Canceled shows, scratched commissions, lack of work: Artists are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic as much as anyone.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is offering $5,000 grants to visual artists affected by COVID-19. Called the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program, 40 visual artists from Virginia will be selected for the grant.
To be eligible, applicants must live and work in Virginia, be 21 years of age or older, and derive a significant part of their income from their artwork including sales and lectures. Applications must be received online between June 16 and July 10. Recipients will be notified of grant awards on July 24. Complete eligibility requirements and the application can be found on the museum’s website at www.VMFA.museum.
“Full-time artists, many of whom work without health insurance or other benefits, are in a particularly fragile situation,” Alex Nyerges, CEO of the museum, said in a statement announcing the grants.
“The arts are critically important — particularly in times of collective struggle and hardship,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in the statement announcing the grants. “Pam and I are proud to stand alongside VMFA in supporting Virginia’s artists during their time of need.”
The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program is funded by the museum’s existing Artist Fellowship Endowment established in 1941 by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg. Pratt stipulated that the funds be used to support professional artists in Virginia and not for other purposes. Through this endowment, VMFA has awarded nearly $5.8 million to Virginia artists in the Commonwealth over the past 80 years.