Aurora Launches Second Round of Artist Aid Fund Scholarships

Dallas’ Aurora is launching its second round of Artist Aid Scholarships to help artists who have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19.

The grant, funded by PNC Bank, will distribute $ 4,000 each to five black, indigenous, or colored people and is accompanied by a business wellness program designed specifically for independent artists that includes workshops and mentoring on best business practices. The initiative is part of PNC’s $ 1 billion pledge announced last summer to end systemic racism.

Aurora, the biennial arts festival that usually takes over downtown streets and buildings every other fall, had to spin itself due to the pandemic and instead switched to socially distant events in parking garages in 2020.

“When the pandemic hit, Aurora was really thinking about how we could help artists,” said Joshua King, Aurora co-founder, in a press release. “We saw a lot of support for the community, a lot of support for the organizations that bring people the arts, but we have consistently seen a very, very small amount of support that extends into the creative community itself.”

The organization saw a need from artists and individuals who may not meet typical business qualifications for a PPP loan, he said. This is the second time Aurora has distributed grants. In August, two $ 4,000 grants were awarded from North Texas Giving Day supporters and donations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the art scene.

In a recent poll shared with The Dallas Morning News, arts organizations in the city of Dallas lost more than $ 95 million, suffered more than 3 million drops in “lost or deferred attendance”, and more than 95 disappearances during the pandemic Million dollars identified 1,000 jobs.

“This industry brings significant quality of life benefits and positive economic impacts to our region,” said Brendan McGuire, PNC regional president, in a press release on the region’s arts and culture industries. It is important that we look for ways to support local artists, art organizations and color artists during this time. “

Artists can submit their applications online from February 19 to March 15.

CORRECTION, 7:05 p.m., February 16, 2021: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that this is the second time PNC Bank and Aurora have jointly awarded grants. A different source of funding was used in the first round of grants.

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