New grant program established to help South Asian artists and performers in the U.S.


The non-profit arts organization India Center Foundation (ICF), in partnership with MELA Arts Connect (MAC), has announced the formation of The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund, a grant program for South Asian artists and arts workers in the U.S. in the fields of performing arts, film, visual arts or literature who have been impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19 due to postponed or canceled performances, events or exhibitions.

ICF will provide launch funding of $20,000 towards this important initiative. The fund will be co-managed by MAC and supported by a crowdfunding campaign and multiple live streaming experiences and more, according to a press release.

With the community’s support to reach the targeted goal of $500,000, the fund will be able to provide grants to hundreds of arts workers around the country. The expectation is that this milestone will be outmatched because of generous support from arts patrons and philanthropic communities.

In an ongoing survey about the economic impact of the coronavirus on the arts sector, Americans for the Arts has captured a crippling loss of more than $114 million as of April 4, 2020.

“And the situation is only going to get worse, before it gets better,” said Raoul Bhavnani, ICF Co-Founder. “Communities count on the arts to rally around, to gather and to find connection, especially in times of crisis, and the South Asian community is no different. With necessary physical distancing in place for the foreseeable future, the arts community — artists, producers, agents, managers, administrators, technicians — are unable to perform or produce their work for audiences and are losing their livelihoods.  Losses will only continue to mount unless we choose to support artists NOW, and we hope individuals, corporations and other arts organizations will join us in this critical endeavor.”

“We want to encourage South Asian voices in the arts at all levels and make sure that our growing representation in all sectors of creative fields does not diminish because of this pandemic,” said ICF Co-Founder Priya Giri Desai, in a statement. “The Resiliency Fund can ensure that our South Asian voices continue to be heard and that South Asian artists can feel secure in their choice to pursue a life in the arts.”



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