TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Artists and art organizations hit hard by COVID-19 may have a bit of hope in sight. The Tucson CARES for Artists grant is offering emergency assistance and is accepting applications until Oct. 5.
“The importance of grants in our health as an organization in this time of shuttering has just been critical," said Bryan Falcon, the artistic and managing director at the Scoundrel and Scamp Theatre in Tucson.
The theater was forced to close to the public in mid-March and Falcon said the the theater’s lights would have never turned back on without financial help.
“I saw our death date go by about three weeks ago but because that assistance was there, because of the grants and all this, we were able to go ahead and find a way through this," he said. “Have time to pivot and figure out what are we going to be in this new world that we’re in.”
The new pandemic world caused the theater to switch gears. Scoundrel and Scamp Theatre is now creating radio plays and streaming performances online.
“These individuals contribute so much to the cultural fabric of our lives and increase the quality of life," said Adriana Gallego, the executive director for the Arts Foundation for Tucson & Southern Arizona.
Gallego said Tucson has lost more than 30% of its jobs in creative occupations since the pandemic began. About $712,500 will be split and awarded to various artists and art organizations through the Tucson CARES for Artists grants. Individual artists living in Tucson and south Tucson are eligible for $1000 to $2000 and art organizations can get awards of $5,000 to $10,000.