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NYFA Launches Emergency Relief Fund

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NYFA Launches Emergency Relief Fund

A look at Times Square, which stood dark and quiet before Hurricane Sandy struck on October 30, 2012. After the devastation, arts organizations like NYFA are coming together to help artists affected by the disaster.

Courtesy of Flickr User d.aniela (Creative Commons)

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, many artists are struggling with losses -- not just with the continued and devastating absence of power, transportation, food or even shelter, but also in many cases with the destruction or damage of cherished works or projects in progress. For artists, such scenarios can be even more damaging (and harder to recover from) than the losses of basic necessities.

To support local artists in the affected areas in their time of need, The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the timely establishment of the NYFA Emergency Fund. The organization's goal is to "empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives," and supporting artists in the aftermath of Sandy definitely fits that bill.

Supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Lambent Foundation (a project of the Tides Center), the NYFA Emergency Relief Fund will be administered by NYFA in order to help those artists impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and who incurred loss or damage as a result. The fund will be accessible and available to artists working in any medium or discipline, as long as they reside in the primary damage areas in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Quantifying the Damage

For those seeking assistance from the fund, damages incurred as a result of the storm will be fairly broadly defined, including (but not necessarily limited to) such factors as:

  • Damage to physical work
  • Damage to homes/studios/other facilities
  • Loss of equipment or supplies
  • Loss of income
  • Reimbursement for cancelled performances/appearances/engagements

The Emergency Relief Fund organizers have stated that most emergency grants will probably fall in the range of amounts between $1,000 and $5,000, but the fund's organizers have noted that "there may be extraordinary circumstances in which slightly smaller or larger grants might be made."

To apply, please complete the NYFA Relief Fund Application, available via http://relieffund.nyfa.org/.

Application Parameters

To quote the parameters given on the organization's website, on every Emergency Relief Fund Application, artists will be asked to provide the following answers and information:

  1. Describe the damage sustained as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Tell us the dollar amount of the damage and your method for determining the total.
  2. Tell us if they have applied to other funds or organizations to cover this loss. If so, indicate where and the status of the request (amount received, application pending, application declined).
  3. Include any appropriate support materials (pay stubs, photos, receipts, contracts, etc.) as well as, a current resume/bio or link to artist website.

The NYFA has noted that a separate fund has also been created to assist arts organizations in their recovery from Sandy as well -- for more information on similar relief support for organizations, please e-mail info[at]emergencygrants.org. To learn more about the NYFA Emergency Fund, meanwhile, visit http://www.nyfa.org/level2.asp?id=202&fid=1.

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