The South Carolina Arts Foundation announced the South Carolina Artist Relief Fund (SCARF) campaign to raise funds for state artists working in all disciplines who are experiencing the financial impacts of COVID-19.
Corporate partners providing support for the fund include Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Colonial Life, the Darla Moore Foundation and the Michael J. Mungo Foundation. Donations are also being collected from the public through the South Carolina Arts’ GoFundMe page. These donations are tax-deductible.
There are no other statewide campaigns raising funds specifically for artists during this time which poses as a threat to the income of many artists in the state.
Lexington artist and coordinator for the South Carolina Artists Group, Alexandra White (Abstract Alexandra), said that local artists thrive from being selling their work at public events. “Spring and summer exhibitions have been cancelled and these are the sources which artists receive income from,” said White.
She said of the seven exhibitions she paid to have a space at for 2020, she was only able to attend one. The remaining six shows were not refunded which totaled to a large sum in out-of-pocket costs. White said in her 30-year career she has always planned her endeavors two years in advance, however many artists have not had that opportunity, leaving them with “frustrations and a sense of loss.”
According to an ongoing survey conducted by Americans for the Arts, 95 percent of South Carolina artists reported income loss and 56 percent are experiencing unexpected expenditures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Artists interested in applying can visit the South Carolina Arts website.