Brooklyn artists, this one is for you.

A new initiative that will provide 2,700 New York artists with either $1,000 a month, no strings attached, or a $65,000 per year job in the arts has kicked off with the support of the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Applications for the new Creatives Rebuild New York initiative opened Monday, allowing artists from across the state to apply for one of two programs: Guaranteed Income for Artists and the Artist Employment Program.

The Artist Employment Program will fund employment for 300 artists working in collaboration with community-based organizations across New York State for two years.

Bushwick Collective, Street Art, Festival, Monster Energy Drink
Artist Fabiola Jean-Louis (center) and her two daughters stand in front of a mural at a block party hosted by The Bushwick Collective Photo: Fabiola Jean-Louis

Participating artists will receive a salary of $65,000 per year plus benefits and dedicated time to focus on their artistic practice. Community-based organizations will receive $25,000-$100,000 per year to support their collaborations with these artists.

The Guaranteed Income for Artists program will support 2,400 artists with regular, no-strings-attached cash payments. Each artist will receive $1,000 per month for 18 consecutive months.

Pandemusic — a virtual and in-person concert series — was one of the ventures that popped up to support artists during the pandemic. Photo: Supplied.

The aim? To support an equitable recovery in the arts post-pandemic, CRNY says on its site. “We recognize the enormous need many artists face, and we trust artists to deeply consider which of the two programs is best for their specific needs.”

An artist is defined by CRNY as someone who regularly engages in artistic or cultural practice to express themselves with the intention of communicating richly to or sharing with others; passing on traditional knowledge and cultural practices; offering cultural resources to their communities; and/or co-organizing and co-creating within communities toward social impacts.

Fields of practice can include craft, dance, design, film, literary arts, media arts, music, oral traditions, social practice, theater, performance art, traditional arts, visual arts and interdisciplinary arts, according to the application.

To apply for either program, artists must live New York State and be able to demonstrate financial need.

The two programs are being supported by $115 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, $5 million from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and $5 million from the Ford Foundation, all of which are being overseen by the Tides Center.

Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander told The New York Times that as “we continue to envision and work towards our post-pandemic reality it’s critical that we not overlook the artist workers whose labor is an essential part of our economy and whose continued work sustains us.”

Emil J. Kang, director of the Mellon Foundation’s program for arts and culture, added that a number of artists have had to take on multiple jobs to make ends meet, and these programs were designed to give them more time to devote to their art.

“We need to actually value the hours and the labor that artists have put into their work that extends beyond what we see on these stages and gallery walls,” Kang told The New York Times.

 “We need to understand that there is labor that goes into all these things that ultimately the public sees.”

CRNY has established a Help Desk that will be available throughout the application process and will also co-host online Information Sessions for potential applicants to learn more about the programs.

Complete guidelines — including eligibility details, application instructions, and frequently asked questions — are available here.

All applications must be submitted by March 25, 2022 at 11:59pm.

Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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