Legal-name: Public Corporation for the Arts for the City of Long Beach
Previous-name: Arts Council for Long Beach (ACLB)
Address: 115 Pine Ave., Suite 350
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Officer: Griselda Suárez, Executive Director
ContactName: Griselda Suárez
Title: Executive Director
GrantPurpose: This grant would help support the Arts Council for Long Beach’s COVID Cover Up Project in partnership with the Office of Economic Development and Emergency Fund for Artists, which will provide one-time grants to professional Long Beach artists who are experiencing income loss and financial hardship due to the pandemic.
Periodoftime: Until grant funds have been exhausted
Audienceserved: Professional, working artists who are currently food insecure and housing insecure due to a sudden loss of income related to COVID-19 and the associated physical distancing restrictions. These artists live, work or actively create art in Long Beach.
Demoofaudience: This project and emergency fund will serve a diverse group of professional local artists over the age of 18 who are listed in ACLB’s Artist Registry.
District: District 1-9
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? In a matter of a few short weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended society on a global, national, local, and personal level. We are all being challenged to quickly adapt to new and unfamiliar conditions.
As Long Beach’s official arts agency, Arts Council for Long Beach (ACLB) has been working hard to address the challenge of finding alternate ways to facilitate the person-to-person contact that the arts require, within the constraints of responsible social distancing.
For example, ACLB responded almost immediately to the COVID-19 crisis by converting our in-school and after-school Arts Learning programs to an online format so that we could continue to serve our constituents and also assure continued employment for our teaching artists. Artist teachers will provide multidisciplinary art instruction during May to assist teachers and families.
We have further commissioned Long Beach artists to create a collection of coloring sheets that will illuminate the vital work being performed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic response. These coloring books are intended to help alleviate anxiety through the arts and to help recuperate the creative economy. The Colorful Heroes LB project is focusing on the unseen heroes – clerks, EMTs, janitors, interpreters. We have partnered with MemorialCare for special portraits of two of their staff members.
Additionally, we have launched a Virtual Happy Hour streaming concert series through Facebook Live. The Virtual Happy Hour provides employment for Long Beach performing and spoken word artists, as well as providing a global platform to showcase the talent of our city’s performing artists to a wide and appreciative audience.
In partnership with the Office of Economic Development and district offices, the Covid Cover Up project is painting board-ups as a continuation of construction necessary for crime prevention pursuant to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) standards. Per CPTED, artwork promotes a sense of ownership, which is a crime prevention strategy. Since boarded-up buildings are a target for crime, the artwork is intended to deter criminal activity. We are asking artists to create hopeful and inspirational messages.
2. What additional services, above your standard operations, will be conducted with this grant funding? The COVID Cover Up project will continue as more businesses board up and is now working with Districts 1,6 and 9 alongside the business improvement associations in the area.
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Artists will assist artists of all disciplines who are struggling to recoup financial losses due to cancelled events, including professional activities such as performances, paid speaking gigs, readings, exhibitions, and festivals/fairs. Teaching artists who are not able to teach during this time due to cancelled lessons/classes and school closures are also eligible for assistance. This emergency fund has been designed to help support professional Long Beach artists during the current COVID-19 outbreak situation, and it will provide a one-time $500 grant award per artist. This program will continue until all funds are exhausted. Through the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Artists, we anticipate assisting 120 artists with their basic food, housing and medical needs. Award selection will be based on need.
As the Governor’s Stay at Home order continues, the arts have become increasingly important to the overall well-being of our community. While social distancing is a crucial tool in controlling the spread of COVID-19, these restrictions have also begun to create a “connection void” between the people in our community. We believe that the arts are uniquely positioned to help bridge that void by helping people feel more connected and understood.
Humans are inherently social beings, and the physical isolation necessary to stop the pandemic can sometimes cause deep suffering. Our local artists are working hard to shift their artwork to alternative formats that can be safely shared while still maintaining social distancing.
But our artists will be unable to use their creativity to reach out to people if they are unable to take care of their basic food, housing and medical expenses. The proposed award amounts are small, but significant, and these vital awards have the capacity to give Long Beach artists immediate support as they begin adapting to a fundamental paradigm shift in how they earn their living.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : This grant program will assist individual Long Beach artists who are struggling to meet their basic needs due to a sudden loss of artistic income as a result COVID-19 and its associated physical distancing restrictions. Grants will be open to a wide array of artistic disciplines, such as performing, visual, literary, film, fashion and multi-disciplinary arts. Funding decisions will be need-based.
We will assist the City of Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach Alliance, Uptown Business District and Midtown Business District by identifying and managing artists.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: To date, we have not received any disaster recovery funds.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: Arts Council for Long Beach has applied for funds from the Paycheck Protection Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration. We will also be applying for CARES Act funds through the National Endowment for the Arts.