Mayor of San Francisco London Breed announced Thursday that the city will make $ 1,000 monthly payments to 130 eligible artists disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a press release from Breed’s office, the payments are part of a new pilot program as part of the city’s economic recovery and efforts to support the arts.
The money aid program supports artists who live and work in San Francisco who are “ income-qualifying ” for six months from May.
For example, an applicant who lives alone and earns $ 60,900 or less is eligible for the payments. On the higher end, an applicant who has five people dependent on their household income and earns $ 94,000 or less is also eligible.
While the program is aimed at all performers facing financial uncertainty due to the pandemic, the organizers are ‘building a comprehensive and community-based outreach strategy that ensures we reach the hardest-hit people, including our BIPOC, immigrant, disabled and LGBTQ + artist communities’.
Mayor of San Francisco London Breed (pictured) announced the city will make $ 1,000 monthly payments to 130 eligible artists disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
According to Mayor Breed, the city partnered with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to implement the utility
According to Mayor Breed, the city partnered with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to implement the utility. The center began accepting applications for the program on Thursday with a deadline of April 15, 2021.
“ For this program, an artist is someone who actively engages with the community through music, dance, creative writing, visual arts, performance art, installation, photography, theater or film, ” said the press release from the mayor’s office.
The city encourages artists, art educators, and culturally-minded artisans and makers to apply.
“From the first day the pandemic arrived in San Francisco, we knew this health crisis would affect artists, and color artists in particular,” Breed said.
‘Our artists make San Francisco special and bring so much life and energy to our city. The arts are crucial to our local economy and are an essential part of our long-term recovery. If we help the arts restore, the arts will help San Francisco restore.
“This new program is an innovative effort to help our creative industry get through this challenging time and come back stronger and more resilient than before.”
The application for the payments opens on March 25 and closes on April 15, 2021
The money aid program supports artists who live and work in San Francisco who are ‘income-qualifying’ for six months from May. For example, an applicant living alone and earning $ 60,900 or less is eligible for the payments (criteria shown)
Those admitted to the program will receive their final cash payment in October 2021
The program is one of several guaranteed income programs that San Francisco officials have developed. It is also the first guaranteed income initiative that focuses exclusively on artists.
The other guaranteed income programs include funding for training San Franciscans to become EMTs, black and Pacific Islander expecting mothers as part of the Abundant Birth Project, and members of San Francisco’s Black and African-American community as part of the Mayor’s Dream Keeper Initiative.
Guaranteed Income is an economic model that provides regular, unconditional money transfers to individuals or households.
This type of program differs from other social safety net practices in that it provides recipients with a steady, predictable flow of cash to spend as they see fit and without restrictions.
“This guaranteed income pilot is based on the understanding that artists and the cultural sector are the heartbeat of our civic life and should be supported through innovative funding methods,” said Deborah Cullinan, CEO of YBCA.
“Artists need to be given adequate resources to focus on creative output and reinvest in their communities while dealing with the ongoing challenges of living and working during a pandemic,” Cullinan said.
Several people, including John Cox, a Republican fighting California Governor Gavin Newsom, criticized the idea. Cox shared an emoji of a palm of the face in a tweet on Friday
Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs at the San Francisco Arts Commission also noted that “San Francisco’s arts and culture sector generated $ 1.45 billion in annual economic activity while supporting nearly 40,000 full-time jobs before COVID.”
“ COVID-19 has seriously threatened this important industry, and the Guaranteed Income pilot, with other similar programs, allows artists to focus on their creative work and supports the industry’s recovery in general, ” added Remington .
Under Breed’s direction, San Francisco has supported artists and arts and cultural organizations with various grant programs during the pandemic.
Breed recently announced that $ 24.8 million of the city’s budget surplus will be spent on preventing cuts in arts and culture programs.
Early in the city’s response, Breed directed $ 2.75 million for the Arts Relief Program and later announced $ 12.8 million in grants for the arts, for more than 220 arts and cultural organizations.
Several people, including John Cox, a Republican who fought California Governor Gavin Newsom, criticized the idea.
Cox shared an emoji of a palm of the face in a tweet on Friday.
Another person tweeted, ‘Gosh, what could go wrong. How many budding “artists” will magically emerge? ‘
‘I identify as an artist living in San Francisco. I just want to send my checks to Mississippi. Thanks, ”wrote another.
One person asked the question, “Where does the city get the money?” And another asked, “Why don’t you give it to the homeless shelter?”