Katchie Cartwright's Brazilian Trio plays during Brazilian Jazz Afternoon on the Riverwalk at On The Bend Oyster Bar & Lounge on January 17, 2020. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The Department of Arts and Culture and Luminaria Artist Foundation have joined to create a program to offer emergency funds to artists in all disciplines affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Corona Arts Relief Program, applicants from Bexar County are eligible for up to $600 each, in two categories: professional development, or to offset lost revenue due to event and exhibition cancellations. The application, which is free and available here, requires documentation of recent or future cancellations, or professional development training, classes, or conferences taking place April 1 through December 31.

“All the artists have been impacted in such a devastating way,” said Luminaria Executive Director Kathy Armstrong. “We understand the seriousness of the situation.”

Funds can cover revenue lost to “performances and artistic activities cancelled during the National Emergency Declarations” between March 13 and April 19, according to the announcement. Examples of eligible cancellations are musicians who have lost gigs, canceled panel discussions, readings for writers, visual artist exhibitions, and other cultural events.

Professional development funds can be applied not only to classes or training affected by the pandemic, but are also meant to encourage artists to seek new learning during self-isolation.

“We know that artists are active and always wanting to learn and further their career,” Armstrong said. She gave an example of taking online classes to learn Photoshop, among other possibilities.

Artists may apply in both categories, for example seeking $200 for a canceled panel discussion and $300 for online classes, but must specify in their application how the funds are to be applied, and provide documentation for both instances.

The Luminaria Artist Foundation also is seeking additional funding to bolster the Corona Arts Relief Program, Armstrong said.

“If anybody is interested in supporting local artists through this fund, the foundation is seeking support. And then we could grow that pot of money to share it with more artists,” she said.

Armstrong said anyone interested in donating to the program can use the regular “Donate” tab on the Luminaria website, email her at armstrong@luminariasa.org, or call 210-721-1670.

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Nicholas Frank

Senior Reporter Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with...