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Coronavirus In Ohio: Emergency Grants Offer Relief To Columbus Artists

Ohio Alliance For Arts Education

Artists in financial need during the coronavirus shutdown can now apply for grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

With concerts, performances, galleries and festivals shut down by the Ohio Health Department, GCAC intends its grants for "recouping financial loss due to cancelled events" and "offsetting loss of income for teaching artists."

GCAC spokeswoman Jami Goldstein says any musician, artist or art teacher can request up to $1,000 to help make ends meet.

“These are open to all artists in all disciplines, not just performers, and they are specifically for basic needs, so rent, food, etc,” Goldstein says.

Goldstein says GCAC is diverting $150,000 normally used to fund artists' works, and plans to distribute that money as quickly as possible - until it runs out.

“We’ve reallocated funds to do this on a turnkey basis, these grants will be awarded weekly,” Goldstein says. “The money will be distributed weekly. And we’re going to turn them around really quickly.”

The Columbus Foundation on Tuesday awarded GCAC $10,000 for its emergency relief fund. And the organization launched a campaign to raise another $100,000.

Goldstein says the hope is that art enthusiasts will give generously to increase the money available to artists.

“Our artists are important to our health and our sanity and our connections as humans, and I think everyone appreciates what the arts and artists bring to our lives," Goldstein says. "And so we’re hoping no matter how small the gift if you can make a donation to the fund we’d be grateful.”

At this time, Goldstein says the Columbus Arts Festival remains on the June calendar. Goldstein says people can learn more about local artists at ColumbusMakesArt.com.

The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio's coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.