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Black Public Media Launches Emergency Relief Fund, Dedicates December Fundraising To Helping Independent Black Artists

Harlem-based nonprofit's end-of-year donation campaign to fund Black creatives in financial crisis.

Black Public Media Launches Emergency Relief Fund, Dedicates December Fundraising To Helping Independent Black Artists

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring to light many of the inequities of the modern world, the precipice upon which many independent artists often live has been thrown into sharp relief. Black Public Media (BPM), a nonprofit with a 40-year record of supporting artists who create and produce media content about the Black experience, has launched the BPM Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) to provide financial assistance to Black creatives and media makers facing crises brought on by unforeseen emergencies. To kick off the new initiative, BPM is devoting its year-end campaign drive to raising $20,000 for the fund to help support artists in need.

An offshoot of BPM's COVID-19 Relief Fund - which was created in spring 2020 and saw the nonprofit award a total of $30,000 to 36 creatives in grants ranging from $250 to $1,000 - the new BPM Emergency Relief Fund will be a permanent reserve, positioning BPM to provide succor to Black artists during times of catastrophe. Through the fund, BPM will offer assistance to artists currently working on BPM-funded projects or those within their archive of projects who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters, and medical emergencies.

"The sudden changes brought to everyday life because of COVID-19 and the shutdown of many aspects of the arts communities exposed how vulnerable many creatives are to drastic changes to their livelihood," said BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz. "With our new Emergency Relief Fund, we aim to help the independent artist community survive unanticipated emergencies even as the pandemic eases."

Those wishing to help BPM reach their goal of $20,000 for the ERF can make donations by visiting https://blackpublicmedia.org/donate/emergency-relief-fund/. One hundred percent of donations made to the fund will go directly to Black artists in need. One-time contributions of all sizes and recurring gifts are welcome. Similarly, during December, supporters who buy merchandise at the new Black Public Media Shop, will see all proceeds from their purchases benefit the ERF. Shoppers can visit https://blackpublicmedia.org/donate/shop/#!/ to find items including sweatshirts, T-shirts, mugs, face masks, and more.

BPM will announce the eligibility requirements and date when the ERF will begin accepting financial requests next year. Interested donors with questions about the ERF or other ways to support BPM can visit https://blackpublicmedia.org/donate for more information.

To learn more about BPM and its programs, visit the website blackpublicmedia.org.




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