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Livestreamed on this page Thursday 19 March 2020 at 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC-6) / 1 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. AKDT (Anchorage, UTC-8) / 10 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10).

United States
Thursday 19 March 2020

Emergency Preparedness and Response: COVID-19 and the Arts Ecosystem (ASL interpreted)

A Grantmakers in the Arts Webinar

Produced With
Thursday 19 March 2020

Note: this video is best for people who prefer American Sign Language. There are some audio issues in this video. Additionally, please see the full transcript below.

Sherylynn: Welcome, and thank you for joining us on the 2020 Webinar, Emergency Preparedness and Response: COVID-19 and the arts ecosystem. I'm Sherylynn Sealy, Program Manager for Grantmakers in the Arts. The arts and culture sectors are seeing the negative impacts from strategies of social distancing and limiting travel in the midst of the coronavirus situation. However, we're curious about a few things. What should funders be thinking about related to how they should be supporting grantees? What's the long-term strategy for resiliency?

On this webinar, we will hear from those who have already started to repurpose their grants, begun fundraising campaigns, and those who have experience with emergency responses for arts and culture communities when unexpected events occur like this one. We look forward to hearing from DeLana R.A. Dameron, artist and founder, Red Olive Creative Consulting & Black Art Futures Fund, Randy Engstrom, Director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, James Hafferman, Deputy Director of CERF+, Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, Assistant Director of Major Initiatives for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Laura Aden Packer, Executive Director of The Howard Gilman Foundation, Mark Rossier, the Director of Grants at the New York Foundation for the Arts, Caitlin Strokosch, President & CEO of the National Performance Network, Eddie Torres, President & CEO of grant makers in the Arts, San San Wong, Director of Arts & Creativity at the Barr Foundation, and Christine Yoon, the Senior Program Officer of Arts at the Wallace Foundation and the co-chair of the New York Chapter of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. We're glad to have them joining us today. At the very end of the presentation, I will be joining to facilitate the Q&A. With that I will turn it over to our presenters. Welcome all! Eddie, why don't you get us started?

Eddie: Thank you, Sherylynn. Can you hear me okay? Okay, good.

Sherylynn: Yes, great.

Eddie: So, first off I wanna thank you, Sherylynn for organizing this webinar so quickly. Really outstanding as always. I wanna thank our Vice President and Director of Programs, the incomparable Nadia Elokdah And I'd like to thank Steve Klein Carmen Garcia Diaz for all the work they've put into this. I especially want to thank all of our presenters for participating on such short notice. I'd like to thank HowlRound for streaming and captioning, thank you VJ Matthew and all the rest of you.

Obviously the requirements of engaging in physical social distancing and of limiting travel are resulting in canceled or postponed performances and events. Declines in tickets revenues and artists losing income. Among our biggest worries are obviously the residents, the children, families that cultural organizations serve. Their enrichment and their engagement. Many organizations are being unbelievably creative right now about reaching out to their communities with activities. Particularly moving programming into the online space, but we know this will require increased capacity building and funding over time.

Our other largest concern is keeping artists employed, many organizations are still committing to paying their artists, this is fantastic, this is essential. Some organizations are no longer paying their performers for canceled production, they're triggering force majeure in their contract and grant makers in the arts Central to our principles of capitalization is making sure that cultural workers are treated as workers who deserved to get paid. And we'll talk about this some more throughout this webinar. Obviously Congress has passed an $8.3 billion bill and we're gonna see more packages continue to be rolled out. To clarify the paid leave, the emergency family leave is provided by employers who are then provided 100% tax credits to offset wages paid. This helps small businesses pay for salaries, but nonprofits are eligible for this as well. In the future what's coming our way is payroll tax deductions, this is hugely important because this is one of the biggest expenses for non-profit organizations. As these kinds of bills continue to be rolled out we'll continue to keep you updated and we continue as does the larger cultural community to advocate for art organizations and for artists.

Among the things we're advocating for is obviously a robust schedule of payroll tax credits. But also advocacy providing an above the line or universal charitable deduction for contributions to the end of 2021. This is to encourage continuous philanthropic giving even as the market's embroiled. Talking to our members, we have been asking obviously our members are all grant makers, so we've been asking what are the most common requests that artists and organizations are communicating. And it just comes down to flexibility, it comes down to in terms of we're gonna talk about two things today, we're gonna talk about the flexibility of the money that's out there, and emergency funding. We know that emergency funding is on the way, but we also know that money is already out there in the field.

One of the things that we try to stress upon people about how capitalization works is that money needs to be sufficiently flexible for organizations to be resilient. So right now we're seeing members increasingly make the money that's out there in the field flexible. Loosening restrictions or eliminating restrictions, timelines, outcome schedules, reporting schedules. This strategy is being widely embraced, I've not heard any funder that's not loosening restrictions on current grants. This obviously there is a range from marginal flexibility to radical flexibility, but nonetheless we're seeing funders really stepping up in the spirit of support going above and beyond, it's really been inspiring.

Obviously when it comes to emergency funding what's most essential is that this be as easy as possible to access, one member articulated that emergency funding is trust-based philanthropy in action. Just get the money out the door with as little red tape as possible. Not just to cut red tape for applicants, whether they're organizations or artists. But to make sure that we inspire our colleagues and peers to do likewise. Also the issue of grants to artists driven projects is essential, particularly as organizations and artists move their work online. Some of us are supporting organizations, some of us are supporting artists and some are supporting artists through organizations. In terms of the sources of money, these monies are coming out off in some instances other grant making pools so those monies won't go out the door.

But in some instances this completely evens out, for instance, touring support right now should start becoming general operating support. Because people can't tour the way they once did, they can't travel the way they once did and the can't gather the way they once did. Some private foundations will pull money out of their investment corpus, again, we think this is bold and this is a moment that requires bold action. When we panic we close our minds, this is worse than just not thinking outside the box and not thinking quickly.

But sometimes we're seeing racialized communities being scapegoated and targeted, we're really appreciative of the workers coming out of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and philanthropy. And we're really excited that we have Christine Yoon from the Wallace Foundation here as a representative. They for instance inspire the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to create a fund called rapid response, racism is a virus too. That responds to xenophobia and bias against Asian American communities. What we're also seeing is a desire for collaboration, what we've got in grant makers in the Arts is requests to be connected to be one another and to find out what others are doing for the sake of collaboration and adaptation. That's why we're all here together like this.

Now, this is a crisis moment, the effects of this are going to last, but the most essential thing is that we look at this moment as an opportunity to make sure that we build this field back more resilient than it was before. Now, we've exceeded capacity this year in response to requests for our capitalization workshop and the ugly irony is that we've had to cancel a bunch of these workshops because of COVID-19. Providing flexible funding is essential to what we teach as responsible capitalization of artists and organizations. General operating support that pays for overheads, that pays for salaries is necessary. Funding for operating reserves it's necessary.

We have an article in the GIA reader that just came out a little while ago, it explained that as we recovered from the great recession organizations have progressively moved their liquid resources into facilities and other fixed assets. Their endowments have expanded along with the financial market. In other words many have locked up their limited liquid capital leaving leaders to struggle to manage the organization. This is not cultural organizations fault, not exclusively, too many boards and donors continue to believe the myth that scale equal success. And that success lends stability. The field is too seldom funding cultural organizations to save every other kind of business without overhead and operating reserves we see the kind of vulnerability that we're experiencing. This crisis has to force us to change, the build, the field and the future that we want. First we must provide immediately help, and that's the focus of our discussion today. So welcome, I'm glad you're all here. Sherylynn?

Sherylynn: Thank you Eddie, all right, let's keep it going, go ahead Tanya?

Tanya: Hi, thanks everyone, Center for Disaster Philanthropy is an organization that works to make disaster giving more effective. And we do that by consulting, education and grant making. I'm glad to be here to share some of our lessons today.

So first of all all funders are disaster funders, and I think this pandemic is going to teach us that more than any other disaster that we've ever had before. This is a time when any funder, no matter what they normally fund, needs to step up and needs to think about how to make contributions to support folks through this disaster. As Eddie said, being flexible is really important, and flexibility, both in the grants you've already given and in giving new grants. That also means reducing the requirements for reporting, don't have folks do expensive evaluation, we want to get money out the door and into the hands of people as soon as possible. This is a new way of doing grant making, hopefully temporary as we deal with the next month to 18 months of this disaster.

If you're going to look at granting extra, start from your smallest organization and work your way up to the biggest. $10,000 for the very small arts organization might be 25% of their budget. But for MOMA, that's a drop in the bucket. Now is also the time to spend that rainy day fund, if you're an organization that typically saves 5% of your assets, or even six or seven or 10, this is the moment you've been waiting for and that you've been saving that money for. We still want folks to be planful, and the expression goes around this is a marathon, not a sprint. That means that it's gonna be a long run, it doesn't mean you don't have to work to get money out the door and get money out the door fast. But it means that you need to think about and strategize how you're giving money, what can you give now, what can you give in three months, in six months, and then a year.

And as Eddie touched on a little bit, advocating with your local, state and federal politicians for laws and policies to protect impacted individuals. Not just artists, but the whole community. We see significant job losses, significant house losses, starving and struggling. They're not going to look at the arts as a solution when they start getting back on their feet, they're gonna be too busy paying the bills that they've had to incur during this time. One of the things that's been super exciting that I've seen is the use of videos and remote curricula. And this is a great later still continue to make grants and give money to individual artists and arts organizations. Hire them now to do that remote learning. I'm based in New Orleans, our schools are shut down. They're not reopening this year. But we still wanna make sure that our kids aren't losing access to arts education, and parents are still trying to make sure that their kids get some information, get some learning. So figure out how you can do that kind of grant making.

And then finally, I think as grant makers I think sometimes we get bogged down in process in all our forms and evaluation and criteria, so be as creative in grant making as the artist you support our in their individual media. Artists are always one of the solutions after a disaster to help with recovery, but they're also gonna be the solution that helps gets us through this. CDP as I mentioned has a lot of education we have a playbook on our website, disasterphilanthropy.org which we would love to have you checked out, it has a section on the arts and how funders can be better in disaster grant making after enduring a disaster. So good luck and I'll turn it over to the next speaker.

James: Good afternoon, this is James Hafferman, deputy director at the CERF+, thanks everyone and we appreciate the opportunity to be here today. CERF+ is a national artist service organization that is dedicated to helping artists build strong and resilient careers and we're focused on emergency readiness response and recovery. CERF+ is the go-to organization for studio-based artists on readiness, with information, resources and education programs. We also advocate for the needs of artists working with general emergency management community and the federal government to ensure their programs include artists and other self-employed workers. CERF+ has, and its founding mission is, an emergency relief fund for artists working in craft disciplines facing career threatening emergencies.

I think some of the things I'm gonna talk about will be said again throughout this webinar, but first I would say let's recognize that this is a sprint and a marathon. We realize that we're only at the beginning of this unprecedented crisis and we need to prepare to address the needs of artists over the long haul. This situation is unique, in that unlike Hurricane's other national disasters, where those are mostly localized, everyone, all of our communities and artists are being directly impacted in one way or another, their health, careers and livelihoods. Unlike our experience in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria or other disasters we can't be on the ground in person talking and coordinating with our partners, which was such a key component of CERF+'s recovery efforts there. This requires a different response model and one that is nimble and strategic with an immediate to long term vision and resources to match throughout that long cycle.

We also know that artists need cash now, we know that this is causing irremediable financial impact, according to FEMA, following the disaster 90% of small businesses fail within a year unless they can resume operations in five days. Artists are creating workarounds and leveraging their online environment to attract audiences, and that is promising, however the constraints of the financial reality taking hold it simply will not be enough. What is needed now is immediate cash relief so that people can pay for groceries, housing, medical care, et cetera. This is a stopgap measure and will not lead to sustainability and resiliency, so as a community we need to find a way to develop a collective and longer term approach to supporting artists throughout and beyond this crisis.

Also addressing issues of equity, with so many organizations creating broad reaching artist relief funds, some artists will have more access to relief funds than others, this creates and exasperates systematic disparities for artists who are already systematically disadvantaged. And resource rich areas with availability of strong leaders and organized communities and support have an advantage, and this can create and exasperate inherent inequalities in our collective system of relief distribution.

Additionally, the technological component of this immediate and unplanned shift to virtual engagement of communities of support will leave some artist behind, while crowdfunding and GoFundMe campaigns may be easy to execute for some, for others who live in rural communities, lack access to large networks or even reliable high-speed Internet, this poses a serious challenge.

Further, as the scramble for support commences organizations need to address equity in terms of the funds they have available. A first come first serve model can leave artists and small organizations and collectives behind, or result in them needing to wait weeks or months until the next campaign can support another round of grants. In CERF+ many years of experience providing grants, we know that artists don't always have the skills or lack the organization that would facilitate their ability to best advocate for themselves a grant application. It's especially important right now that we be mindful that crises often have a disproportionate and inequitable impact on our values of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility should guide us all as we respond to this evolving situation.

My fourth point is collaboration, and there's been an outpouring of it, sharing resources, information in recent days and that has been incredibly helpful and also heartening. As a community of grant makers we need your support of that collaboration going forward, and also support from mobilizing collective resources quickly and efficiently. Additionally, a common application model or pooled fund that could be distributed to ease the burden of organizations scrabbling to raise funds, help facilitate collective data collection and aggregation, or support coordinating combined efforts on advocacy to ensure that relief packages from government are distributed equitably across the arts sector.

Flexibility is key, with the realities from this pandemic changing every day and so many unknowns in the future, it's essential that organizations have the flexibility to ensure they can effectively and strategically respond to the evolving situation. Not only will relief funds for individuals across the sector be a priority, but organizations are taking immense steps to respond and they may require resources for advanced technology, consultants, staff, and ensure their own financial health. This means core operating support and unrestricted support is essential.

Furthermore right now donors are rising to the occasion, however, with predictions of unemployment levels and volatile financial markets we don't know how this is gonna affect donors giving in the mid-to long-term frame. For those of us who rely on individual donors, earned income and fundraising events, this will cause serious financial threats to organizations and the communities we serve.

The last point, in the long term we need to make a commitment to readiness. Pandemics are by no means a new threat to our society, but this is the first test of preparedness in modern history at this scale. And is not an easy sell to the individual or to funders, however, we see more than ever that investing in it over the long term will help our artists, communities and arts organizations build the resiliency they need. Inevitably there will be lessons learned from all this, the unprecedented nature of this particular emergency will require that we all in some ways rethink our models, our modes of communication, coordination and most of all collaboration, which will require a commitment to readiness and resources to do that. Thank you.

Sherylynn: All right San San, you can take it away.

San San: Sure, good afternoon everyone, this is San San, I am with the Barr Foundation, we're based in Boston and the arts program serves Massachusetts. We also have some New England and national initiatives. Like many of you we have been trying to move quickly in response to COVID-19, but even then it feels too slow. But first I want to express my appreciation to all of you for the work you're doing in your community at this challenging time and encourage you to take care of yourself. I want to share some actions that I did we've deployed, and am looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Open lines of communication. Early on we initiated communications with our grantees sending out resource lists around emergency preparedness. We invited people to be in contact with us and we also hosted a series of webinars and a series of open conference calls. We're using the communication network guidance around crisis communication. These guidelines are pretty simple and easy to use, they include to be brief and direct, to lead with the news, focus on facts, acknowledge what you don't know and what's unknown, and to be consistent with the cadence of your message. Ultimately, you don't want people to wonder where you disappeared to.

Supporting grantee partners. You need to be compassionate, calm, kind and patient with our grantee department. We're finding that our organizations are trying to consume all the information they can. There's so much information out there and we're finding that people are getting overwhelmed. Some are needing financial planning tools, some need that compassionate sounding board to make the hard decisions about what and when to cut. And so many practice to get ready for that difficult board conversation. So the combination of increased flexibility around grants and recording, coupled with customized expert advice has been much appreciated. In smaller organizations they may not have the cash reserves to keep their doors open, we're helping them to assess their cash flow, can they stay open 30 days, 60 days, 90 days? Can we buy them enough time to get plans in place and for them to talk with their donors and the community. This is where mitigation funds might be targeted.

Creating response and recovery funds with an equity lens. At Barr we reviewed our 2020 budget, and deferred new initiatives and grants in order to create a pool of funds for mitigation and recovery. As we were creating priorities for recovery we're trying to appropriately size our response with an equity lens. Some of our considerations include, smaller organizations that may not have the reserves to weather this period.

Vulnerable communities that have lacked historic investment. Organizations that may be much loved with lots of social capital, but their communities don't have the deep financial pockets or sizeable recovery capital. We're looking at places where there are fewer philanthropic resources where we can help to step in. And because we're statewide, we acknowledge that we don't know all the communities deeply, we need to work with partners who are trusted by their communities and who know where intervention will be most successful. We need to be ready to apply the equity lens as we develop the medium and long term.

Coordinating efforts. We've been working with the city of Boston to hire a coordinator to help the chief of arts and culture. Authority figure of local government is super critical right now. This coordinator serves as central point person for the community and frees up the chief to focus and coordinate with other city departments. Our advocacy organizations are getting those immediate impact numbers to legislators so that arts can be included in relief packages. We're also trying to understand what are the potential medium and long term impacts on the arts sector. Our service organization are coming together to coordinate data, analysis and case making.

Lastly, how can we use this crisis moment as an opportunity to build a stronger arts center? In addition to funding artists and organizations we might see opportunities to build sector infrastructure, like our advocacy organization network collaboration method. So keeping our eye on the future is helping to guide all of our decisions at Barr. On that note I wanna end and express my gratitude for GIA for pulling it together, and I hope that through this crisis we grow even stronger as a funding community. Thank you.

Mark: Hello, my name is Mark Rossier, I'm the Director of Grants at the New York Foundation for the Arts, and I will speak based on experiences we have when we administered a fund after Hurricane Sandy, where we made about 463 grants totalling $1.3 million.

The first thing is speed counts, the need is real and immediate And any support given to people both stops the bleeding but also gives people hope, which is very important. For Hurricane Sandy we had four separate panels so no one group became too overwhelmed, and we had at least one panel meet every single week, and in the first round we had the panels meet every day, that allowed us to make decisions quickly and get the money out fast.

Keep it simple. People are stressed, so making it easy to apply is better for them and better for you as grant makers think about just the key questions you need to ask. For Sandy, we asked what was the loss, please provide any documentation and an artists resume. And I know some places usually offering smaller grants of say $500 are not even asking for documentation.

Make the guidelines crystal clear, and if you have the bandwidth, set up a separate email for eligibility questions. People who don't normally apply for grants will hear about this, and also people will hear through a grapevine and they may not have been able to look at the guidelines. We just launched a grant with the Rauschenberg Foundation, which is not about COVID, it's about medical expenses, but because we have a line where people can email us with questions I'm able to field all of that, so we're in fact not getting a lot of in eligible applications that are coming in, we're able to let people know, let people know via the email line. In addition to that, share opportunities. If you have specific disciplines, specific geographic regions for your grant. If you can let people know of other opportunities they can look at, its enormously helpful. Again, on the email line that I had for the Rauschenberg grant, I've given people the link to all of the COVID application information that we know about and people are incredibly grateful to get that.

The people most in need may be the least experienced in asking, people are scared and desperate and sometimes the applications become overly emotional because people think they really need to plead their case. Sometimes people are angry and resentful that they need to be asking for help, and that comes out. Some people try to be very professional and take it just the facts approach, and so they seem a bit detached or perfunctory. And sometimes people are just all over the place. They're venting, they include a lot of extraneous information that you don't really need. People who never think of asking money will do so now, so be prepared for a wide variety of applications. And the normal grant writing protocols break down and are frequently just tossed out the window. Because of that you need to have really clear decision making criteria that is universally understood by panelists and evaluators. They need to be sympathetic but also be able to navigate the wide variety of approaches and writing styles that are gonna come in and be able to fairly and equitably delineate based on the criteria. There may also be times when only a certain portion of what people are asking for is fundable, and that's fine. People would rather get partial funding than no funding at all.

Also think about finance and infrastructure, you may be processing a lot more payments then you are used to. Do you have the capacity to do that? Can you do wire transfers, can you do direct deposits? Just consider all of that. Decline people with dignity and when possible offer feedback. Since these are not typical artistic grants, rejecting people feels like a fraught and complicated thing, giving feedback about why they were declined can be incredibly helpful, it can mitigate a certain anger that they may feel, it will let them know that there was a clear specific process and a specific reason, and again, if you can refer them to other places, that's incredibly helpful.

And finally, have short, medium and long-term plans. What can you do immediately? How do things look for the grants you've already made in 2020, or may make in your next cycle, and what will the impact be on grants in 2021 and even 2022. This is a real opportunity for us to plan and think about what the landscape may look like over the next several years. So that's all I have, thank you for doing this GIA. And I will now turn it over to the next person.

Laura: Hi, can you hear me, it's Laura. It's Laura Aden Packer, I am the Executive Director of the Howard Gilman Foundation which is based in New York City and the funds the performing arts in New York City. I know a lot of my peer funders are on this call, but I'm also aware that a lot of ITs are on the call, so I sent greetings from our class and just to remind you that we're here for you if you wanna give us a call or send us an email. So basically what I have here are primarily what we've already done. And so we're hoping that a lot of our fellow peer funders will be doing the same.

The first thing that we did was we realized right away that our grantees were all working from home now And they had no way a lot of them to communicate with one another, so we offered all of our grantees free Zoom licenses for the foreseeable future so that they could have those videoconferencing capabilities with their staff, board, artists throughout this time. And so far more than half of our grantees have already taken us up on this offer. This was something that was really simple, not that expensive, and they were very, very grateful. So I recommend you look into doing that. Obviously this is a time when everyone's nerves are totally frayed, so if you're able to assure your grantees as soon as possible about what their future funding looks like, you will be doing a great favor to them.

We are letting all of our grantees know that they can anticipate receiving the same amount of general operating support from us in 2020 as they did in 2019, and that's the least that we can do for them, and notification of that has been able to give them a little bit of breathing room, knowing that they can expect to get at least what we gave them last year. Like everyone else we are letting our grantees know that anything that they put into their last application to us is off the board, we realized that all the shows that they were planning on doing when they submitted their proposals, whatever they said they were gonna be doing they're not gonna be doing, and we just wanna let them know that they can use those grant dollars for whatever they need during this crisis, especially retaining their artists and staff as best they can.

What we have done with our current grant application, we have grants that are due in a couple of weeks, we reached out to all those grantees who normally apply in this cycle until then that we have discarded the grant application, basically we're only asking our grantees one question, which is how is the COVID-19 virus impacting your organization? That's the only thing we're gonna ask them, we're not asking them any of those other questions and when our staff have our probably via Zoom site visits with our grantees, that's all we're really gonna be talking to them about so we talked about all the other questions, we want them to be able to answer one question and they can submit this now on a rolling basis, we have just totally changed the way that we normally do change deadlines, changed the application, all those things with the flexibility that our grantees need.

We primarily provide general operating support, almost all of our grants are general operating support. And if for my foundation colleagues if your foundation does not currently make general operating support grants now is the time to start doing that. We are converting whatever program grants we do have, which are not very many, but we do have some, we're speaking with our grantees about converting those to general operating support grants as well. We already have very minimal reporting requirements, but we would urge everyone to really listen or eliminate a lot of the onerous reporting requirements that we put our grantees through. We're just planning on talking to our grantees when we do our probably again videoconference site visits, we're just gonna talk to them about what's been going on and our staff will record the notes and that will be their report. That will be the only kind of reporting that they need to do.

Our foundation does not fund individual artists and we're keenly and painfully aware of how this is just a tremendously awful time for individual artists. So we're looking for ways to get funds to them quickly through intermediaries and service organizations that we have worked with. For example, dance NYC, and example are in the field has already established a fund to provide immediate relief to dance workers and small dance companies. We have made a grant to them already and I know a couple other foundations have as well, they're trying to put together a nice pool of money there, so if you don't know about that you can look into that with Dance NYC.

And then finally I would say the most important thing is to convince your board, if you're the person that had that ability, if you are the Executive Director. That this is not the time to reduce the foundations grant making budget, this is not the time to say well, our endowments are falling apart and we're losing so much money, I have heard a couple of foundations saying that and that is just the wrong tack to take, and I'm glad to say that we spoke with our trustees last night, we made the case that our portfolio will come back, it's going to come back, it came back after 9/11, it came back after 2008 and 2009. Our portfolio will come back now, it's not the time to cut our grant making budget and fortunately our board totally was 100% on board with that and recognized that it appealed to where we need to be making our investments now is with our grantees and hopefully boards around the country will realize that this is not time to reduce grant making budgets, And in fact should be a time to consider increasing your grant making budget.

The last thing I'll say is we have gotten a lot of surveys, we know a lot of service organizations that are doing surveys, funders that are doing surveys. There are a million surveys so I think everybody should be sensitive to that and try to avoid duplication when at all possible, our grantees are already totally overstressed. And I think this service organizations both nationally and regionally and certainly for us here in the city are doing a tremendous job of gathering information from artists and arts organizations. So hopefully we will be able to. That data will help inform how we can continue to respond to the needs of our grantees during this unprecedented crisis. So thank you Eddie and all our friends over at GIA for putting this together and thank you to all our colleagues in the funding community and in the nonprofit arts world that are on this call today, and we're thinking about everybody and we're trying to do everything we possibly can. Thank you, we'll turn it over now to Randy, possibly if you're off the phone, Randy?

Randy: Hi, good afternoon everybody, what a strange year this week has been. On Monday morning I went to the station coffee shop, it's the coffee shop in my neighborhood that I had gone to every morning for the last eight years, and Leona and Luis who are the owners were in a state, this is eight hours after the restaurant ban went into effect here in the Seattle and there were handwritten signs about COVID-19 and there was Purell everywhere and all the chairs were on top of all the tables, it was chaos. They had obviously been crying. And they were reckoning with losing everything and when I look to the left hand side of the room they had stockpiled a massive amount of food, and it said take what you need. That is the city and the spirit and the community that we're fighting for right now. And we're fighting for our life.

Nine days ago the writer, author, leader, thinker, Ijeoma Oluo, launched a GoFundMe page in Seattle. And it was the first beacon of light I saw in the last three weeks. And it was an artist using their platform not to help themselves but to help other people, and I really think it is in the DNA of our community to imagine a way out of this. Also nine days ago I was asked to write a messaging framework for the mayor and the cabinet for how we're gonna move through this, the speed at which this crisis has hit us it is unprecedented. In addition to the fact that it's 9/11 meets the recession meets a natural disaster, it's also happening at just an astonishing speed.

I designed this framework to clarify, mitigate, redeploy, recover, reimagine as sort of a test that we could organize our collective, civic, public, community and philanthropic efforts towards. Seven days ago I was asked to step in as the lead of philanthropy and civic recovery for the city of Seattle, five days ago her office here at King Street Station became the relief and recovery headquarters for the emergency operations center at the city. Fascinating to manage a real-time disaster and practice social distancing, because you can't use your emergency infrastructure in the way that it was designed.

So we're doing it here and we're doing what artists do, which is figuring it out in real time. Clarify is just all about an aligned public sector message that responds to the gravity of the situation, it is clear, it is transparent, it is accountable. We're collecting and continuously updating information so that the city knows how to respond. We're building solutions in real time and we're maintaining a dashboard of what we're learning along the way. Information moves at the speed of trust, and so giving information to the paper isn't enough we have to give information in language to trusted community leaders and we have to trust each other. Mitigation is about how you get every dollar you can find out the door today.

What are the short-term harm reduction strategies. And I can talk a little bit about that from both the citywide level, where we're pushing $5 million out the door in food vouchers, 2 1/2 million dollars out the door for small business mitigation. And 1 1/2 million dollars for our cultural and non-profit community and in the office the way we're trying to do that short-term is we gave $50,000 to Ijeoma's artist relief fund, we gave another $50,000 to the Artist Trust, the statewide individual artist funder to a previous presenter's point about finding the intermediaries that can do it quickly. We can fund individual artists but we're dividing and conquering. We repurposed our million-dollar cultural facilities fund and just went ahead and increased our general operating fund by 50%. No application, we're just amending everyone's contract and increasing the amount. They're gonna get an email of how much that money is, how much that amount is and then they can invoice us for the check. We're working with all of our local credit unions to secure zero interest loans for individuals, contractors and small businesses, we hope that that's the way that we can really leverage private support.

We also convinced the city, well we are the city, we convinced ourselves to forgive rent for everyone that rents space from us for two months we signed a residential eviction ban, a commercial eviction ban for the next two months. So how can we keep people sheltered. Mitigation is really about immediate hierarchy of needs, which is food, shelter, now childcare, Housing, and interestingly culture. Because in this moment of social distancing the impact of isolation is really profound and we don't know how long we're gonna be in this. Redeployment is an interesting space that the arts community has been very helpful in, because it's about the rapid re-skilling and the rapid redistribution of people and goods in an almost improvisational way. Can we put a thousand laid off restaurant workers to work delivering meals to vulnerable seniors who are unable to go to congregate meals? Can we put our special events production community who are no longer allowed to produce special events to work building mobile testing sites throughout the county when we have tests? We'll talk about that one off-line. There's a lot of creativity and everyone wants to help and setting up a framework by which we can triage that and essentially do matchmaking has been an important part of our strategy. But redeployment, we're halfway between mitigation and redeployment right now.

I will say I'm incredibly proud to live in a city that has a life science community that figured this out on their own, political leadership that responded with appropriate focus. And a community that chose to lean in and help neighbors. It's very inspiring to me. The big one is recover and reimagine. Recovery means that we have to think about the restoration of this city at a scale that never happened. We're gonna have to remake our local economy, potentially our education system, certainly our local government. And everything is going to be different. We have a federal stimulus package that is assuming we can somehow return to normal. But normal is gone. There is a new normal and we get to build and create that.

In 1971 the city of Seattle suffered the worst recession in its history, Boeing, the biggest employer in our city laid off 65,000 employees. 65% of its workforce. There was a billboard next to Boeing Field that said what the last person out of Seattle please turn out the lights. And it was in that context in 1971 that the mayor chartered the Seattle Arts Commission, our local arts agency, our office. And when they asked the mayor why you would do that in a recession, he said because we have to give people hope. And I think the thing our community is here to do right now in this moment in this crisis, is to give the world hope. We need a strong civic narrative that centered in our values, we have to respect the fact that we had an economy that didn't work for everyone before so as we build a new one we have to build it through the lens of racial equity, shared values, possibility and creativity.

When I think about advice to funders, think about mitigation of your program dollars and recovery and re-imagination as your endowment dollars. Don't be precious about territory, don't be precious about credit it's all hands on deck all the time and all of us have a role to play in this. And the last thing it is just that distance doesn't equal isolation, they don't have to be the same thing. We need to find new ways to bring heart and creativity and passion and love and support for our neighbors in this time. We can't lose our humanity as we're forced to create physical distance with one another.

I am so confident that the creative community and the cultural community is gonna lead us out of the woods, and I believe that's because that's the experience I've had from my 43 years on this planet. And I believe it because somehow I wind up in this role for civic reconstruction of our city. But mostly I just wanna say before I jump off that I hope everyone is staying safe. Hope you are articulating those you love that you do, and we got each other, we're in this together and I'm confident that we can do it. Thank you very much.

DeLana: Hi everyone my name is DeLana R.A. Dameron, I am a founder of Red Olive Creative Consulting, and Black Art Futures Fund and I'm super excited about the ways that my colleagues here have articulated what they've already done and are interested in doing and I am honored to be in a position to speak towards the chorus of deep thinking and movement making. I am gonna speed through my bullet points which are sketches and diagrams that if you can't see on your screen I apologize, I'll describe a little bit but hopefully you'll have a chance to see these later. I hope you enjoy the art that I brought to the conversation today.

I'm a South Carolina-based fundraising consultant for small arts and nonprofits across the country when I'm not distributing funds for a Black Art Futures Fund, which is a volunteer collective project. Or serving as my role as board chair for Recess, a social justice based art organization in Brooklyn. In this work over the last month as a fundraising consultant, and even still this year I've been chasing grant deadlines with my clients trying to push folks to understand as best as they can to take care of themselves first.

What I mean by this is that folks right now are putting emotional, mental and financial resources into grant writing I understand in some respects the intention could be well-meaning, like advocating for folks for future money however even the emotional and psychological space our groups have to occupy to even answer any future leaning questions should be considered at this moment. And as the crisis heightens, this work highlighted for me as an arts funder with Black Art Futures Fund how futile applying for grants right now for 21 and 22 feels. How could groups be able to focus on its most valuable asset, its people? A question I was thinking of is how can we think so far ahead when the government does not even know what's in store for any of us? And how can we alleviate this tension?

I took these questions to the board at Black Art Futures Fund and our applications were already in the middle of our funding cycle, which is two phases, and even if we believed it was an easy application said we have to stop this process, we needed to redirect, we needed to create an emergency grant fund an empty out the bucket we had. What would have been a May June funding announcement date turned into movement upwards of 35,000 in the next two weeks, which is our full fund right now. We sent it out on Tuesday night of this week, and as of this webinar we have already received $24,000 in funding requests, all from orgs with a budget of less than $300,000 all across the country.

This moment allowed for us to practice Occam's razor theory, the simplest answer to a complicated moment or question is probably the right one. Occam's razor for us on this call could be thinking about what we might be able to do and this first slide says move as many resources as we can quickly. We at Black Art Futures Fund are in active discussions with some foundations and welcome conversations with us to act as intermediaries to be able to get necessary philanthropic funds to the small arts community. The little triangle on the next thing is my version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's needed for me to be able to exercise my Occam's razor from most questions.

When I think about philanthropy in this work I think before we ask what's next, maybe we can ask organizations what do you need now, and maybe that's the only question. It's probably money to secure health, food, shelter and security at the bottom of the period for its people. Once that's done organizations can continue up the pyramid and often provide all of the other components, community, even if it's virtually belonging and still spaces for creativity even as we're in a crisis flexion point.

The grant I spoke about that's due Friday for my client has asked us yesterday to articulate a plan of action for summer and fall, this funder started this conversation with the caveat even that there is no guarantee for future funding and still asking the group to use its limited resources on a timeline that no one can speak to right now. This funder has supported this organization for several years in the past, and I just can't understand an equation that continues to ask organizations to occupy the top of the pyramid of self-actualization and realization without ensuring especially now in this crisis that the people who would do the things, administer the grant, run the organization have what they need. And that's near to the bottom.

One of the images in the next image is the image of the bell curve defines this COVID moment for us, and asks us to do very uncomfortable things. How do we flatten the curve of the epidemic, how do we flatten the curve of this impending crisis, this art and culture impending crisis. And I think to flatten that curve we have to shelter in place, social distance. And in the work of philanthropy one of the things that we can do is that influx the field with generous operating support from funders. It's also super important that we communicate quickly, even if the executable plan is not perfect. Our wait increases our organizations anxiety.

I'm of the belief that this is not the time for us at Black Art Futures Fund to let the perfect be the enemy of just sending an email with updates and opportunities to move resources and money as soon as possible. My cursive writing asks to consider converting all programs related support immediately to generous operating support, and I refer back to my Maslow's cultural philanthropic hierarchy of means, there are simply no programs, no art now thinking of the art of holding us up right now in this moment even virtually without the bottom of the pyramid secure. We have asked the field to exist in the 10 to 20% of administrative margins for way too long. And one of our radical response was to do this differently, provide generous operating support now and maybe continue that into our new reality.

And finally, if not us in the philanthropic space, who? Truly the other revenue streams, individuals for the most part, earned income, et cetera, just can't intervene right now. Again I think about all of the art how art will help us get through this and art will document, and art will help us make sense of all of this later maybe. When we study ancient civilizations I think about how we look at their art and their culture and we have the resources to make sure groups are with us on the other side of this. We have to want to save it, take risks and then reflect. Right now I am fully stepping in and I urge my colleagues to understand that we are the emergency response team for the field. I'm thinking of how medical response teams are moving on autopilot, Occam's razor showing up again, and trying to ensure the highest population of individuals make it through this crisis. So this requires doctors and nurses to act first, understanding that instinct and reflexes are pushing them into the action, not necessarily reason. Reason asks us to pause and hesitate, think about how we can flatten the curve of this particular crisis in the field, and I hope that we can act swiftly and together, and I'll stop there, thank you so much for your time.

Caitlin: Hi all, this is Caitlin Strokosch from the National Performance Network. The National Performance Network, otherwise known as NPN is a hybrid grant maker Association movement builder focused on advancing racial and cultural justice in the nonprofit performing arts field. Our work supports artists directly in partnership with the organizations in our network. And supports artists particularly in the creation and touring of new original work. We also work to build the capacity, particularly for organizations of color. And advocate for more artists and community centered practices in our field overall. While we are a national funder providing resources in almost every state in the country, we're based in New Orleans in a community that are no stranger to crisis. I just have a few bullet points and I'll try to move quickly, especially because some of my colleagues have already said so many of these things better than I'm sure I will.

In thinking about our short-term actions right now and setting priorities, one of the questions I think has helped us in guiding our response is what is our organization poised to do particularly well. I think in a time like this we all want to do everything for everyone and it's been important for us to take a moment and pause and remember what it is each of us does really well. So for us there are three particularly salient points, one is offering stability and certainty. NPN has long-term relationships with organizations and artists who count on us for annual support. Those relationships are at the core of everything we do. So ensuring that some of our funding deadlines and some of our funding mechanisms are moving forward it is particularly important for us to communicate right now as Laura said as well so for example the commissioning fund deadline but we had already scheduled for May is moving forward so that organizations and artists who do have plans underway for next year can feel like not everything is up in the air. Obviously with the caveat as well that we will be adapting and be flexible to what those programs actually look like. Another way we're thinking about the stability that we can offer is making sure that artists get paid for projects we weren't expecting to fund even if those projects are canceled or postponed.

One of the other things I think we do particularly well or are poised to do, is leverage our intermediary relationship. So NPN was founded to foster reciprocity and artists and the community centered practices and performing arts presenting. So we're used to serving as an intermediary in the relationship between artists and art organizations, whether that means assisting with contract negotiation, setting equitable fee structures, offering expectations around community engagement guidelines, things like that. So most of the grants that we provide to organizations are specifically allocated for artists fees. So the fact that we're encouraging the organization to continue to pay those artists, regardless of whether those projects are canceled or postponed right now is a position that we're used to being in. And I think recognizing when we as funders can leverage that relationship is really important. Also encouraging those organizations to find other ways to get money into the hands of artists right now. For example, can you reimburse now for travel expenses that artists have already incurred for performances that may not happen so that artists and carrying that debt even for things that are gonna be rescheduled.

Also as many folks have already mentioned, cutting down on bureaucracy NPN is relatively small and nimble and We]re doing what we can along with so many of you others to mobilize resources quickly. I think it's a good time to ask what processes really matter, what processes really matter now and also what processes really matter after a crisis? Do we really need to be as bureaucratic as we are sometimes. So for example, we awarded 40+ new grants last month before this crisis, and we're accelerating the contract process for those grants so that we can get money out the door as quickly as possible for those funds.

In the longer term I'm thinking about how we do not just go back to normal. If you had me on video you would see normal in air quotes enthusiastically. NPN works towards system change in art and philanthropy, and I think these kinds of moments are when systems of an equity can either become even more entrenched, or they can be disruptive for positive change. So one notion that really underscores all of our work is to center racial and cultural justice, not just in a crisis but every day. Inequities are amplified in a crisis, even when they sometimes become less visible because it seems like everybody is struggling. So whether racial justice is at the core of our everyday work or not, I think we can start from where we stand right now in this moment. Lots of folks have talked about trust based philanthropy and it's a notion I think we as funders are more comfortable with in a crisis, but how can we make trust-based practice as part of her work all the time. And trust the lived experiences of individuals and communities who experience of oppression and trauma daily?

The second long-term notion We're thinking about is how do we support is how do we support artistic programming and capacity all the time. This moment is a perfect example of why gen op support is so important. And as NPN support is primarily for artistic programming, we really thinking through how we can change some of our funding structures that support the overall resiliency of our constituents all the time. And the last thing that we've been talking a bit about here at NPN, is in particular how do we challenge the performing arts presenting model overall. What does it mean that our work focuses on a model of travel and in person performances, not only in the face of the pandemic but also what does this mean in forces like climate change, nationalistic and racist travel bans, detention and deportation and limited accessibility for people with disabilities or for remote, rural and tribal communities? How do we deeply invest in real engagement and exchange that is not just about face-to-face, not only all the really amazing virtual stuff that's happening right now in a crisis, but all the time. Artists shouldn't be limited to only sharing their work on a stage, nor should any communities access to the live arts and artists be limited by access to a performance in person. I'm really grateful to GIA and for all of our colleagues here for the leadership in this moment and we'll turn this over to Christine.

Christine: Hi everyone, I really wanna thank GIA and Eddie for convening this group and express gratitude to all the speakers that have been taking serious notes. I'm Christine Yoon, senior program officer for the arts at Wallace, I am also co-chair for the New York City chapter of Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in philanthropy. And I'm gonna pick up on the clip that Caitlin just said, inequities are amplified in a crisis. I'm here to talk about three things.

First is the scapegoating of AAPI and people of Chinese heritage in particular while the origin of COVID-19 has been traced to China let's be clear, the virus is not racist. Like every other time before this, fear, fueled by xenophobia and racism is surfacing and spreading more quickly than the virus itself. Just like after 911 we saw anti-Muslim violence spike, Asian Americans went from being a model minority back to being the yellow peril. All of this is rooted in anti-blackness, and none of this is helpful or excusable in any light. And a couple of quick anecdotes. Our own president and some elected officials referred to the coronavirus as the Chinese virus and kung flu. Media outlets are using photos of Asians wearing face masks, as the visual spread of this virus when it's impacting all people. In the UK Vietnamese art curator was dropped from an art fair because they feared she would be seen as carrying the virus. All over this country Asian Americans, adults and children are experiencing hate-based situations. Earlier today I learned that in New York alone there were over 1000 reported hate crimes in recent weeks.

My second point, coronavirus affects us all and it makes some of us even more vulnerable and I'll talk about immigrants, women and the census. Immigrants are on the front lines of this crisis, many are unable to work from home in the jobs that they hold, or they work for Asian owned businesses that have already been forced to close. Worst, immigrants are at risk of deportation, being denied green cards, even citizens can be at risk for being denaturalized based on the public charge rule that went into effect which is about whether people are given public benefits such as Medicaid. The public charter went into effect at the same time as the coronavirus was evidently spreading in the US. Women are impacted differently, particularly low-wage workers and the majority of whom are women of color. 75% of healthcare workers are women who are on the front lines of this virus and women make up 90% of home care workers. These people are at greater risk of exposure to the virus with less opportunity to care for themselves and their families, and here I wanna give a quick shout out to an API leader, Ai-jen Poo, and her people at the National Domestic Workers Alliance. And you can find out [email protected]

Lastly, I know we've all been talking about there's the immediate crisis right now and then we'll come out of this into a more longer term crisis. The virus throws a wrench into our best efforts to organize around the senses, and it's making the hard to reach people that much harder to reach. When we come out of this first urgent phase of the pandemic the census figures will add to a longer term and equitable face for our communities of color at for AAPI's in particular.

So third, what can we do in this rapidly changing climate? Number one, practice anti-racism, I know this is something that we all do daily, but I wanted to say proactively remind ourselves and others do not project fears of coronavirus onto marginalized groups and spread unfounded associations. Number two, solidarity matters, be an ally, speak out against racially charged aggression or outbreak related jokes that perpetuate stereotypes. And lastly what many of us are doing already, reaching out to grantees and impacted communities. In addition to asking how grantees are doing and asking about their finances, also check to see if they're experiencing racial profiling. And if you don't have grantees whose work today are focused specifically within a EPI communities, there are plenty of organizations that can help direct you, including an AAPI chapter is spread across the country can direct you to community-based organizations and communities that you can read about. And remember that prevention and intervention options are not always equitably distributed across the workforce, and disparities are often cut along racial and gender lines, with women bearing the brunt of burden.

I rushed through what I wanted to say, but I will end with this. I believe our health is strengthened by our humanity and I really believe that the arts brings out our common shared humanity, so I just wanted to add one more thing, that common sense, goodwill and humanity are the best remedies to heal us all.

Sherylynn: Hi everyone, thank you so much to our presenters, that was awesome, you leave our attendees with lots of information to replicate in terms of funding practices, ways to better relieve grantees. And to do this with a social justice lens in order to minimize racism in the process. So now we'll start with our Q&A with our presenters. So if you have a question please be specific about who the question is for. And just a reminder to ask your questions in either the rectangular box at the bottom of your screen if you're joining us from Adobe Connect. Or in the comments box if you are joining from Facebook. So Randy, any other LLA's from the city of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, this question is from you. We'd love to hear from other grant makers of public funds whose funding comes 100% from the TOT. Our funding base is obviously going to take a significant hit for fiscal year 2020 to 2021. Can any other city LLA's here respond? So if you can just offer some thoughts Randy, to that question.

Randy: Sure, our county, I assume that lodging tax the TAA. Our office is funded through an admissions tax, which is down 40% and dropping, because you can't buy tickets to anything, ergo you can't have any admission tax. But that's no better than the general fund which is supported by sales tax, and also you can't buy anything except at grocery stores. So when I said the new normal, I think that's part of what I was talking about. Even when this pandemic is over, we're gonna be able to go back outside and there are no cruise ships, there are no conferences, there are no tourists in a hotel. There is a very urgent moment on the other side of this when I say we're gonna have to recreate our economy. I'm not being hyperbolic, I think we're gonna have to really drive folks back out into community. When we're able to be on the other side of this. And so the impact on lodging tax, sales tax, all public sector resources is probably gonna be extremely severe. Ergo we're gonna have to have some pretty bold strategies. My intent just to be really candid around this civic recovery concept to try to raise something on the magnitude of $10 billion.

Sherylynn: Great, that's awesome, thank you. And I hope everyone can hear me now, so just let me know if you can't. And so our next question, this is for anyone who's presenting here. So can funders think about universal applications shared across grant makers and is this strategy that funders would consider to truly ease stress on grantees, how feasible is that type of a strategy? Anyone can dive in or multiple can share.

DeLana: Hi everyone this is DeLana, one of the things that I think might be universal for folks who have multi-year funding practices and even if they have grantees within the multi-year cycle is to just initiate the next cycles. And so not having them go through the application process again, but really truly thinking about what are the barriers to moving the money and how can we lessen them.

Sherylynn: Great, does anyone else have any thoughts? Before I go to our next question? Okay, go for it?

Laura: I was just gonna say that a lot of this varies from foundation to foundation because of their boards, but our board was fine with us just asking that one question, how is COVID-19 impacting your organization. And I think that's all we really need to know from our teams, and so most of the other questions in any application that any foundation currently uses its pointless I think at the moment. So I would encourage all the funders out there to consider just totally streamlining your application to ask basically that one question.

Sherylynn: Awesome, thank you Laura. And let's say the main question one more time, you were a little soft, I wanna make sure to repeat it for our listeners.

Laura: The question?

Sherylynn: There was one main question that you said that our attendees should?

Laura: Our question was how is the COVID-19 crisis impacting your organization. That's our question to our grantees going forward.

Sherylynn: Okay, great, awesome, okay, thank you. So we heard that one main question keeps it nice and easy, nice and simple. And also Laura, I know a few people are looking for the links for the free Zoom account, so we'll follow up with you on that one.

Laura: Any of our grantees that can contact us and we'll get back to them with that information ASAP.

Sherylynn: Great, thanks. Okay, so another question from our listeners, what are some strategies to mitigate the crisis shaping up with performers unions? This person submitted this question via Facebook and said I heard the recommendation that an equity frame should not consider COVID-19 a major event and is insisting that theatres payout four week contracts to keep their members paid. The theatres can't afford this, they don't have this kind of cash flow, what are your thoughts? Anyone can dive in here, Caitlin or San San if you have thoughts?

Caitlin: This is Caitlin. You know we're all in a bind and I think, as funders it's important for us to leverage what we can. We can't just ask our institutional grantees to go ahead and make those payments to artists if we're willing to step up into that space ourselves. So I think that's a really important thing. I think also like I had mentioned, trying to encourage folks to meet halfway in some way, for example like reimbursing for expenses that artists had already occurred that they're now carrying debt on on their credit card. Just figuring out some different kinds of payment schedules, I think it's the fact that folks are just taking, some folks are taking an either/or approach and invoking force majeure clauses and artists aren't getting anything for work that's already been done. I think that we as funders need to figure out how to step into that space. And yeah, I'll stop there.

Sherylynn: Great. San San, did you wanna share anything? All right, okay. So another question, so a lot of funders and a lot of people in general as we know are checking the pulse and seeing what grantees are really asking for, what do grantees really need and the response is often GOS, general operating support cash, that's the major need. But if any of you heard of anything beyond GOS that grantees are asking for frequently that folks on the webinar could benefit from knowing about?

Christine: This is Christine.

Randy: This is Randy. One thing that I know people are looking for is work, so in that rapid redeployment, because all the schools are closed we are hiring teaching artists using education dollars to build streaming content that parents can use at home to educate their kids while they're home from school. Similarly to that, that redeployment strategy around special ed producers building testing sites. People want general operating support but they also wanna contribute, they wanna do something and they wanna work. So how can we use other dollars from other places to put people to work in a unique.

Sherylynn: Thanks Randy, and Christine, I think you also wanted to respond to that one?

DeLana: Hi this is DeLana.

Christine: I wanted to underscore what San San talked about with open-minded communication, that's something that I've heard as well, sorry so now I'm speaking from my Wallace role and not my AAPI role, it's something that I heard as well grantees know that we're trying to move quickly and as flexibly as we can, but quick for us is not a few days. But at the same time what I am hearing there's just appreciation for knowing that I'm over here, I'm thinking of them and I'm willing to listen to them even if I'm not in a position to offer anything concrete right now.

Sherylynn: Great, thank you. And DeLana, I think you also wanted to contribute something. DeLana, I think you also wanted to contribute something?

DeLana: Yeah, I think it's a general question, kind of the phrase of people are looking for work, or trying to think through like, the ways in which the field has been asked to continue to perform in order to have the money keep flowing. People thinking that if they show some level of productivity then they can earn their keep, which means that money could still flow in their direction. And I wonder if that's really just about like, the access or the proximity to the resources through work. Work is tied to the acquisition of those resources, so I just wanted to throw that out into the ether as a question.

Sherylynn: Thank you. San San, I think you wanted to share something as well?

San San: Thank you, Sherylynn. I guess for me I think what we've been hearing is that people may have some funds, they're not necessarily sure how to deploy them well right now given that there is so much coming at them, and so what we're finding is that they're asking for help In terms of expert consultants to just walk through cash flow, emergency planning those kinds of efforts so that they know what they need to pay attention to at this moment, what they next need to pay attention to next week and what they can pay attention to the week after. So we're finding that our folks are being overwhelmed in some ways by the emergency that they have from so many different places. Boards, staff, constituencies. So I think that calm voice that funders can play, or that consultants can play actually would be really helpful, we're finding it's gonna be really helpful.

Sherylynn: Thank you San San. And that actually leads to the next question, you answered it just now within your response. This question came in and says, "In researching emergency funding "I find that many are not being distributed competitively, "but rather on a first-come first-serve basis, "I have not done this before, "I'm concerned about fairness, "communication divides and technology divides." And you mention consultants, San San, so thank you for bringing that up. But does anyone else have anything additional that they would like to share that has been helpful to them in addition to consulting? Okay, go for it?

James: Specifically on the granting side I know there are organizations that CERF+ has partnered with and are revamping their, either current emergency relief protocols or establishing relief funds, I know Springboard for the Arts for instance has set up, say you wanna start an emergency relief fund, shows you the things you need to consider, and certainly what the question addresses is addressed in some that. And also just as an organization that's been a grantee for a long time, certainly these are questions that we're asking ourselves throughout this process, as we evaluate what the needs are and where the resources will be able to meet that and happy to talk to anyone offline about that.

Sherylynn: Thank you James for mentioning Springboard for the Arts. So the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts have great online resource centers as well. And local and regional funders are sharing some local resource lists which is great. So those resources are available, and I would like to continue on with the next question, we've got a few minutes. So is there one, and this might be a tougher question I think, but is there an equity framework based on need, lack of access and resources? And I know we have the resources that are online that I just mentioned, but if anyone else wants to comment on that question? All right, well I will continue on, another question from our listeners. "To establish a new normal as driven by art, "can the large arts community foundations "use their social media and press "to create events to show that "the arts makes a difference as part of the new norm?" "Aside from doctors addressing COVID-19 "can we leverage media to get the arts story out there? Anyone want to respond to that specifically?

Caitlin: This is Caitlin from NPN. I think there are a lot of great examples of how folks are doing virtual promotions of things, virtual festivals. And as I mentioned for us since the work that we were founded to do is to support the touring of artists, it's a fundamental thing that we really need to challenge right now. Whether that is right in the pandemic right in climate change or any of those other things. So one of the things NPN is doing is we just reached out to all of the artists that we fund and asked them to send us what they're working on right now or to tag us on social media and we're gonna start creating a kind of virtual, not festival, but just a lot more promotion virtually then we might normally do and a lot more stuff that's in process and thinking about the ways that we can support the stories that artists are telling, not just finished work that they may have ready to show. But just getting to know them and what their work is about, what their ideas are and how their practice is changing in these times. So I think again, just being really adaptive. We have so many incredible technology platforms for doing that right now. And again, to do that all the time and not just in a crisis like now.

Sherylynn: Thanks, Caitlin. Any final thoughts from our presenters before we wrap up? All right, okay, well we are to the end of our session, but before we go I would like to thank all of our presenters who did such an awesome job. And as we all know all of the presentations and resources have been turned around so quickly and so really, really extend the biggest thank you on behalf of GIA for you carving out time to be here with us and for all of you who attended. Today's presentation has been recorded, so those of you who are listening in, or even those of you who registered and weren't able to physically make it, you will receive a copy of the recording as well as the slides from the presentation. And if there are any other questions that you have we can continue to work together to get these answers to you within the GIA community. So continue to send questions our way. And follow-up to this, we invite you to take a brief survey choose to let us know what you're doing to relieve communities and support your grantees for those of you who are funders. And as I said, if you have further questions feel free to reach out to us, and thank you for joining us. I hope you all have a lovely, safe and healthy day. Bye.

Grantmakers in the Arts presented the webinar Emergency Preparedness and Response: COVID-19 and the Arts Ecosystem livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 19 March 2020 at 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC-6) / 1 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. AKDT (Anchorage, UTC-8) / 10 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10).

The arts and culture sectors are seeing the negative impacts from strategies of social distancing and limiting travel in the midst of the coronavirus situation. Organizations are seeing declines in ticket revenue or being pushed to cancel performances or postpone events. Artists may have their gigs and performances cancelled or need to turn down opportunities that require travel and large crowds. Artists and organizations are also feeling the impact of and working to address increases of racism and prejudice toward Asian communities. Grantmakers throughout the field are strategizing how best to support their cultural communities.

We have received feedback from some of our members on how they are repurposing current grant program awards for GOS and how they are fundraising for emergency readiness. However, we are still curious about the larger impact on the arts ecosystem as a result of COVID-19, and how funders can respond thoughtfully, creatively, with care, and without panic. We will hear from those who have already started to repurpose their grants, begun fundraising campaigns, and those who have experience with emergency responses for arts and culture communities when “acts of God” require communities to shift rapidly. Join us on Thursday 19 March 2020 at 4pm EDT / 1pm PDT for a special 90-minute webinar where we address the following questions:

  • What should funders be thinking about related to how they should be supporting grantees?
  • What is the long-term strategy for resiliency?

Subsequent to the webinar, we will be sharing a survey to gather data on how funders are responding to COVID-19 and then we will share our findings. If you’d like to take the survey now, please click here.


  • DéLana R.A. Dameron, artist and founder, Red Olive Creative Consulting & Black Art Futures Fund
  • Randy Engstrom, director, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
  • James Hafferman, deputy director, CERF+
  • Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, assistant director of Major Initiatives, Center for Disaster Philanthropy
  • Laura Aden Packer, executive director, The Howard Gilman Foundation
  • Mark Rossier, director of Grants, New York Foundation for the Arts
  • Caitlin Strokosch, president & CEO, National Performance Network
  • Eddie Torres, president & CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts
  • San San Wong, director, Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation
  • Christine Yoon, senior program officer, Arts, Wallace Foundation and co-chair, NY Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected], or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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