Artist Jean Wilson celebrates her art on display at the Chicago Cultural Center. (courtesy Arts of Life)

The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) is expanding its relief fund for arts organizations recovering from natural disasters, and is encouraging any affected nonprofit in the United States to apply online on a rolling basis. Its new application portal allows organizations to be considered for relief without being first contacted by the ADAA, a resource they hope those impacted by Hurricane Ian will take advantage of.

Hurricane Ian, which is Florida’s deadliest hurricane since 1935, is already estimated to have cost $50 billion in economic disruption. The storm has killed at least 68 people, most of them in Florida, where the hurricane hit at a Category 4 wind speed. Fatalities have also been reported in Cuba and North Carolina.

The ADAA’s Relief Fund was founded in 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Since then, the fund has extended its support to all cultural organizations in the US, distributing grants between $10,000 and $20,000 at the discretion of the board.

Charo Oquet’s “Round 49” installation, “Written on Skin and Sacred Gestures,” for Project Row Houses (photo by Alex Barber, courtesy Project Row Houses)

“When Hurricane Sandy devastated New York, it was an extraordinary moment in which the arts community came together. Ten years later, we’re thrilled to re-engage the Relief Fund,” said former ADAA president Lucy Mitchell-Innes. “The impact of climate change on small businesses is dire, and we must continue to work together to support the arts and one another.”

Accompanying the relief fund’s new application portal is the ADAA’s announcement that it has awarded $60,000 in grants to six nonprofits across the country, in commemoration of the organization’s 60th anniversary.

Those grantees include Arts of Life, an arts community based in Chicago for people with intellectual and physical disabilities; the Asian American Arts Alliance, a professional development and advocacy organization based in Brooklyn; Creative Growth, an art center based in Oakland, California, that serves artists with developmental disabilities; First Peoples Fund, an Indigenous arts organization based in Rapid City, South Dakota; Greetings from South-Central, which supports youth and educators in South Los Angeles; and Project Row Houses, an arts and community preservation organization in Houston’s historic Third Ward neighborhood. 

“Artists with disabilities are so often marginalized both as individuals and as creatives,” Tom di Maria, interim executive director of Creative Growth, told Hyperallergic. “The ADAA’s recognition and support of them is a testament to the increased understanding of how marginalized artists can be more fully embraced by the contemporary art world.”

Speaking to the launch of the new disaster relief portal, Maureen Bray, executive director of the ADAA, emphasized “the necessity of making this resource easily accessible to all arts organizations.”

“A changing climate impacts everyone, so we must band together to face these oncoming challenges,” Bray told Hyperallergic. “Hurricane Ian proves that, now more than ever, such resources are crucial to the sustainability of the arts community.”

Jasmine Liu is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied anthropology and mathematics at Stanford University.