The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of many independent artists, who are mostly freelance workers and often left out of the current support systems despite their cultural and economic impact. Listening to artists and colleagues across the field, the Sundance Institute has recognized the need for an urgent response to the current crisis, combined with a long-term reimagination of the ways we can support artists and design the systems that enable their work to reach audiences.
The Sundance Institute is launching a $1 million urgent fund to support the immediate needs of artists in the community, as well as other filmmakers in need and organizations for inclusive storytelling. One-third of the fund will support Sundance Institute-curated artists, while two-thirds will be dedicated to emergency support for the wider community of independent artists, deployed in collaboration with partner nonprofit organizations.
- Immediate support for 100 Sundance Institute-curated artists across disciplines and at all stages of development. Grants will be given to the 2020 spring and summer Lab participants to be used for artists’ emergency funds or for project development. Each of these artists will also receive creative and strategic support through Sundance Institute’s Lab programs.
- Emergency financial support to artists across the U.S. Sundance has joined arts organizations and leading national grantmakers to launch a cross-disciplinary, needs-based fund called Artist Relief that will distribute funds to artists as quickly and efficiently as possible, including emergency grants of $5,000.
- Emergency financial support to U.S. and international independent artist organizations focusing on historically underrepresented communities, to strengthen artists, and the organizations themselves, in their ongoing work. Peer organizations, funders, and artists will nominate organizations who will then be invited to apply.
From Sundance Co//ab
In addition to financial resources, Sundance has identified urgent needs for support and training on several key topics, including mental health, community building, and distribution and marketing strategy. The Institute is creating a series of free public and private offerings for independent artists on Sundance Co//ab, a community for global storytellers to learn, share work, and find resources.
For additional details on the criteria and application processes, visit the official Sundance Institute website.