Paintbrushes (via Tool Dude/Flickr)

In recognition of the specific hurdles faced by disabled artists, especially amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced a new grant: The Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities. The program offers $1,000 cash grants to artists with disabilities who have “experienced hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis,” according to a statement on NYFA’s website. It is open to visual, media, music, performing, and literary artists who live in the five boroughs of New York City.

Barbara Zydney worked as a specialist teaching children with visual disabilities in the public school system, and she and her husband were both lifelong New Yorkers. “This grant enables their legacy to live on by offering financial help to New York City artists with disabilities so they can make their work accessible to others,” reads the NYFA statement.

Applications for the grant will open today, May 4, at 10am EDT and close on Tuesday, June 15, at 5pm EDT. After reviewing for completeness and eligibility, qualifying applicants will be selected for funding via a lottery process.

A list of application guidelines can be found on the NYFA website, as well as an option to request an accommodation for assistance in applying online by emailing or calling 646-801-0632 on Mondays between 2pm and 5pm EDT. There is also a Live Chat information session scheduled on Zoom for Tuesday, May 18, from 1–2pm EDT.

According to the CDC, 22.2% of adults in New York state have a disability. NYFA says this grant is specifically geared towards artists with disabilities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and was created in response to COVID-19 crisis’s devastation of New York City’s art scene.

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit — including at the Detroit Institute of Arts....