Coronavirus Our Response On Red Background

Briefly Stated 8.7.20

SLOUP IS BACK!
SLOUP, a pop-up soup dinner that crowdfunds microgrants for arts and community initiatives, is returning on September 27. The organizers are reimagining the popular event in the wake of COVID-19. For details, subscribe to SLOUP’s email list.

PROPOSED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT LEGISLATIVE FIX
As Congress debates the extension of the expired $600 per-week federal unemployment benefit subsidy, proposed legislation would help ensure that many artists and creative workers who earn a living through a mix of traditional (W-2) and independent employment (1099) income can fully access the financial relief made available under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program. The CARES Act provided unemployment benefits to previously ineligible workers, such as freelancers and the self-employed. But those benefits have generally been paid based solely on W-2 income (rather than on mixed-earners’ entire pre-pandemic earnings). The Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act would provide a fix. The legislation would allow individuals with over $7,250 in self-employed income to request a reconsideration of their PUA eligibility, where both their 1099 and W-2 income will be aggregated for their weekly benefit calculation. The proposed lifeline has been endorsed by a broad national coalition of arts advocates, including VLAA. Read about the Senate bill.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: THE DIVIDED CITY
The Divided City 2020 initiative will award grants of up to $10,000 to individuals and organizations in the St. Louis metro region engaged in creative practice or community work related to urban segregation. The initiative is housed in Washington University’s Center for the Humanities. There’s an info session on August 11. The application deadline is August 26.

MISSOURI ARTSAFE
As arts organizations begin to re-open or to develop plans to resume operations, the Missouri ArtSafe program is helping our sector protect the health and safety of our employees, affiliated artists and crews, volunteers, students, and audiences. One component of the program is safety certification, which requires preparation and public dissemination of a written re-opening plan. Read our plan-writing tips and find sample plans along with other helpful resources here. The Missouri Arts Council developed the safety program in collaboration with a statewide coalition of cultural organizations.

IACA ANNOUNCES OPEN GRANT DEADLINES
The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) has posted FY21 guidelines and application materials for its Individual Artist Support, Artstour & Live Music, and Short-term Artists Residency grant programs. There is no hard deadline for these programs; applications will be accepted until funds are fully committed, or until May 15, 2021, whichever comes first.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY GRANTS
The Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical/dental/mental health emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who live anywhere in the U.S. Applications close on August 31.

VOTERS APPROVE MEDICAID EXPANSION
On August 4, Missouri voters approved a state constitutional amendment that will open Medicaid eligibility to more than 230,000 low-income adults — including many artists — beginning on July 1, 2021. Support for expansion came largely from voters in and around St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia.

SERVING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Please know that our two part-time staff members, board of directors and volunteers are here to assist you in any way we can. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact us.

ART IS US
Ken Konchel, VLAA’s part-time associate director, is an award-winning black-and-white abstract architectural photographer and active International Photography Hall of Fame (IPHF) volunteer. During his upcoming online IPHF lecture (August 12, 6:00-7:00 PM), Ken will show examples of his work and discuss his process of creating unique, abstract compositions that do not immediately reveal themselves as architecture. Admission is $10 for non-members. Register for the lecture.