As the country and world respond to coronavirus and the COVID-19 situation, RACC would like to share some information and resources.
First and foremost, RACC is invested in the health and well-being of the artists, arts organizations, and our communities. Please follow all directions and recommendations from your local and state authorities as well as entities such as the CDC and WHO.
Additionally, for information specific to artists and arts organizations, please refer to ArtsReady, the Performing Arts Readiness project, and the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response. These resources are available with best-practices, updated information, and resources specifically for the arts community. Locally, please also see this new opportunity for emergency funding for artists.
For those of you who are currently operating with grants funded by RACC, we are responsive to individual concerns and necessary changes to the originally-proposed activities. Should you need to modify your grant, please contact your program officer to discuss options. More information for grantees can be found here. Starting today, March 13, RACC staff will be working remotely.
We also want to make you aware of campaigns to include artists and the nonprofit arts community in any federal relief funds that are made available. There are currently campaigns being conducted through both The Performing Arts Alliance as well as the American Alliance for Museums. We recommend reading about these campaigns and, should you feel strongly about the causes, informing your legislators. In addition, RACC will also be working closely with local and regional governments, service organizations, and individuals, as well as local funders and businesses, to develop an emergency fund to support artists and arts organizations through these difficult times.
We recognize the impact that this virus and the necessary reactions may cause. Artists, technicians, administrators, and everyone involved in the arts community are facing an unprecedented situation as events get canceled or postponed. Ultimately, we believe that the arts are about bringing people together. We share emotions and ideas. These connections strengthen us. Looking forward, as we work our way collectively through this pandemic, we are hopeful that the artists, arts organizations, and everyone who make up our arts community will come together and be stronger for it.
Here are some additional ways we can help our community:
Check on older neighbors, colleagues and friends with a call or text – older people seem to be particularly vulnerable to contracting coronavirus, according to health officials – but also are likely staying home and not allowing visitors as a precaution.
Safely drop off food – particularly to anyone who is under quarantine or isolating from others due to their risk factors. Let folks know you’ll be dropping something by – and leave it at the door or on the porch.
Donate money – lots of organizations including food banks, social services groups and others offer direct help to people in need and may be one of the first places people turn if they are hurt economically by the virus.
Fight discrimination and stigma – fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease (for example, Chinese-Americans and other Asian-Americans living in the United States). Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger but we can fight this type of discrimination and help others by providing social support.