COVID-19 has led to the complete shutdown of gatherings of people as the government tries to slow the spread of the virus. Businesses have either closed, with staff working from home where possible, or have remained open but under strict guidelines. Things like medical curtain room dividers and hand sanitising stations will be added to many of the businesses that are still open to ensure they reach the standard required to limit the spread if the virus. We should all be following the government guidelines, making sure we limit our interaction with other people, wear an n95-mask when going out, and washing our hands regularly. However, any theatre groups and artists who relied on groups of people to function have been completely shut down. This has caused lots of financial issues for artists as they’ve got no revenue source.

Recognizing that artists provide inspiration, connection, and education, particularly at times when the creative sector is needed most, the Connecticut Office of the Arts – a state office housed within the Department of Economic and Community Development – today announced that two grant programs have been created to help local artists negatively impacted by COVID-19:

  • The Connecticut Artists Relief Grant program will provide $500 grants to over 100 individual artists and teaching artists who live in the state and whose creative practices and income are being adversely impacted by the safety measures put into place to prevent the spread of the virus. The grant is partly funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
  • The Connecticut Artists Respond Grant program helps artists translate and present their art virtually. Individual or collaborative artists who create or have created projects that respond to the needs of the times by presenting art activities, classes, or other creative experiences online at no cost to the public will be eligible for $1,000 or $2,000, respectively.

Applications will be accepted for both programs through May 4, 2020.

For specific questions, artists should contact Tamara Dimitri at tamara.dimitri@ct.gov and teaching artists should contact Bonnie Koba at bonnie.koba@ct.gov.