ALBANY — The shutdown on social gatherings has hurt artists, and no one knows that better than fellow artists. But, there is a “Creative Impact” in the works to help.
A collaborative effort between area art centers called The Creative Impact Project has formed to raise funds for local creatives. The Creative Impact Project is presented by Acting with Aaron, Albany Barn, Albany Center Gallery, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Collectiveffort, Creative Action Unlimited, D. Colin, Youth FX, with support by Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and United Way of the Greater Capital Region.
Demands for gigs, gallery work, performances, exhibitions, commissioned projects, workshops and art sales have all rapidly declined over the past couple weeks. This fund was created to help alleviate some of the financial stress many are enduring.
“The fact that during these hard times a bunch of cool creatives were able to come together and make something uplifting, and financially impactful for the local creative economy really speaks to how deeply rooted artists are in this community,” said Tony Iadicicco of Albany Center Gallery “We have each other’s backs because we know how essential art is to the voice of the region.”
The project aims to provide $100 Visa Gift Cards to local artists. It plans to continue distributing the money until funds have been depleted. Local artists suffering financial hardship due to canceled events and projects because of the pandemic are invited to apply. Applicants have to reside in either of the Capital District’s four counties — Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady.
Depending on the level of interest, organizers said the effort could expand to other counties within the region.
Kristen Holler, of the Albany Barn and Electric City Barn, sees the project as a means of building an “infrastructure” for artists to use now and in the future.
“What makes this project so exciting is that it not only brings together arts patrons to provide straightforward access to funds for artists right now, but it builds infrastructure that artists can use in perpetuity to generate income, without putting the strain of building the system on any one artist,” she said. “If $100 now can hold someone over while they wait on additional relief, that’s great! But if we help an artist access tools to make a faster pivot to sharing creative work at a distance, that’s a long term win for the artist, and the entire community.”
Artists who apply also have the opportunity to sell their art on Albany Barn’s website, and/or participate in Collectiveffort’s TV live stream series.
“Often, people confuse love for just kind words and forget that it’s also hard work,” said Patrick Harris Jr., whose Collectiveffort is a creative agency whose focus is in building and bridging communities to increase engagement and collaboration. He added, he found the project to be a reflection of the group’s place within the community. “This group is a reminder of that lesson. We are putting in the work it takes to really be there for people.”
For more information on The Creative Impact Project, visit https://bit.ly/creativeimpact518.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.
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