By Dustin Byerly - Director of Development & Communications
COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
Along with our response to COVID-19, Puerto Rico continues to be a significant focus of our emergency response work. Since Hurricane Maria made landfall late in 2017, CERF+ has awarded $454,200 in emergency assistance to 157 artists in Puerto Rico.
Our experience in Puerto Rico has been greatly instructive in developing and refining a model of engagement that relies heavily on local partnerships. This approach has been critical to our success in Puerto Rico and allowed us to build a solid foundation for our future efforts.
Our work with the Puerto Rican arts community presents a number of challenges and opportunities. In order to establish relationships and build trust, we conducted a focused and concerted outreach campaign directed at artists and artisans in Puerto Rico. With the help of a local consultant, volunteers, and cultural organizations, we have:
Translated our guidelines, application, and educational materials into Spanish;
Used translators for all of our live presentations;
Hosted in-person technical assistance gatherings to help artists write and submit grant applications in real-time;
Provided 24/7 phone support to applicants.
These efforts have made a significant difference in our ability to reach the artist and artisan community on the island. Out of the 327 emergency grants we've awarded in FY20 (Oct. 1, 2019 – Sept. 30, 2020), 89 (or 27%) have gone to Puerto Rican artists for a total of $173,000. The number of artists we’re serving in Puerto Rico continues to grow as already 111 of 965 applicants to the second cycle of our recently launched COVID-19 Relief Grant are from the island. None of this would be possible without the support we receive from our partners who, like GlobalGiving, understand the important role the arts play in the recovery of a community following a disaster.
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