,103.
Many artists, most of whom are self-employed and have little or no economic safety net, are still struggling to recover from these losses.
The council will begin accepting applications through an online portal available at www.acaac.org on Nov. 1; the application period will close on Nov. 30. A virtual information session will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. to provide applicants with an opportunity to ask questions. Detailed grant guidelines are available at www.dropbox.com/s/sae4s02jjkry1ds/2023%20ARPA%20Independent%20Artists%20Program%20Guidelines.pdf?dl=0.