Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 20, 2020

Emergency Grants

We Need Diverse Books Launches Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives in Children’s Publishing

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is pleased to announce the launch of an Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives in Children’s Publishing. The emergency fund will provide financial aid to diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand how devastating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to creatives in our industry,” said WNDB CEO Ellen Oh. “WNDB would not exist but for the great support of our wonderful kidlit community. That is why it is so important that we give back to the community in this time of crisis. We don’t know how long this will last or what the future will look like, but what we can do is help those in dire need of immediate financial assistance.”

Created in response to the economic instability caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives in Children’s Publishing will allow WNDB to give emergency grants of $500 each to diverse writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals affected by the pandemic. Many diverse creatives have already lost their livelihoods, whether due to canceled school visits or due to layoffs and furloughs at publishers. To read our submission guidelines and apply for assistance through the emergency fund, visit our website.

WNDB aims to bolster these groups during this time of crisis and great need. Diverse creatives are already underrepresented in children’s literature. According to Lee & Low’s 2019 Diversity in Publishing Baseline Survey, there is a major diversity gap in publishing—only 24 percent of people working in publishing are people of color, 3 percent are trans and nonbinary, 19 percent are LGBTQ+, and 11 percent are disabled. And only 22 percent of children’s books in 2018 were written by authors of color and Native American/Indigenous authors, according to data from the Cooperate Children’s Book Center.

WNDB COO Dhonielle Clayton said, “We’re incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to launch this new initiative, which will support diverse creatives who have been directly affected by the pandemic. We deeply appreciate all the support this fund has received so that we can make an immediate difference in the lives of the diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals that We Need Diverse Books has always championed.”

WNDB is accepting donations for the emergency fund. You can make an online donation here. Please leave a note specifying that your donation should be earmarked for the emergency fund. You may send questions or share your intent to donate by emailing emergencyfund@diversebooks.org. Alternately, you may send a check payable to We Need Diverse Books to 10319 Westlake Drive, #104, Bethesda, MD 20817.

About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It is our mission to put more books featuring diverse characters in the hands of all children. You can learn more about WNDB programs at www.diversebooks.org.

Press Contact: Alaina Lavoie, alainalavoie@diversebooks.org

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Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists.

To be eligible for a relief grant, applicants must be:

  • Practicing artists able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, careers, and a public audience;
  • Experiencing dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • 21 years of age or older;
  • Provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)—we will collect this information after you’ve been notified of your selection;
  • Residing and working in the U.S. for the last two years;
  • Not a full-time employee, board member, director, officer, or immediate family member of any of the coalition partners;
  • Not previously awarded a relief grant from this fund.

Which disciplines are eligible for this grant?

In efforts to streamline our vetting and selection process, we are asking each applicant to identify with ONE of the listed disciplines below. We understand that many artists practice between and across fields and are multidisciplinary in nature. However, due to our internal capacity, we ask that you do your best to select the discipline with which your work most deeply aligns.

  • Craft (ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metals, textiles, etc.)
  • Dance (dancers + choreographers; aerial, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap, etc.)
  • Design (fashion, graphic, industrial, object, all forms of architecture, etc.)
  • Film (animation, documentary, episodic, experimental, narrative, etc.)
  • Media (work that uses technology, aesthetics, storytelling, digital cultures, and so on; including but not limited to immersive design, interactive media, podcasts, virtual reality, web-based projects, etc.)
  • Music (composers + musicians; classical, contemporary, experimental, folk, instrumental, jazz, pop, world, etc.)
  • Theater & Performance (directing, experimental, live action, playwriting, puppetry, tactical and site performance, etc.)
  • Traditional Arts (work related to the continuity and evolution of a tradition and/or cultural heritage such as cultural dance, cultural music, oral expression, and traditional crafts, etc.)
  • Visual Art (installation, painting, performance art, photography, sculpture, sound art, video, etc.)
  • Writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, literature for children, criticism, graphic novels, journalism, arts writing, etc.)

Will the application be open continuously for the duration of the fund?

No. While all dates are subject to change, the application will be open in cycles:

  • Cycle I: April 8 – April 23 (closes 11:59pm ET)
  • Cycle II: April 24 – May 21 (closes 11:59pm ET)
  • Cycle III: May 22 – June 18 (closes 11:59pm ET)
  • Cycle IV: June 19 – July 23 (closes 11:59pm ET)
  • Cycle V: July 24 – August 20 (closes 11:59pm ET)

Each cycle, all non-funded applications will be removed from our system so that artists can reapply the following round. This system allows the Artist Relief coalition partners to monitor our capacity as well as maximize each applicant’s opportunity to receive a grant. Additionally, reapplying each cycle allows artists to re-articulate their needs as their circumstances change during this pandemic.

Once I apply, when will I hear back?

Thank you for submitting your application. Given our review cycles, it may take up to four weeks to hear back from us, though we’ll work to expedite responses as quickly as we can. Please do not email us regarding the status of your application.

Is the application only online via Submittable?

Yes. For the health and safety of both applicants and coalition members, the application is only online through Submittable. A digital application allows coalition members to maintain social distancing and abide by shelter-in-place orders through the review process and provides the most efficient means for us to process applications and to determine eligibility and need.

Can I apply on behalf of someone else with their consent?

Yes. We are aware that many individuals whose need is greatest may not have regular internet or computer access. If you wish to submit an application on behalf of another person with their consent, you will need to create a Submittable account for them and be sure to fill out the rest of the application with their information. If you are filling out the application for more than one person, you will need to create a unique Submittable account each time.

Can I apply more than once?

Once you submit an application, you will not be able to re-submit during that month’s cycle. However, if your application is not selected in one cycle, you may reapply the following month.

Please note that the Artist Relief coalition partners will make final eligibility determinations as needed. Learn more by reviewing all FAQ’s. To apply, click here

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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