Cleveland.com  |  May 18, 2020

Spaces announces 50 new emergency relief grants up to $1,000 each for artists hurt by coronavirus pandemic

By Steven Litt | Cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The nonprofit gallery Spaces provided 60 artists with $1,000 emergency relief grants earlier this spring to soften hardships caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Now, starting Wednesday, Spaces will accept applications for a second round of $50,000 in grants for at least 50 artists through spacesgallery/submittable.com. Funding for the new grants, for amounts up to $1,000 apiece, is coming from the Cleveland Foundation.

“Even before closing our first round of emergency grants, we knew we wanted to do more,” Megan Young, the interim executive director at Spaces, said in a news release.

The new grants, like the previous round, may be used for "living expenses, medical bills, or similar purposes,’’ the gallery said.

Only artists who have been significantly impacted by the current pandemic and economic crisis should apply, the gallery said.

The 60 initial grant recipients, who are listed on the Spaces website, make everything from illustrations to performance art.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, of New York, funded the first round of “Satellite Fund” relief funds through a $100,000 grant, of which $40,000 is being used to administer the ongoing program, Young said.

The money for administration from the Warhol Foundation is enabling Spaces to use all $50,000 from the Cleveland Foundation for emergency relief, Young said.

The staff and board at Spaces are fundraising to further increase the amount they can distribute, the gallery said.

“The Andy Warhol Foundation still supports this emergency re-granting process,’’ Young said. “We would not be able to do it without that support.”

Spaces anticipates that the number of qualified applicants will likely exceed the amount of money available. In that case, the gallery will award grants by lottery.

Artists enrolled in degree-granting programs, who were not eligible for grants in the first round, may apply for emergency funds this time, Spaces said.

The application process involves a self-declared statement of need.

“We are not requiring proof,’’ Young said. “The understanding is that the artists who are awarded have certified they have a need.”

Spaces said it is ready to help artists with their applications.

“We’re trying to help as many people get access as possible,’’ Young said.

Spaces, which has been closed for two months following the state’s stay-at-home order, is planning a partial reopening for by-appointment visits, starting May 25, Young said.

The gallery will host members of one household at a time, and will require visitors to wear face masks and to social distance. The gallery will follow cleaning protocols between each visit.

If this early stage goes well, the gallery would consider a more extensive reopening in June.

Exhibits on view include “This is When the Ice Sheet Ended,’’ an installation by Katarina Jerinic of Brooklyn, N.Y., and “Baptized in the Fires of the Cuyahoga River,” a project by Veronique d’Entremont, based in Los Angeles.

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