The Juneau Assembly has set aside $300,000 in CARES Act funding to commission COVID-19 inspired artwork. The CARES Act is intended to provide relieve to communities suffering from the economic impact of the virus. Juneau is one of several communities across the nation which have opted to use the federal money to pay for artwork.
“The goal of the program is to create employment for artists who’ve lost gigs, had contracts or events canceled, been laid off, or have otherwise been put in a vulnerable position due to the COVID‐19 pandemic,” a notice from the city states.
The response to COVID has varied widely across the nation, from lockdowns and mandates to protests regarding infringements on personal liberties and religious freedoms. The Juneau project doesn’t stipulate what messages or viewpoints artists can convey with their creations.
It is being administered by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC), which is seeking art that records COVID’s impact on the community.
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“The artwork may be long-lasting or temporary, and in any artistic genre,” JAHC states. “It can offer lessons learned, guidance for community well being in the future, or reflect ways to weave the community together — to help Juneau survive, learn, and grow from this very challenging time.”
The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26. The JAHC will host a Q&A Zoom session about the program on Oct. 15, at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Meeting information is available here.