Mecklenburg Creatives Resiliency Fund
The Mecklenburg Creatives Resiliency Fund helps creative practitioners in Mecklenburg County recover from personal emergencies by helping pay an unanticipated, emergency expense or by augmenting lost income due to the cancellation of a specific, scheduled gig or opportunity (i.e. commissions, performances, contracts) due to Coronavirus/COVID-19 precautionary measures.
ASC will provide flat $500 awards to applicants meeting the fund criteria as long as funding is available. Applications are no longer being accepted for the fund. Only one request for support will be considered per Mecklenburg County applicant who demonstrates lost compensation or expenses at least equal to $500, incurred as a result of COVID-19 precautionary measures.
$88,000 invested in 176 Artists as of September 18, 2020.
- Reimbursement for medical expenses related to COVID-19 testing or care, including mental health counseling.
- Reimbursement for unanticipated childcare or dependent adult care expenses caused by disruption of community services while Mecklenburg County officials are instituting social distancing measures.
- Compensation for lost income due to the cancellation of a specific scheduled gig, exhibit, sale or similar opportunity due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
- Artists/Performers who have generated income over the past year through work as a sole proprietor, creative entrepreneur or contract employee in the fields of visual/folk/performing/multi-disciplinary arts, and literature. Note: Other than creative individuals who have formally incorporated their practice as a business, full time employees at businesses or organizations are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants must be a permanent resident of Mecklenburg County (e.g., have resided for a minimum of 12 months prior to applying.)
- Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Applicants and recipients may not be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program at this time.
A. Confirming Residency
This emergency fund is limited to independent artists/creative practitioners with a primary residence in Mecklenburg county. We will confirm this through the contact information you provide and your completed W9 form. In submitting your application, you are attesting that Mecklenburg has been your primary residence for at least the past 12 months. Most communications related to this fund will be through email. Please be sure you include an email you check frequently.
B. Proof of Creative Practice
We require applicants to verify their creative practice in these two ways:
- A short bio about your creative practice and work in the arts.
- Providing a resume OR a link to website where your work is online. For example: a webpage for your creative practice, an Etsy site, a social media account with posters advertising your performances or featuring pictures of your work.
We are simply verifying that you are a practicing artist/creative practitioner. We are not checking to see if your work is “good/bad,” or how much money you are earning in your creative practice. We are simply affirming that your work is aligned with ASC’s mission.
C. Declaration of Need
Please briefly describe your emergency simply so we can better understand if it fits our Fund guidelines of providing emergency support related to COVID-19.
- If your request is for cancelled gigs or opportunities, tell us when the job was scheduled for, when it was cancelled, and how much income was lost as part of the cancellation. We ask that you document these lost wages either by sharing written communications about the cancellations (such as an email record) or by providing the contact information for the person/ organization that had hired you.
- If your request is for reimbursement of medical, mental health, or dependent care, please provide a receipt or invoice from the provider outlining the expenses. Please do not send personal medical records. We are verifying the expenses only.
- This fund will provide a flat $500 to applicants meeting the criteria in these guidelines as long as designated funds are available. Please be clear how your losses are equal to, or greater, than $500 in financial impact.
D. Demographic Information
We ask that you share with us some brief demographic information about yourself. This information is not considered in our funding decisions. It does help us to understand if we are reaching creative practitioners from throughout our community with support. It also allows us to share with contributors to the fund how we are serving creatives in a variety of disciplines and communities while maintaining your individual confidentiality.
E. Payment Information
You are asked to complete a W9 form and EFT form as part of your application so that we can expedite payment to you should you be approved for funding. The EFT form will allow us to deposit funds directly to your bank account. This is the preferred and quickest way to receive funds. If you are unable to provide an EFT form, we can send you a check, but know there will be delays processing and sending checks through mail.
F. Terms and Conditions
No more than one application will be approved per individual through this fund. Individual applicants/recipients will not be publicly identified without your direct consent. In submitting an application, you are affirming that all the information you have provided is accurate to the best of your understanding.
Applications are no longer being accepted for the fund.
This relief fund is designed to respond to the specific impact of the spread of COVID-19, and is not meant to respond to unemployment/ underemployment/ medical concerns/ or dependent care otherwise occurring at this time. ASC encourages artists/creative practitioners requiring other forms of emergency assistance to look at these national emergency funds for artists and creative individuals. Several partners around the country have been assembling resource lists which may be useful to you:
ASC has limited funds we are able to dedicate to this emergency support, and we are inviting the community to contribute to the fund as well. This opportunity will close within 30 days of when most community operations have returned to normal or when the funding pool is depleted (whichever comes first). Applications will be reviewed once per week while funds are available. Applicant/ recipients’ names will be kept confidential.
ASC is encouraging all our grantees to honor provider contracts wherever feasible, either through rescheduling events or upholding promised payments to creative individuals, to the extent they are able. We are mindful that organizations, too, are facing lost revenue opportunities that may make that difficult.
If you have any questions about ASC’s Mecklenburg Creatives Resiliency Fund or “Emergency Relief Fund,” please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.