Financial assistance available for MT artists impacted by COVID-19

Posted at 8:47 AM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 10:47:56-04

BOZEMAN — We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many different industries, and how emergency funding has become available for those industries -- and now, that includes local artists.

“We were in the midst of opening one of our largest productions to date, Cyrano de Bergerac, that we were producing down at the Ellen Theater here in Bozeman and we were for days away from opening the show, and we had to pull the plug on it,” said Montana Shakespeare in the Parks executive artistic director Kevin Asselin.

He added that the pandemic has hit the arts hard, "it makes us nervous. We have to be strategic. We have to lean on our community partners to help see us through this,” he said.

There’s now financial help available for Montana artists through Montana CARES grants.

“When the Federal Government created the CARES Act, individual states also received funding, and the state of Montana is determining how it’s going to allocate those funds," explained Paul Reichert with the Prospera Business Network.

"So, some of the grant programs you’re seeing for businesses were created by the state. So, you apply and are reviewed by the State of Montana,”

While the grants can help artists out now, financial damage has already been done.

“Nothing is really going to replace the kind of income that you earn and generate, whether it’s through merchandise sales, sponsorship fees, corporate sponsor fees," Asselin said.

"There’s a myriad of ways in which we fundraise, and I know for a lot of other organizations out there that rely on ticket sales it’s got to be even more critical for them because that’s a large percentage of their budget,”

Through Montana CARES, individual artists can receive up to $2,500.

For more information or to apply, visit here. To donate or learn more about the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, visit here.

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