The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund committee announces that $97,800 in grants have been distributed to the Pinellas County arts community in the past week. In this first round of funding from the relief fund that was created only three weeks ago, $74,000 was granted to professional artists, $12,000 to arts organizations and $11,800 to creative businesses in Pinellas County. Funds were distributed to artists and arts businesses in all disciplines from painters and musicians, to arts centers and small galleries.
The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund was established to provide urgent financial support for Pinellas County artists, arts organizations and creative businesses with immediate needs in the face of the current emergency. A joint effort of Creative Pinellas, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and the Pinellas Community Foundation, the goal of the fund is to ensure that the vibrant arts and cultural landscape of Pinellas County remains intact through this current crisis and beyond. Applications to the fund are currently closed until additional contributions are received. After receiving 346 applications within a week of opening the fund, half of the applicants received awards.
“We are thrilled to have been able to get relief into the hands of those who need it so quickly,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “It was a tremendous group effort by the partners involved, and many from the arts community, who met weekly to create the initiative and keep things moving forward. Now we are in a situation where there are still great needs, so we will continue to generate funds."
Half of the applicants remain unfunded and the Arts Community Relief Fund has been temporarily closed, while fundraising continues to replenish the fund. In addition to reaching out to donors for direct contributions, members of the committee are finding creative ways to engage donors and build support for the fund.
Helen French, a Juilliard-trained professional dancer with the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance has joined forces with the Body Center St. Pete, to launch A Community That Moves Together, Heals Together, a series of diverse and donation-based 30-minute classes. The series will run Tuesday, April 28th through Friday, May 8th. All proceeds will be donated to the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund. Visit bodycenterstpete.com to learn more.
“As dancers and therapeutic body practitioners we share a deeply held belief in the healing power of movement,” said French. “As our community navigates these extremely challenging times it is vital that we support each other when we can and ask for support when we need it. It is our hope that this initiative will provide physical, mental, emotional and financial support to those in need.”
Creative Pinellas is working to bring attention to the cause with the launch of Arts In, a virtual destination of arts and cultural content from Pinellas County artists. Visitors are encouraged to watch, listen, and enjoy a variety of arts experiences and performances and support area artists by making a donation. Visit creativepinellas.org/artsin to start exploring musical, dance and theatre performances, virtual gallery tours, stories and more.
Also in planning is a collaborative fundraising effort for a May 10th livestream Mother’s Day Festival. All money raised from the event will support the relief fund. Artists of all genres across all parts of Pinellas County will present live performances, monologues, talks, demonstrations and more.
To contribute to the Community Arts Relief Fund please visit https://pinellascf.org/pinellasartsrelief.
For other information, please visit creativepinellas.org.
George Ann Bissett, Dunedin Fine Ars Center; John Collins, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance; Duggan Cooley, Pinellas Community Foundation; Katie Deits, Florida CraftArt; Helen French, Dance/Beacon; Elizabeth Gelman, Florida Holocaust Museum; Stephanie Gularte, American Stage; Alex Harris Ph.D, Arts Conservatory for Teens; Yvonne Marrullier, The Dali;
Carol Mickett, Artist/Mickett Stackhouse; Paula Parrish, Morean Arts Center; Julie Rocco, Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete; Barbara St. Clair, Creative Pinellas.