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Western-Mass Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund

Greetings Friends,

Emma Ayres here--First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge that this fund is NOT FOR ME PERSONALLY--I will NOT be taking ANY of the proceeds raised. This relief fund is for people in the community that don't have the familial support or any additional infrastructure and are struggling because of the unprecedented loss of work and gigs. I also want to acknowledge that the suffering that has been illuminated by this pandemic existed prior to this pandemic. Many of us are teetering on a tight rope every day of our existence.

I implore those who are salaried, independently wealthy and otherwise financially secure individuals to consider contributing to this fund that has the potential to provide direct relief to the artists and other freelancers (i.e. sound engineers, lighting directors, tour managers, independently employed people that rely on public consumption of product, artists who work food service jobs to keep their art afloat) who have now lost 2 jobs overnight. Independent businesses and artists make our community rich in culture and experience. Please consider doing your part and supporting these individuals.

A group of us are currently working to raise money to support low-income artists and other freelancers who are taking financial hits as a result of cancellations, closures, and lost income due to Covid-19. The intention of this fundraiser is to provide emergency and preventative resources for those at financial risk. Our government is doing little to protect our well-being and we must address this on a local level.

This fund aims to provide support to low-income, People of Color, Trans, Non-Binary, Queer, single parent artists and freelancers whose livelihoods are being effected by this pandemic. If you don't identify with anything listed above but are in need PLEASE APPLY. Whether it’s from cancelled gigs, lost jobs, or overall lack of business due to coronavirus scares, we aim to offer a grassroots approach to crowdsourcing, resources, and money.

Those that apply for funding will be awarded money ASAP.

We've created a short survey to help us prioritize those in our community most at-risk and in need. All information shared remains confidential.

Please consider donating or SHARING this fundraiser if you are unable to give at this time. It takes a village.

For full transparency, Emma Ayres and team will review the surveys and withdraw and disperse the funds. Emma is building a team of consultants from within Hamden, Hampshire, and Franklin County to ensure the funds are dispersed ethically and directly.

(This fund was molded after Shawn Escarciga and Nadia Tykulsker’s NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund. Much of the language was repeated as the needs are synonymous. We thank them for their inspiration and initiative.)



Solidarity & Love,

Emma Ayres
Artist/Program Coordinator of Shea Theater Arts Center

Cait Simpson & Mara Penatzer
Artists/ Dwellings, a women-led non-profit working to promote equitable and intentional booking practices and work to make performing arts spaces safer for artists, audiences, and entertainment workers.

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