As the US rebounds from COVID-19, artists are facing a particularly long road to recovery. Through multiple cycles of relief funding, CERF+ has provided grants to over 1,000 artists facing food, health, and housing insecurities. We remain committed to helping artists recover from the economic setbacks they've experienced due to COVID-19. Demand for CERF+'s programs has never been greater, but together we can meet the need and ensure that the safety net for artists remains strong.
Artists are among the most severely affected workforce by COVID-19. According to Americans for the Arts, since the onset of the pandemic, artists have lost an average of $34,000 in income, and 63% have experienced unemployment. Alarmingly, BIPOC artists have had even higher rates of unemployment at 69% and lost a larger percentage of their creative income. As self-employed workers, artists lack the safety net that others count on with far fewer options for relief assistance.
Many artists continue to face housing, food, and health insecurities due to the pandemic. In fact, 37% of artists surveyed by Americans for the Arts report that they have been unable to access or afford food at some point during the pandemic, and 58% have not visited a medical professional due to an inability to pay. CERF+'s COVID-19 Relief Grant provides immediate financial relief and hope. In the words of a recent grant recipient, our grants are "a bright light in a dark and difficult time."
Prior to the pandemic, the nation's arts and culture sector was a $919.7 billion industry that supported 5.2 million jobs and represented 4.3% of the nation's economy. (source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). Aside from being key drivers of our creative economy, artists are critical to the well-being and vitality of our communities as they are uniquely able to witness, portray, magnify, and nourish the culture of our communities. When artists thrive, communities thrive.