East Bay Relief Fund to administer grants to individuals in the arts

East Bay Relief Fund to administer grants to individuals in the arts
Photo by Marie Dashkova on Scopio

By Kathy Chouteau

Artists and related workers living in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties can apply for funding to help weather the pandemic courtesy of a $337,500 2021 East Bay Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts. The funding from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and Walter & Elise Haas Fund is returning for a second year to offer $2,000 individual grants that prioritize those from cultural communities that are historically underserved.

Artists, teaching artists, culture bearers and nonprofit arts workers are all eligible to apply for a one-time grant; the funding is unrestricted and grantees can use it as desired to alleviate financial hardship. The application deadline is Dec. 8 at 12 p.m. PT and the fund will be administered by the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI).

Support via the fund will be allocated by the end of 2021 so that grantee awards will be tax-free per the terms of Congressional legislation passed at the pinnacle of the pandemic, said the funders. The organizations said the resource is a “vital safety net” for individuals in the arts in the East Bay who are particularly vulnerable to the persisting economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Ted Russell, director, arts strategy & ventures at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, said that the pandemic has been extremely tough on the arts community and “especially difficult for artists of color.” He added that recent research indicates only 14 percent of the emergency funds created to support artists are still active. “That’s why we are urgently launching this second round of relief funding for artists,” he said.

To be eligible for the grant, per the funders, applicants must be: A current, full-time resident of Alameda County or Contra Costa County; an artist, teaching artist, culture bearer and/or nonprofit arts worker; the applicant can’t have a conflict of interest—such as family or financial relationships—with the boards, staff and directors of the CCI and funders of the Relief Fund; and if the number of applications exceeds available funds, those who are black, indigenous, Latinx, foreign-born immigrants, transgender and people with disabilities will be prioritized.

To access the East Bay Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts’ online application, click here. Applications will only be accepted online through CCI’s Submittable platform; applicants must create an account in the platform before they can access the grant application. The deadline to apply is Wed., Dec. 8 at 12 p.m. PT. Notifications will be made Tues., Dec. 14. Learn more about the fund here.

Anyone wishing to donate in support of the fund can contact CCI Program Director Laura Poppiti at [email protected]. Questions about the fund or the application process can be directed to this same email address or via phone at 213-705-9112.