County commission to award stipends to creators of works inspired by pandemic
To recognize the essential social contribution made by artists, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission has announced it will award 20 stipends of $500 each to local artists who have created work inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.
The program is made possible through a partnership between the Arts Commission and the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, aimed at showing gratitude for county artists, makers, creators, innovators and visionaries, said Sarah York Rubin, executive director of the county Arts Commission.
The concept behind the program was formed following a virtual, countywide artist listening session facilitated by Ruben Espinoza, arts commission for the county’s 5th District and the Office of Arts and Culture. Several participants shared that they are facing tremendous financial hardship, officials said.
According to a recent report from the state, since the coronavirus impacts began in March, 85% of artists have experienced work cancellations. Because many are freelancers or gig economy workers, they are often ineligible for traditional benefits to offset these losses.
“We believe that artists deserve to be paid for their labor. It is our hope that these honoraria will support the selected artists and help enable them to continue to create and connect,” Arts Commission Chair Dennis Smitherman said in a statement.
The stipends are offered to all practicing artists and cultural practitioners across all disciplines, which includes landscape arts, literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts and traditional culture practice, among others. Applicants must reside in Santa Barbara County and be at least 18 years old.
Submissions are due by Aug 3, with the application at www.sbac.ca.gov/artistsrespond.
Artwork submitted for consideration must have been created after the state’s stay-at-home order was issued March 13.
The Arts Commission may share the work of selected artists with the public, though the artists will retain intellectual property rights to their work. Submissions will be evaluated on artistic merit, uniqueness of perspective, as well as the artwork’s relevance to the current context and moment.
“The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation is honored to participate in supporting our vibrant arts community in Santa Barbara County with these stipends,” Karen Kerns, vice chair of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, said in a statement.
For more information, visit www.sbac.ca.gov.