OKC VeloCity | Emergency Relief fund created to aid art nonprofits during coronavirus pandemic

Emergency Relief fund created to aid art nonprofits during coronavirus pandemic

By Justin Tinder / Member News / April 15, 2020

A campaign to help nonprofit arts groups in dire financial need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been organized by Allied Arts through its COVID-19 Central Oklahoma Arts Relief Fund.

The fund, which launched April 3, is open to central Oklahoma nonprofits arts organizations across all disciplines. It provides money for immediate needs and replacement cost for portions of lost revenue resulting in the postponement or outright cancellation of shows and events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah McAuliffe Senner, President/CEO of the Allied Arts, said her organization has seeded the fund with $100,000 and is appealing to the community to grow it further in the coming weeks.  The Kirkpatrick Family Fund will match the first $25,000 raised for the fund. 

Data gathered by Allied Arts officials have estimated early losses in central Oklahoma at $829,000, but that number rises every day. The group cautioned that it expected the total financial impact to the arts to escalate significantly in the months ahead.

“Ninety-eight percent of nonprofit arts organizations have had either cancelled or postponed events,” McAuliffe Senner said.

Arts nonprofits in particular have been adversely affected by the restrictions placed by limiting social gatherings. All arts venues are closed, fundraising events have been cancelled; exhibits and artist talks have closed; and performances have been postponed indefinitely.

Plans are to award relief grants of $1,000 – $15,000 per organization. Award amounts will vary based on organizational budget size, scope of programs, emerging needs and total resources available. Additional rounds of grants may be made depending on resource availability. 

McAuliffe Senner praised its member agencies and grantees who have taken hold of technology and provided virtual exhibitions, daily concerts, art lessons and expanded interaction with their audience.

“We’ve spent more than 20 years growing a vibrant arts community in Oklahoma,” McAuliffe Senner said “And when we reach the other side of this pandemic it will be the arts that continue to educate, inspire, enlighten and entertain Oklahoma audiences. We’re doing some heavy lifting, but no one entity can shoulder the entire economic loss to the art sector. That’s why we are appealing to the community for their support.”

To donate, visit https://alliedartsokc.com/covid19/. For questions regarding the grant, persons are encouraged to email Jennifer Bryan at Allied Arts at Jennifer.bryan@alliedartsokc.com.


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