New York artists can now apply for monthly payments of $1,000 — or full-time jobs — through a popular new state program.
“I started this collection during COVID,” artist Judy Thomas said, opening a trash bag full of neatly flattened plastic food wrappers Friday in her Newburgh studio.
Many of her pieces provide commentary on the environment and consumerism.
They require much space and time to complete.
What You Need To Know
- New York artists can now apply for monthly payments of $1,000 — or full-time jobs — through a popular new state program
- The plan is being administered by Creatives Rebuild New York, a program supported by $125 million from arts and social justice foundations
- The monthly payments will last for 18 months and funding for the job program will last three years
“I would really benefit from a grant,” she said. “I would like to really explore putting this together in a large, colorful, collage, abstract way.”
Thomas was excited to learn about Creatives Rebuild New York, a program supported by $125 million from arts and social justice foundations.
The money will fund 300 full-time, arts-related jobs with nonprofits or governments paying $65,000 a year. It will also fund $1,000 monthly stipends to 2,400 artists.
This part intrigued Thomas.
“I found myself, like many other artists, having to take a full-time job to be able to support a studio,” she said of her decades-long art career. “It would be important for me to have a stipend that I wouldn’t have to worry about paying my bills as much. I could have more time in studio.”
The program’s director, Sarah Calderon, said in a Zoom interview Friday there has already been a positive response to the plan, which was shaped by a think tank that included business professionals and artists.
She said 6,000 artists have applied for either the monthly payments or the jobs since the program began accepting applications on Feb. 14.
“It would be wonderful if it could ease the burden on some folks in their daily lives and increased well-being,” Calderon said, “and help them support their creative practice in whatever way they choose and think it important for them.”
The monthly payments last for 18 months and funding for the job program will last three years.
Calderon and several other artists said Friday they hope this shorter-term program is successful enough to encourage lawmakers and community leaders to support longer-term investments in the arts.