CERF+ offers financial support to artists after natural disasters, other setbacks

Posted on: June 4, 2012

In Sunday’s (6/3) New York Times, Caitlin Kelly writes, “Where’s my bailout? Many Americans—the out of work, the underwater, the plain fed up—have been asking that question since big banks and automakers received all those taxpayer-financed rescues in 2008. But it turns out that a number of small, private rescue funds have been lending a hand to a group that is definitely not in the too-big-to-fail camp: writers, artists and other creative types. Think of these funds as sort of a TARP for the arts crowd, only with much smaller dollar figures, and with little or no help from Washington.” The Craft Emergency Relief Fund, or CERF+, “helps artists in need with grants and long-term interest-free loans. A run of bad luck—a car accident, an illness, the loss of a job by a spouse or partner—can mean financial disaster for many artists, who are often self-employed.  And their numbers are huge: almost two million artists of various types are in the labor force, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.  … ‘A lot of artists fall between the cracks, between FEMA and the Small Business Administration,’ says Cornelia Carey, executive director of CERF+. … A 2008 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, called ‘Artists in the Workplace,’ found that artists, athletes and museums contributed $70.9 billion to the economy annually.”

Posted June 4, 2012