The Portland Artists Relief Fund was created to help artists in Portland, Maine recover from income loss and personal emergencies by awarding small grants for unanticipated financial hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic. Local artists who live in the Greater Portland Area were eligible to apply for a $500 cash stipend to help make ends meet due to cancelled work that was previously scheduled and/or lost.

After fundraising $77,000 of the $50,000 goal, with the help of fellow artists, generous community patrons, anonymous philanthropists, and art lovers from the private, public and nonprofit sectors, Creative Portland and the Portland Artist Relief Fund Review Committee were pleased to disburse $500 awards to all 62 applicants that were eligible for funding. The diverse pool of applicants include a majority of performing artists followed by visual artists, as well as writers, teachers, and more.

The Review Committee consisted of Kate Anker (Running with Scissors), Allen Baldwin (Storyboard LLC, Damnationland), Peter Mclaughlin (SPACE), Dinah Minot (Creative Portland), Daniel Minter (Black Artists Forum, Indigo Arts Alliance). Volunteer Felicity Lodge and Katie Page, Program Assistant, coordinated review efforts. It is Creative Portland’s hope that the recipients will consider paying it forward or giving back in some manner, especially if they are able to offer volunteer time. There is no obligation or commitment attached to the stipend award, but Creative Portland encourages equity and sharing in all their endeavors. Further, Creative Portland is still accepting contributions and will apply the balance of the existing funds in a second cycle of the relief effort to be announced in early June.

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