Resources to help post-Sandy starving artists dig out

Artists helping artists cleanup BWAC in Red Hook. Photo by bymisterlynch on Instagram.

The art community of New York and Brooklyn took a hard blow from the wrath of Sandy. But they are a supportive and resilient community. Last week we told you about the attorney who is offering free phone consultations to artists who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy and the efforts to help clean up BWAC. Thanks to a tip from the Brooklyn New School families email list, here is an exhaustive list of emergency resources to help self-employed artists whose lives and livelihoods have been washed away by the storm.

Document everything: If any of your work or live/work space has been damaged, take pictures and keep receipts of whatever you spend during the cleanup and time it takes to get back on your feet. Do not throw damaged art away without first consulting a conservator. Here are some useful links from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works:

Self-unemployment: Parts of New York have been declared disaster zones by President Obama, which triggers various types of federal aid. If you are self-employed and your business was damaged or destroyed or if most of your income comes from an area heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy, you may be eligible for “disaster unemployment insurance.” File your application with the NYS Department of Labor as soon as possible. The application deadline is December 3, 2012. Coverage is limited to 27 weeks, beginning Oct. 29 through May 5, 2013.

Grants, grants & more grants: Who knew there were so many funds for needy creative-types? Here’s a few organizations that have info about grants available to financially assist artists during periods of personal or professional emergency:

  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
  • New York Foundation for the Arts
  • Council on Foundations
  • Craft Emergency Relief Fund
  • Cerf+ Artists Relief Exchange
  • Joan Mitchell Foundation: The Foundation has funding allocated specifically for emergency assistance to painters and sculptors affected by natural disasters. Staff can be reached by email at: [email protected].
  • Pollock-Krasner Foundation: Accepting emergency requests for grants to professional visual artists, which will be expedited under the Foundation’s guidelines. Artists should visit the Foundation’s website and complete the online application. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Foundation by telephone (212-517-5400) or fax (212-288-2836).  All requests will be promptly addressed. A completed application form, cover letter, exhibition history and ten images of your work (jpegs or photos of work will be accepted) will be needed to be considered for our emergency grants.
  • Art Dealers Association of America aid program for galleries hardest hit by flooding
  • Fractured Atlas: To enable impacted artists to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions that are normally available only to 501(c)(3) organizations, Fractured Atlas will expedite review of applications to join its’ fiscal sponsorship program. This program also enables artists to raise tax-deductible donations via crowdfunding sites like sites IndieGoGo and RocketHub. Fractured Atlas is waiving fees on one-year memberships for all artists and organizations impacted by the storm. Membership provides access to affordable health and liability insurance, free online arts business and management courses, entrance to workshops and events, and discounts on a wide range of services– from accounting and legal services to car rentals. Artists and organizations should use the discount code “SANDY” when registering for membership.

Want to help get the Brooklyn art scene back to its Gallery Girls glory? DUMBO galleries are throwing a #SUCKITSANDY Art Crawl party on Friday, Nov. 9 from 6-9pm at 111 Front Street.  Donations and proceeds from refreshments will be given to the DUMBO arts organizations who are working to rebuild after Sandy flooded their spaces and caused so much damage.

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