NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Unemployment has proven to be of the cruelest effects perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals and families alike are left wondering where their next paycheck will materialize from.  The non profit arts organization India Center Foundation (ICF) is partnering with MELA Arts Connect (MAC) to help suture this wound by delivering the grant program, “The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund”. The grant is posed to assist South Asian artists and personnel within the United states that have lost financial opportunities due to the mandated closures of performances and exhibitions; an ongoing study conducted by Americans for the Arts has thus far concluded that the ripples of the virus has resulted in a financial wound of more than $114 million. The art industry has been ravaged, with the entire art community including artists, producers, mangagers, agents, technicians, and administrators facing a cloud of uncertainty. 

ICF Co-Founder Raoul Bhavnani believes that the situation will only continue to darken, and that it is within these trying times that the art community’s dynamism is truly able to shine as a beacon of light. Bhavnani states that “Communities count on the arts to rally around, to gather and to find connection, especially in times of crisis, and the South Asian community is no different.” 

While the initial funding of the program is set at $20,000, which ICF has provided, the legs of the project will be supported by a crowdfunding campaign co-managed by MAC that will feature a multitude of live streams and other outreach plans in order to reach a targeted goal of half of a million dollars. If the projections are successfully met, the fund will be able to provide hundreds of grants to artists throughout the country. ICF is more than confident that the program will not only reach this hefty goal, but will also eclipse it thanks to benevolent support from philanthropic patrons and communities alike. 

The fund will support the development of future artistic endeavors on a rolling basis throughout the course of the pandemic by providing financial support for the creation, research, strategic planning, and resource allocation for projects. Each individual grant is projected to be a minimum of $1,000 but is subject to change in relation to eligibility and financial needs. The art community can apply for grants starting April 9th at the organizations website.

ICF Co-Founder Priya Giri Desai reassures that the Resiliency Fund will highlight and support South Asian voices in the art world and that these artists can “…feel secure in their choice to pursue a life in the arts.”