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The Unisphere outside the Queens Museum in New York. Photo: chrisinphilly5448/Flickr.
The Unisphere outside the Queens Museum in New York. Photo: chrisinphilly5448/Flickr.

Creatives Rebuild New York Launches $125M Guaranteed Income Program for Artists

Creatives Rebuild New York on Monday invited artists across the state of New York to apply for funding. The new initiative, which offers awards based on need and not merit, aims to provide those working in the arts sector with a guaranteed income that will allow them to continue their practices and thus enrich the communities in which they operate. Financial support will be awarded to 2,400 applicants and will comprise either $18,000, distributed in monthly $1,000 increments over a span of eighteen months, with no restrictions placed on its use and no work expected to be performed in exchange; or $65,000, presented in the form of an annual salary attached to a job with a community-based organization or municipality.

Those working in the fields of crafts, dance, design, film, literary arts, media arts, music, oral tradition, social practice, theater, performance art, traditional arts, visual arts, and interdisciplinary arts are eligible for the program. Funding is being administered by the Tides Center and provided in large part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with assistance from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The organizers are making extra efforts to reach those working in and representing typically underserved communities, with accommodations being made for non-English speakers, people with disabilities and those lacking internet access.

“We need to actually value the hours and the labor that artists have put into their work that extends beyond what we see on these stages and gallery walls,” Emil J. Kang, director of the Mellon Foundation’s arts and culture program, told the New York Times in an interview, noting that many artists typically work multiple jobs in order to support their practices. “We need to understand that there is labor that goes into all these things that ultimately the public sees.”

Applications are being accepted through March 25, with recipients to be announced in June.