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Relief grant available to local artists impacted by COVID-19

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A relief fund available to artists impacted by the coronavirus will become available on Friday, April 24. People will be able to apply for the Wichita Creatives Relief Fund starting Friday, April 17.

“Most creative workers are day economy workers, freelancers, independent contractors and obviously, all that work has basically been eliminated,” said Kate Van Steenhuyse, Co-founder and Executive Director of Harvester Arts.

The relief fund has currently raised $35,000 but says their goal for Friday is $50,000. Van Steenhuyse says the Arts Council has donated $10,000 and another $35,000 were donated by the Wichita Community Foundation.

“We were pretty much trying to brainstorm what can we do with the recognized need, but also with something that will continue to help the arts community,” Van Steenhuyse said.

A survey conducted by the Mid-America Arts Alliance says 72.1% of artists in Kansas had to cancel shows as a result of COVID-19. One of those artists happens to be Lela Meadow-Conner, founder of mama.film.

“Well, for me I run a small little microcinema and we had to close that — we haven’t been able to go back since we’ve tried to pivot and do some online screenings and make them available,” said Meadow-Conner.

Both Meadow-Conner and Van-Steenhuyse helped build the Wichita Creatives Emergency Relief Fund.

“It’s not just 5 or 6 individuals who are starting this group who are going to make this difference, said Meadow-Conner. “It’s a group effort and it’s how we will get through this.”

Meadow-Conner says the more money they can collect the more people they can help.

Eligibility:

  • All applicants must live in Sedgwick County or contribute to the Sedgwick County/Wichita Arts Community, 
  • All applicants must be 18 year old or older, 
  • All applicants must work in at least one of the following disciplines: music, literature, dance, visual art, craft, theater, graphic design, and/or media (film-making, new media/technology as visual art form.)
  • All applicants must be able to produce documentation and/or verify their work in the non-commercial arts sector.
  • All applicants must upload a completed W-9 form as part of their application.
  • Weekly application deadline is midnight on Wednesdays for review on Thursday. 

Grant Priorities:

  • Individuals with the greatest current need.
  • Individuals without health insurance and/or access to sick days.
  • The amount requested may not be the amount awarded.  Funding is provided based on availability and balancing the needs of the applicants collectively.

Administration:

  • This phase of the fund will be managed by a committee of Wichita-area creatives in partnership with The Arts Council.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the committee on a weekly basis on Thursdays
  • Notifications will be received by the artists on Fridays.
  • Those awarded will have an option to receive funds via PayPal payment or a mailed paper check.

Additional Information 

  • Artists may need to claim the funding received as income; please consult with a tax expert.
  • In order to serve as many artists as possible, applications are limited to one (1) per person during the first round of funding. 
  • The ICT Arts PREF Committee will keep all information provided completely confidential including by not limited to your personal information, the reasons for application and funds given. We expect the same confidentiality in return including but not limited to correspondence and approval or denial of funds. 

Committee members:

  • Ann Keefer, VP of Program Development, Wichita Festivals, Inc
  • Kristin Beal, Co-Founder & Program Director, Harvester Arts
  • Kate Van Steenhuyse, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Harvester Arts
  • Lela Meadow-Conner, CEO + mother/founder, mamafilm
  • Emily Brookover, Director of Community Development, Downtown Wichita
  • Shannon Boone, Owner & Chief Chaos Coordinator, Shay Chic Productions

APPLICATIONS OPEN FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020

Before you apply, please review the application information needed: 

  • Name, Address, Email, Phone
  • Artistic Discipline
  • Description of work
  • Declaration of need
  • Proof of artistic practice (resume, CV, professional website)
  • Completed W-9
  • Request of payment delivery: PayPal or Check
  • Amount of request: up to $500
  • Demographic information (optional)

If you would like to donate to Wichita Creatives Emergency Relief Fund, visit their website by clicking here.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and would like to apply for a grant, click here.

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