New COVID-19 Relief Fund Helps Texas Traditional And Folk Artists

31July 2020

Master artist Shawn Hoefer watches as Apprentice Sheryl Hartz begins crafting a broom (2019).

A Texas arts nonprofit has launched the state’s first emergency relief fund specifically for traditional and folk artists.

Texas Folklife will provide one-time grants of $500 to offset the needs of those artists impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

Apprentice Felicia Locke, custom hat making (2019)

While there are other COVID relief efforts supporting artists and musicians, this grant aims to target folk and traditional art forms held by a shared community of people, defined by such factors as ethnicity, occupation, region, gender, place of origin or religion.

These arts and skills are often passed down through generations, oral tradition, peer network or from mentor to student. They rely on social interactions, which have been greatly constrained by the pandemic – adversely impacting those artists who depend on such interaction, on top of loss of revenue from art sales and public events.

The fund was also created as an opportunity to assist traditional artists who are harder to reach and serve, including those spread throughout the state in remote areas, those working independently and those who cannot access support due to the digital divide.

Artists can apply by phone at 512-441-9255 or online. Individuals can also donate to the fund. The deadline is Aug. 14.

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