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Helping working artists, nonprofits and creative businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic

Megan Holmes



The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. 

On this episode of Chamber Coronavirus Impact Insights, John Collins, Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and Duggan Cooley, CEO of the Pinellas Community Foundation join Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber and Joe Hamilton, Publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst to discuss the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund.

The fund, a collaboration between Creative Pinellas, the Arts Alliance of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Community Foundation, was announced Monday afternoon. It began with $70,000 in seed money and a call for community donors. In less than 24 hours, the fund had 35 applications and $1,200 in donor contributions.

The fund will award small grants of $500 for artists and $500-$1,500 for arts organizations and small creative businesses. The fund is intended to provide some relief for working artists, gallery owners, theaters and museums that will be affected not just by coronavirus mitigation efforts, but the recession that is likely to follow. According to Collins, the lost revenue to artists and creative businesses alone due to the cancellation of the March Second Saturday ArtWalk was $48,000, in a single night.

“We’re a very fragile arts and cultural ecosystem and this has really hit us up on the side of the head,” Collins explains. “So we’re trying to find a way to come together, and come out of it on the other side.”

“The Pinellas Community Foundation has provided support for arts organizations in the community, particularly to help some of our underserved communities connect with arts organizations, so there was a natural fit there,” Cooley says. “But the other piece of it is that our foundation is known for doing a lot of work in social services, helping our shelter and our food programs that uplift some of our most challenged residents. We do a lot of work there, and have a clear understanding that our artists and our creative businesses are moving to need those services now.”

The application for the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund is simple, just 7-8 questions, and can be found here.

Donations can be made through Pinellas Community Foundation here. 




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    Cheryl Koski

    April 14, 2020at3:55 pm

    So sad. As John Collins points out, it’s going to take “forever” for the arts community to recover, not only from the coronovirus, but also from the recession/depression that is sure to follow. My heart is breaking. I fear that this downturn will make the Great Recession of 2008 look like a walk in the park.

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