Below is a letter received via the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. It is chock-full of resources. Whether you are a self-employed person or more specifically an artist, you will find a resource in this list that may apply to you.
Have you been able to catch your breath yet? I hope so. It’s been a wild ride. I’m so proud of how you are adapting and moving forward in this unprecedented time. I know many of you have questions about how to function, what decisions to make, how to make those decisions. I understand. Things are changing so quickly. Please feel free to share this email with others that may find it useful.
One of the greatest strengths of creatives is your flexibility, innovation, and diligence.
Staff at the Division of Arts & Museums are available; working remotely hasn’t changed that. Please reach out, as we appreciate hearing from you. We are working on developing better ways to communicate, and I hope to have more information soon. I’m grateful to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) for sharing information that is of particular interest to individual artists, contract workers, and scholars.
To recap, section 2012 of the CARES Act creates a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. It provides up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals who are self-employed, part-time workers, independent contractors, and workers otherwise ineligible for state unemployment benefits. This could be a substantial boon for artists and creative entrepreneurs in all 56 states and jurisdictions.
PUA benefits will be provided through state workforce and unemployment agencies. However, because this is a new program, states cannot start to disburse funds until they have received federal implementation guidance and have put the necessary state-level systems and personnel in place. For this reason, everyone has been eagerly awaiting more U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) guidance.
USDOL issued its first advisory to state workforce agencies addressing PUA. This is a preliminary advisory and does not mean that benefits are available yet! But it does signal that things are starting to move. In the meantime, there are some practical action steps you can be taking to get ready:
*Special thanks to Kelly Barsdate at NASAA for compiling the information above.
Utah Arts & Museums Emergency Funds for Individuals
Our agency will be making small emergency funds available beginning next week. Check our website for more details beginning April 13.
Thank you for completing the Utah Cultural Alliance Survey. The results have been critical in providing advocacy for arts and museums. If you haven’t had a chance or the information has changed, consider completing the form.
I greatly appreciate your adherence to the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive to all Utahns. Everyone staying home will make a big difference. It will save lives. Please continue to do your part, even as it gets more difficult. I feel the strain of not interacting face to face with my friends, family, and colleagues. I was looking forward to a visit from my cousins (who live in Michigan) this week. We had plans to show them the state, visit museums, and attend many cultural events. As you can guess, it was canceled. This is a small disappointment, and I’m grateful they are safe and healthy.
Take care, breathe, and stay healthy, Vicki Bourns
The Department of Workforce Services continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, under the direction of the Governor’s Office. Below you will find information and resources regarding their services and COVID-19. Please check back regularly, as these resources will continually be updated.
We have heard this video may be very useful. It explains how independent contractors apply for CARE Act funds:
COVID-19 Resources for Individuals
For Freelance Artists
The following arts service organizations are providing frequently updated news and resources for artists and arts organizations.
Americans for the Arts (scroll down the page for resources)
Alliance of Artists Communities
National Association for Music Education
Association of Performing Arts Professionals
Rauschenberg Emergency Grants provide one-time cash grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses caused by one-time, unexpected medical emergencies.
The Authors League Fund helps professional writers in financial need because of medical or health-related problems or temporary loss of income by providing loans to pay for pressing expenses.
PEN American Writers’ emergency grants provide financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident.
Kickstarter has a page with resources for artists.
Are you a freelance artist? A great crowd-sourced resource list is available.
Financial Strategies for Freelance Artists in a Time of Crisis is hosted by HowlRound.
Artist Office Hours is an opportunity for artists to gather virtually and talk, mourn, laugh, and share music. The event takes place each day at 5 pm PST. Download the meeting invite.
Artists in a Time of Global Pandemic, hosted by Howlround Theatre Commons, offers resources and inspiration to freelance artists.
Artist Thrive has a listing of helpful resources for artists.
Creative Capital has an artist resource page.
Artwork Archives has compiled a list of emergency grants for artists.