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Grants to help Tucson artists with rent, utilities

Posted at 6:29 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 09:29:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Singers, dancers, painters, and other kinds of artists have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now a foundation is working to help keep those of them in need, afloat.

The Art Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is providing assistance grants to provide emergency assistance to art workers.

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“It’s dedicated explicitly for artists who make their primary profession as a creative maker," said Adriana Gallego, the Executive Director for the foundation.

Gallego told KGUN9 the grants were made available to help art workers specifically with rent, utilities, or to preserve essential services.

She said that when the pandemic began, many Tucson gig workers and visual artists found themselves out without their main form of income.

Chuch Watkins is a Tucson artist, he is also one of many who found himself selling a whole lot less paintings.

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“Basically all the wholesale stopped because all the gift shops closed," said Watkins “the retail stopped because the shows stopped.”

Watkins said before the pandemic he relied on three different ways to make money with his artwork.

“I focus basically on three channels, wholesale, retail, like art shows and then online," he said.

Now he's left relying only on online sales.

He told KGUN9 this is typically a big month for him, with several art shows he usually attends.

“You could easily say this month you lose 10 grand basically," he said.

Instead of taking part in those shows, he's hoping he can get some of his work out of his hands and into the hands of customers.

Gallego told KGUN9 the foundation is giving out grants for both individual artists and artist organizations.

Grants for individual artists can be anywhere between $1000, and $2,000. The deadline to apply is October 5.

For more details on requirements and the application process, click here.