Wire*—The Phoenix City Council has approved using $2.6 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding to help artists, along with nonprofit arts and culture organizations, hurting financially because of the global health emergency.

Nationwide, the nonprofit arts sector has already experienced nearly $5 billion in losses with over 300,000 full-time jobs lost. Today’s vote to allocate $2.6 million will include one-time emergency relief grants up to $50,000 to local arts and cultural groups who lost revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic from events, programs and performances being canceled.

Mikiztli Dia de Los Muertos Phoenix Festival. Courtesy of City of Phoenix.

The funding will also provide local artists with grants up to $1,500 whose income was lost due to performances, shows, contracts and sales being canceled or terminated since March 1. In the Phoenix area, it is predicted that arts and culture organizations will lose between $10,000 and $1 million.

“This vote represents one of the largest municipal investments in the arts sector nationwide – and it is a smart investment” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “The Phoenix arts and culture sector generates over $400 million annually. When the arts are supported, our quality of life improves and our local economy benefits.”

“Phoenix artists, along with arts and culture organizations, are a vital part of our local economy and contribute to our well-being and a vibrant community,” said Councilwoman Debra Stark, chair of the Land Use and Livability Subcommittee. “Our artists and arts and culture organizations may have a long road ahead of them to get back on their feet, but we are hopeful the funding my Council colleagues and I approved will be helpful toward their recovery.”

“As a strong advocate for the arts, I am thrilled that today, we approved $2.6 million to help our local art community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilwoman Laura Pastor. “I also want to thank the Mayor and my colleagues for supporting my motion to add $600,000 in additional funding to further help local artists.”

The money being given to the Arts and Culture Coronavirus Relief Program will be managed by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. “We are grateful to the Mayor and City Council for including the arts in their efforts to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mitch Menchaca, director for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. “Preserving the arts in Phoenix is essential to keeping everyone connected to the creativity and healing that art provides, not only to its makers but to the people who experience that art as well. This funding will ensure our local artists will be able to continue their great work.”

Details on how to apply for the money are being finalized and will soon be available on the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture’s web page: Phoenix.gov/arts.

Read more arts and culture news from City of Phoenix here.

*DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from trusted sources without translation.