Folk and traditional artists are among the most vulnerable members of the creative community, often coming from new immigrant and underserved communities. Many of these revered musicians and craftspeople have structural impediments including the digital divide and language barriers to access federal relief funds or private sources of funding.
In March the COVID-19 Relief Fund was created with a consortium of organizations led by the Center for Art, Tradition, and Cultural Heritage (CATCH) and including City Lore, Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC), Mind Builders Creative Arts Center, Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York Folklore, and the Folk Arts Program of the Brooklyn Arts Council.
The Folk Artists Relief Fund was designed to offer short-term payments to individuals and small groups of folk and traditional artists who have lost income as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Open to artists in all forms of traditional art and music, it was designed to cover losses resulting from canceled concerts, performances, exhibitions and other events. Over the past 5 months, we were able to offer these payments to number of artists in need.
In efforts to continue this work, we have created a new fund where you can make a donation directly to the Center for Traditional Music and Dance!