March 27, 2020

Pursuing a career in the creative sector can be challenging in the best of times. Emerging artists may live from paycheck-to-paycheck with little opportunity to establish a financial safety net. Small arts organizations may rely solely on donations or ticket sales to fund operations and often have minimal reserves. The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have been especially hard on these artists and arts organizations, with mandated event cancellations and business closures disrupting careers and operations.

The St. Johns Cultural Council has established an emergency fund to support members of the St. Johns County arts community. Small arts organizations (with annual budgets under $150,000) and artists of all disciplines who have lived in St. Johns County for at least 12 months may apply. Individual artists may request up to $500 and arts organizations may request up to $1000 in assistance through this program.

Individual artists may access funds for basic living expenses, such as housing, utilities, or groceries. Arts organizations may request funding to support rent payments, utilities, and other operating costs related to arts, culture, and heritage activities.

The Cultural Council has designated a total of $10,000 of its unrestricted funds for this program and hopes to increase funds available through donor contributions to the Emergency Fund. 100% of contributions will be disbursed to local artists and arts organizations. In many cases, these contributions will be tax deductible.