The arts community in Pinellas County received some much-needed financial support this week when the second round of awards from the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund was distributed. The fund was established in March to provide immediate financial relief for artists, arts businesses and arts organizations affected by the Covid-19 emergency through a joint effort of Creative Pinellas, the Pinellas Community Foundation, and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.
After receiving over 300 applications when the fund was first announced and quickly getting monies out to the most vulnerable, the relief committee got back to work replenishing the fund. They sought donations and found creative ways to raise additional money including the We Are Family: Pinellas County Virtual Festival of the Arts held on Mother’s Day featuring artists of all kinds from Pinellas County. Net proceeds from ticket sales went directly to the relief fund. The festival along with other fundraising efforts allowed the committee to make a second distribution of $37,000. Having received over 200 more applications when the fund was reopened, fifty-nine professional artists, nine creative businesses and six arts organizations were selected based on the urgency of their need.
“We are so thankful to the community for all the support they have given to artists and creative organizations and businesses who were devastated by the sudden closures and cancellations due to the current pandemic,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “So many have stepped up to help – artists and performers have donated time and talent, business owners have provided resources, government and community leaders have given their voice to the cause and so many have offered financial assistance. It has been truly overwhelming to see everyone come together.”
The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund has been depleted after this second round of awards was distributed but donations are still being accepted. Even with Phase 2 of reopening taking place, artists and performers are still facing limited opportunities with art walks, markets, shows, and galleries remaining shut down or open with restricted hours and decreased audiences. The arts community is still actively working to support one another. For example, Mickett-Stackhouse Studio is offering a painting for sale with fifty percent of proceeds being donated to the fund. For information on the painting, visit creativepinellas.org/Pinellas-arts-relief.
To contribute to the Community Arts Relief Fund please visit https://pinellascf.org/pinellasartsrelief.
George Ann Bissett, Dunedin Fine Arts 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.