The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has announced a $5 million commitment in support of a new initiative to help small arts organizations, cultural producers, and artists across the nation impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Created in partnership with the Intercultural Leadership Institute, a collaboration aimed at promoting an intercultural approach to developing leaders in the arts and culture sector, the COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grant Fund will distribute a total of $5 million to Alternate ROOTS ($1.25 million), the Indian Land Tenure Foundation ($1.25 million through the First Peoples Fund), the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures ($1.25 million), the PA'I Foundation ($750,000), and the Clinton Community Christian Association ($500,000 through Sipp Culture), which will regrant the funds to artists and organizations nationwide. The fund also will provide technology assistance aimed at mitigating the impact of the coronavirus on artists' livelihoods and the larger arts sector.
The initiative is expected to assist fifteen hundred artists and arts organizations serving cultural communities that historically have been overlooked and are particularly vulnerable to the financial impacts of the pandemic.
"From the inception of the Intercultural Leadership Institute...the Mellon Foundation has supported ILI's crucial mission to foster brilliantly inventive artists and cultural communities of color," said Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander. "The urgent need to address the profound distress that many of these exceptional individuals and organizations are experiencing as the pandemic continues impelled us to work quickly in partnership with ILI to fund the Crisis Relief Grants program. We're delighted that these grants will offer immediate financial relief to dynamic arts and culture leaders throughout the United States."