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Virus Relief Effort Launches by and for Long Island Artists

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Virus Relief Effort Launches by and for Long Island Artists

Building on the legacy of artists helping artists on Long Island's East End, a new artist relief effort launches today to support visual artists, choreographers, musicians, and writers living and working in the region, who are being adversely affected by COVID-19. The Hamptons Arts Network Artist Relief Fund was galvanized by artists Clifford Ross and Eric Fischl who took the lead role in fundraising and donated matching gifts to jumpstart the initiative. Conceived by the Hamptons Arts Network (HAN) and administered in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the fund has raised $175,000 to date thanks to philanthropic donations from a range of supporters from within the creative community, including artists Fischl, Ross, and Robert Longo; artist-endowed foundations Dedalus Foundation, Willem De Kooning Foundation, and Helen Frankenthaler Foundation; and gallerists Larry Gagosian and Per Skarstedt, among others.

Formed in 2016, the Hamptons Arts Network is a consortium of 19 arts and cultural nonprofits located on the East End-including art museums, sculpture gardens, historical societies, houses, and studios, artist residencies, performing arts and film organizations-dedicated to fostering the artistic community and advancing the creative economy of the region. The HAN Artist Relief Fund will award unrestricted $1,000 grants to regional artists facing financial emergencies, including loss of wages and medical expenses, due to the pandemic. Applications are now available at link and will remain open until July 22, 2020.

"The East End has long fostered artist communities that have congregated and flourished here since the late 19th Century. As residents of this community, HAN leaders witnessed firsthand the devastating impact the pandemic is having on the artists who live and work here. The perception of wealth was overshadowing the real need we saw in our neighborhoods for working artists, as the pandemic compounded food and job insecurity tied to seasonal incomes," said Andrea Grover, Director of Guild Hall, who led efforts to launch the HAN Artist Relief Fund initiative. "Across the board, our institutions felt it was important for us to continue to be a point of connection for artists during this time of distress and to lead the charge in supporting our community."

Added Clifford Ross and Eric Fischl, "What we are doing is an extension of a tradition on the East End that has existed since the 19th century-a creative community that comes together and supports each other, especially in times of need. Today, the arts scene is a vibrant element of the culture and economy in the region. We immediately saw the impact that the pandemic was having, and it was self-evident that we had to do something to catalyze support for those in the creative world who are in need. We're all in this together."

Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, New York Foundation for the Arts, highlighted the ongoing need for emergency funding as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and noted: "Emergency grant programs like the HAN Artist Relief Fund are critical to artists, as much of their work has been cancelled or put on an indefinite hold due to the pandemic. We are grateful to the Hamptons Arts Network for establishing this fund in recognition of the need for continued support of artists and creatives, and are proud to administer the fund on their behalf."

To be eligible for a grant, artists must be living in New York State zip codes beginning with 119 and demonstrate dire financial circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible applicants will be selected through a randomized lottery system. Additional award cycles will open as funding allows.

Details on the application process may be found here.

To donate to the fund and expand its impact, click here.

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