April 14, 2020 | Kate
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
Wichita, Kansas (April 14, 2020) -The Wichita Creatives Emergency Relief Fund was created for individuals working in the art and creative sector who have been impacted by the current public health crisis. The primary concern is for the well-being of our community’s creatives - specifically, independent artists, musicians, performers and others who work in a creative capacity. The fund will provide $500 rapid response, need-based grants to help offset the lost wages affecting so many in our creative community.
The fund launches with $25,000 from the COVID-19 Connection Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation and $10,000 from the Arts Council (who will also act as the fiscal sponsor). Organizers would like to raise at least $50,000 by this Friday, April 17th when applications open. Arts supporters should DONATE HERE. The first round of grants will be awarded on Friday, April 24th.
The idea arose from a collective zoom cocktail hour with a group of Wichita arts and culture organizers and advocates a few weeks ago, including Kristin Beal (Co-Founder, Program Director, Harvester Arts), Shannon Boone (Owner, Chief Chaos Coordinator, Shay Chic Productions), Emily Brookover (Director of Community Development, Downtown Wichita) Ann Keefer (Vice President Program Development, Wichita Festivals, Inc.), Lela Meadow-Conner (CEO & mother/founder, mama.film) and Kate Van Steenhuyse (Co-Founder, Executive Director, Harvester Arts.) Local artist Hannah Scott has been hired to design graphics for the campaign.
“We all work for arts and cultural and/or advocacy organizations. In our daily practice and throughout history, we know that the arts are fundamental to human existence. Preserving our local culture and the health of our community’s creatives is essential to the health of our ecosystem, which requires the constant infusion of artistic energy,” said the group.
“People have historically turned to the arts during times of strife, and now this cultural moment is no different. Artists are our keepers of history, they will reflect on the unprecedented times we are living in. If we want to have a vibrant city to come back to we have to support and engage our talent. If there ever was a time, it’s now. No donation is too small and we hope to continue our community fundraising efforts through the week (and beyond) so that we can support as many creatives as possible.”
Read Applicant eligibility and more below. Applications open at 9 am on Friday, April 17th.
All applicants must live in Sedgwick County or contribute to the Wichita Arts Community.
All applicants must work in at least one of the following disciplines: music, literature, dance, visual art, craft, theater, graphic design, and/or media (film-making, new media/technology as visual art form.)
All applicants must be able to produce documentation and/or verify their work in the non-commercial arts sector.All applicants must upload a completed W-9 form as part of their application.
In order to serve as many artists as possible, applications are limited to one per person during the first round of funding.
Individuals with the greatest current need.
Individuals without health insurance and/or access to sick days.
This phase of the fund will be managed by a committee of Wichita-area creatives in partnership with The Arts Council.
Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis and notification will be received within one week of review. While funding remains, applications will be due by Wednesdays midnight, will be reviewed on Thursdays, and artists will be notified on Fridays.
Those awarded will have an option to receive funds via PayPal payment or a mailed paper check.
The review committee will keep all information provided completely confidential including applicant’s personal information and the reasons for funding requests. We expect the same confidentiality in return including but not limited to correspondence and approval or denial of funds.