Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Tuesday launched Artist Power Center, a web and hotline resource for artists affected by the novel coronavirus to access relief funds and peer support.
The national resource, supported by San Francisco software company Zendesk, relies on YBCA staff to alert artists to grants and other economic relief opportunities and provide personalized guidance. As Deborah Cullinan, YBCA's chief executive, described the service in an interview: “As soon as we learn of something that can help you or move you forward you’re going to hear about it.” The site also includes a forum for artists to share resources amongst themselves.
Ninety-five percent of artists in the United States have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Americans for the Arts. In response, a growing number of relief funds have emerged. Yet confusing eligibility requirements and application processes pose barriers to accessing the aid, and demand is so great that most funds are depleted in days. Such hurdles threaten to restrict help to artists fluent in nonprofit argot who can monitor the web nonstop.