This year’s Arts Advocacy Week takes place from April 12- April 16. In light of the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the creative community, MogoARTS is celebrating Arts Advocacy week by highlighting 10 organizations providing relief and support to those in the arts community. These charities, foundations, and advocacy groups are recognized for their strength, resilience, and commitment to the arts.
Americans for the Arts, National Organization
Americans for the Arts aims to increase congressional support for the arts and build networks where artists and creativity can thrive. Their annual National Arts Action Summit takes place the week before Arts Advocacy week and gathers grassroots supporters to receive advocacy training, lessons on art policy, and networking opportunities. Following the summit, Americans for the Arts spends the week speaking with congressional leaders to advocate for arts funding, issues affecting the creative community, policies that can support the creative economy and more.
Broadway Advocacy Coalition, National Organization
The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) is a space where social justice and arts advocacy intersect. By partnering with existing advocacy organizations, the BAC brings arts into the activism space, creating artivism. The BAC uses impactful storytelling to dismantle systems that perpetuate racism and police brutality. The resulting programs and exhibits bring together “high-level artists, law and policy students and experts, and directly impacted advocates to deepen connections and bridge gaps of disconnect”.
Be an Arts Hero, National Organization
Another organization that encourages volunteers to donate their time rather than through financial support is Be an Arts Hero. The foundation aims to create change by lobbying the U.S. Senate to allocate proportionate relief to arts and culture. This is especially important during the pandemic, as the arts community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Their site provides easy access to resources and open letters to contact your local senators and has resources for individuals, organizations and lobbyists.
The Actors Fund, National Organization
The Actors Fund provides relief for performing arts and entertainment professionals through assistance programs, professional development services, and accessible healthcare and living space. Resources also include workshops for arts professionals, money management tools, and a safe and supportive community. As a response to the pandemic, the fund established an Emergency Financial Program, as a much needed safety net for individuals working in the performing arts.
ChaShaMa, New York, New York
ChaShaMa was founded in 1995 as a result of New York artists struggling to find space to share their art. By partnering with property owners, ChaShaMa makes event space affordable, matching unused properties with creatives to host performances, galleries, showcases, and more. The non-profit hosts 150 events a year, and has helped over 170 artists with over $9 million worth of real estate. Aside from securing event space, the non-profit provides free art workshops to New York’s underserved communities.
NIVA | #saveourstages, New York, New York
Made up of 3,000 independent venues, NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) has brought together theatres and production houses across all 50 states together to lobby for change in Washington, D.C. to ask for necessary legislation for the arts. Their recent work includes passing the Save Our Stages Act as part of the COVID-19 Relief Bill. The act will provide grants administered by the Small Business Administration to provide financial support to venues in need. By continuing fundraising efforts and lobbying change at the national level, NIVA acts as a voice for America’s independent venues.
How you can help: You can help by donating to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, or by sending a note thanking legislators for their support on the Save Our Stages Act. For more, follow them on Instagram.
Adopt The Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Adopt The Arts is a Los Angeles based charity founded in response to budget cuts to the arts education department of LAUSD elementary schools in 2012. The public charity raises funds to provide art and music education to students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Some of their events include annual fundraisers and live performances to raise awareness for the arts. They believe that each student deserves exposure to and an education in arts in their adolescence, regardless of where they may live or go to school.
Art and Minds, New York, NY
Taking a creative approach to healing, Arts and Minds provides art therapy through workshops and museum tours for patients of Alzheimer’s dementia and their caretakers. The New York based non-profit believes that art and well being are connected. Arts and Minds has found that viewing, appreciating, and discussing art can improve the quality of life and enrich minds of patients. Their events are currently being conducted online, and programming is offered in both English and Spanish.
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Located in San Francisco, Intersection for the Arts is a nonprofit organization providing fiscal sponsorship, low-cost event space, and professional programs for artists in the Bay Area. They also provide resources for artists struggling from COVID-19’s impact. These resources make it possible for artists to keep doing what they love. Part of their goal is to grow artistry in the Bay Area, Intersection hosts Intersect SF, a series of public events and performances exploring the intersection of arts, culture and people.
Grants for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Grants for the Arts is another Bay Area based organization with a focus on equitable grant support for the arts community. Their mission is to “promote the diverse and unique communities of San Francisco by supporting the arts through equitable grant making.” Their commitment to making grants and resources accessible to everyone aligns with their principle value of equity. The organization encourages arts applicants to apply for grants, as they recognize that arts organizations have commonly not received equitable compensation because of marginalizing factors such as race and geography.
This Arts Advocacy week, MogoARTS is encouraging all of our readers to consider donating their time, money, or voices to an arts or creative organization. Whether or not they are on this list, arts advocacy groups are important in preserving the arts in our communities. In a time when connection is hard to come by, art is a unifying force that crosses boundaries to bring us all together.