Jeramey Jannene

Coronavirus Artist Relief Drive Launched

ImagineMKE seeks to raise $50,000, provide grants of up-to $500 for artists.

By - Mar 18th, 2020 12:36 pm
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Gateway mural by Emma Daisey Gertel. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Gateway mural by Emma Daisey Gertel. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

ImagineMKE, a recently formed non-profit focused on advocating for and expanding Milwaukee’s art scene, is raising funds to support artists impacted by the widespread event cancelations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization is seeking to raise $50,000 to provide artists one-time grants of up to $500 through its MKE Artist Relief Fund.

“The work of our city’s great musicians, DJs, dancers, visual artists, arts presenters, actors, filmmakers, and teaching artists depends on people showing up and being able to see and experience their work. With the cancellations of events in the present and near future, this not only impacts their ability to earn a living off their work, but many of those artists also supplement their incomes with other work, often in the service industry, which is also suffering because of the pandemic,” says the organization’s website. David Lee, former executive director of Feeding Wisconsin, serves as the ImagineMKE’s CEO and president. Katie Heil serves as the board chair.

Any donor who gives more than $50 to the campaign will get two free tickets to Summerfest. The organization has raised $6,571.07 to date according to a publicly available counter. Donations are tax deductible.

The organization is suggesting additional ways to help Milwaukee’s arts community, including donating any ticket refunds to the organization, becoming a member of your favorite organization, purchasing music, merchandise, gift cards or tickets to future events and volunteering at food banks.

Interested artists must register on the organization’s website and reside in Milwaukee County. In the event that requests exceed funding availability, priority will be given to artists who are people of color, transgender, nonbinary or have disabilities says the organization’s website. Funds are intended for recouping financial losses due to canceled events and support for artists who have lost income from supplemental work in the service industry.

Donations are being accepted via the organization’s website.

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

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