Artist relief fund distributes $50,000, completing its work

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 11:47 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A pandemic relief fund for local artists has completed its work with the distribution of 114 grants totaling $50,000

The Artist Emergency Relief Awards have been overseen by the Augusta Arts Consortium and made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of the CSRA and the United Way of the CSRA.

This effort was an emergency fund to help self-employed/contract artists of all disciplines in the CSRA to recover income lost from cancellations due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Artists could request up to $500 to compensate for canceled work.

The total lost income claimed by grant recipients was $353,120, making this $50,000 roughly one-seventh of the income lost.

The top arts category of recipients was music, more than twice the amount of any other category. The No. 2 category was visual arts, followed by theater/film, writing, dance and culinary arts.  

Richmond County accounted for more than 50% of recipients, followed by Columbia and Aiken counties. There were much smaller numbers of recipients in Edgefield, Jefferson, McDuffie, Taliaferro and Warren counties.

Other information about recipients can be found at

All applicants were required to provide proof of residency in counties served by the United Way of the CSRA. Additional documentation included proof of professional artistic practice, proof of the gig work or opportunities and further proof of its cancellation due to COVID-19.  During this rigorous review, only five applications were denied due to not fulfilling one of those requirements.

The Augusta Arts Consortium is a group of organizations that include: Augusta University Department of Art & Design; Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art; Greater Augusta Arts Council; Jessye Norman School of the Arts; Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History; the Morris Museum of Art; Sacred Heart Cultural Center; the Augusta Players; and Westobou.

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