RIFF Arts Institute offers grants for unemployed artists

riff richmond international film festivalThe RIFF Arts Institute has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation’s Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund advisory committee in the amount of $10,000 to be used to provide financial assistance for artists who are struggling with unemployment due to COVID-19.

The fund is designed specifically to help support those who have lost their jobs (or lost significant hours of work) as a result of the pandemic. The grant along with additional support from RAI will be solely used to administer a range of grants that will be awarded to artists living in the Greater Richmond Area. The grants will be open to all artists; however, a special focus will also be given to underserved and minority communities.

Grant applications for artists will be made available through the RAI website starting the week of August 10, 2020 and continue through the summer and fall until all funding has been awarded.  The applications are open to all film, music, and visual artists of all ages and the award amounts range from $100 to $500.

There is no application fee to apply for the grant.

All grant applicants will be asked to provide a sample of their work and must have some type of creative project in the works or be in the planning stages of a forthcoming project. The funding is designed to help support the artists as they complete those projects. No other professional requirements will be outlined other than RAI requests to view the project upon completion.  In select cases, these recipients will also receive additional professional support from RAI by way of development or helping the artists mobilize and promote their work to the community.

Two to four immediate grants of $500 will be offered to artists specifically in underserved or minority communities who have been negatively impacted or unemployed as a result of COVID-19. Remaining grants will be open to all unemployed artists; however, the artists must reside in the Greater Richmond area.

Applications will be reviewed and applicants notified if they are selected as award recipient on a rolling basis through the fall.

A major collaborator of RAI is the Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF), which recently announced its new 2020 dates to be held Sept. 8-13. During RIFF, RAI co-produces the FLOW Collective Creative Conference each year, which consists of a variety of industry Q & A’s, panels, and creative pitches sessions.

RAI will also grant up to 25 artists in underserved areas or those who unemployed by COVID-19 a complimentary FLOW Collective scholarship that can be used to participate in FLOW virtually during festival week. Included will be panels on artist and professional development along with focus sessions on how to create sustainable work for artists during a pandemic.

The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund is made possible by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and this grant program is in partnership with the RIFF Arts Institute as part of RAI’s essential work efforts in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the Richmond community.

The RIFF Arts institute is a 501(c)3 devoted to the development, support, and promotion of artists. RAI administers a variety of programs for adults and youth that focus on year-round artist & content development, artist fellowships, educational programming, grants, and apprenticeships. RAI offers a unique approach to bettering our community through the arts.


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