The Anonymous Was a Woman awards have supported women artists over 40 since 1996, distributing more than $6 million in grants to a population that has historically and systematically been overlooked when it comes to major accolades and support. Now, for the first time ever, the organization is doubling its annual offering with an additional $250,000 of emergency relief grants in response to the ongoing health crisis that has shuttered museums, galleries, and other businesses around the world.
The grants—up to $2,500 apiece—aim to assist artists who are experiencing financial hardship due to lost income or opportunity as a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic shock. As with AWAW’s annual grants, the emergency funds, administered in partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts, are unrestricted and available only to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 in the United States.
Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Programs for BusinessesMaryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.
Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.
COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund – Workforce Development and Adult LearningGovernor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have launched the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.Labor is accepting grant applications from small businesses for awards from now through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends (subject to funding availability). How can it help me?
Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off;
Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing software or programs that an employee would need to use from home;
Providing funds to cover the costs of cleaning/sanitation services so that small businesses are able to keep employees at work on site, but only if a frequent deep cleaning to prevent exposure occurred;
Paying for liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under emergency circumstances;
Providing funds for training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; and
Adopting other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community.
Examples of how a business may demonstrate the need for layoff aversion funds:
I run a call center where employees usually work in an office setting. To support social distancing, I’d like my employees to work remotely, which will require equipment such as reliable headphones and laptops for each employee. If they do not have this equipment, I will need to layoff my staff.
I could ask employees to use their personal phones and work remotely, but I do not have the funds to support the cell phone packages. If provided funds to reimburse employees for the increased data usage, my business could avoid layoffs.
My employees could work remotely if they had a specific software or computer application, but I cannot afford to purchase. Without this software, I will need to layoff my workforce until we can go back to the office.
I need my 8 employees to continue to work on site, but I am concerned about their potential exposure to COVID-19 and cannot afford frequent deep cleaning to help limit potential exposure. If I had funds to support the deep cleaning, it would allow my workers to continue to work and would foster a safer work environment.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, my employees have more down time than usual. If I were able to offer the opportunity for them to take project management training online during this down time, they will increase their skillsets, making them a valuable asset to our company and less likely a candidate for layoff.
As Baltimore’s Arts Council, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is committed to focusing on the importance of Census completion within the creative community. The promotional campaign “I’m Creative & I Count” has been implemented into BOPA’s programming and events with the goal of engaging creatives, one of the Census’ hard-to-count populations. By participating in the Census, you give Baltimore’s thriving community of artists, musicians, educators and more the proper representation.
Look for the 2020 U.S. Census invitations in the mail at home and submit your responses this Census Day on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Participation is easy and responses can be submitted online, by mailed paper form, or by calling the Census Bureau.
As part of the “I’m Creative & I Count” campaign, BOPA has distributed brochures, buttons, stickers and information about the importance of the Census. BOPA also spoke with Baltimore-based artists about what it means to be a part of our vibrant creative community.