Following unprecedented job loss due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Allentown Arts Commission chair, Jane Heft announced today a new program which would provide small grants to artists living or working in the city of Allentown. This new project-based program has earmarked $60,000 for the effort.
The “Art of Encouragement Project” will provide stipends of up to $3,000 for artists to create encouraging and uplifting public art and messages to be placed on display throughout the city.
Mayor Ray O’Connell said, “Allentown is home to many extremely talented artists. It is important that we encourage the growth of arts in the community and offer support. These grants are our own little stimulus in these most unusual times.”
“The arts community is integral to the fabric of Allentown,” Leonard Lightner, Director of Allentown’s Community & Economic Development Department said, “These individuals contribute to the city’s vibrant arts and culture, which is temporarily at risk.”
“We have already seen the tremendous financial effects of the COVID-19 health crisis,” Pennsylvania state Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne said. “No one is immune from the negative impact it has had on jobs, businesses and our economy, including artists. As Co-Chair of the Arts and Culture Caucus, I am pleased to support this great initiative that not only provides financial support to help artists through these challenging times but also allows them to create messages of hope and encouragement throughout the city of Allentown as the community begins to safely reopen and return to routine activities.”
Under the new program, artists, artisans, and arts production staff throughout the city can apply for the grants. To apply for an Art of Encouragement grant, visit the Allentown Arts Commission website at AllentownPA.gov/ARTS or AllentownARTS.com. Applications will be accepted, reviewed, and funds will be distributed on a rolling basis June–October 2020.
About the Allentown Arts Commission
We support the Arts + Artists in Allentown. As the agency that champions the arts, we believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the city’s well-being and we strive to integrate the arts into all aspects of city life. The Allentown Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for innovative arts policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, enlivening the urban environment, and fostering & enriching arts engagement for all residents.