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A New COVID-19 Relief Fund Benefits Santa Fe Artists

The Culture Connections Coalition Artists Relief Fund prioritizes grants for artists from historically disadvantaged communities.

Gustave Baumann, “Aspen Red River” (1924), wood block print (courtesy New Mexico Museum of Art via Wikimedia). Baumann served as a regional coordinator for a WPA-era public art project in New Mexico.

SANTA FE, New Mexico In partnership with the City of Santa Fe’s Arts and Culture Department, the Lannan Foundation has provided $10,000 in seed funding, as well as a $15,000 challenge grant, to the Culture Connections Coalition Artist Relief Fund. Santa Fe artists who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for support in early April, and Arts Commission Director Pauline Kamiyama said that the funds — which will be awarded at $500 and $1,000 — will be awarded by the end of April.

Recipients will be selected by the Culture Connects Coalition, a group that emerged out of the Culture Connects initiative, the city’s “roadmap” for realizing its cultural future. The group is interested in addressing “how to share each others’ stories, respect our history, and look forward to growing into the future,” Kamiyama told Hyperallergic.

Like most places in the United States, Santa Fe occupies indigenous lands and has a long history of systemic disenfranchisement. Native artists are likely to be disproportionately affected by the current public health crisis, and the relief fund takes that disparity into account. Culture Connects is particularly interested in equity, inclusion, and access, and priority for the grants will be given to artists from historically disadvantaged communities.

“The City of Santa Fe recognizes the important role that artists and creatives have played in our culture and our economy,” said a statement from the city. “The partnership [between the city and the Lannan Foundation] recognizes the impact that COVID-19 precautions are taking on our artist community and aims to provide a measure of relief.”

A number of Santa Fe arts community members have already pledged their own donations to the relief fund, which has a goal of $100,000. Kamiyama hopes to have a streamlined donations system up and running soon, but in the meantime, you can email [email protected] or call (505) 955-6653 to make a contribution.

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