(HUDSON, N.Y., May 4, 2020) – Cat Tyc, Spencer Bambrick, Sam Meyerson and Timothy McDowell are the first creative workers to receive funding in the form of $500 stipends from the Hudson Arts Emergency Program, a community-funded, WPA-style project, supporting individual artists for projects that speak to life in Hudson during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
Cat Tyc will work on a chapbook of “quarantine poems” about life during lockdown in Hudson.
Spencer Bambrick will create an interactive audiovisual installation, incorporating community participation, “highlighting and documenting both the sadness and loss of connection during these times, as well as the strength and solidarity present in Hudson during this crisis.”
Timothy McDowell will document life throughout Hudson during the shutdown through still photography and video.
Sam Meyerson will paint a wall mural approximately 83 feet long and about 7 feet high on the side of the Time & Space Limited (TSL) building facing Long Alley. TSL will contribute an additional $500 to Meyerson’s project as a matching grant. Meyerson’s mural will speak to the life and diversity of Hudson during the crisis.
As of today [May 4], nine applications for funding have been received. All remain eligible for funding, pending further research and review. Artists and creative workers are encouraged to download and complete the simple application form available at reimaginehudson.com. Proposals will be reviewed as quickly as they come in and funding will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis.
As of May 4, over $10,000 has been raised toward funding the program.
A project developed by the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) Emergency Cultural Task Force, the program seeks to create a means to assist creative workers in Hudson by supporting projects that would benefit both them and the greater community via meaningful employment during this time when their earning potential has been greatly impacted if not totally eliminated. Creative artists are often ineligible for government aid programs that are based on job losses rather than loss of income and opportunity.
Funding for the project will rely on donations from individual and organizational sponsors. Stipends will be awarded in amounts of $500; $1,000; and $2,000, depending upon the scope of the projects.
Contributions to the artist emergency fund can be made via PayPal at reimaginehudson.com or by sending a check made out to Hudson Development Corp. with Arts Fund in the memo line, mailed to:
Hudson Development Corporation
Attn: Hudson Arts Emergency Program
1 North Front St.
Hudson NY 12534
The program will be administered through the HDC, which is a 501C3 and therefore equipped to collect tax-deductible contributions and to distribute funds for such a program. All funds raised will go directly to individual artists, with a very small amount set aside for administrative costs.
The program takes its inspiration from the mid-1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal agency established in the wake of the Great Depression that employed musicians, artists, writers, dancers, choreographers, photographers, actors, and directors in large arts, drama, media, performance, and literacy projects. People like John Steinbeck, Alice Neel, Jackson Pollock, Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, and Ralph Ellison received such WPA grants years before they became household names.
Some examples of potential projects:
- an artist or group of (appropriately social-distanced) artists could paint a mural or series of murals around Hudson
- a musician or composer could create a song cycle, opera, rap, or instrumental work addressing the emotional impact of the pandemic, culminating in a recording, video, and/or public performance once the quarantine is lifted
- a historian could record residents discussing life in Hudson during the pandemic shutdown, culminating in a radio broadcast, podcast, and an historical artifact
- a filmmaker could create a series of portraits for broadcast on the local cable-TV channel or for streaming on YouTube, Facebook, or other online media platform
- a painter could be commissioned to paint images of life in Hudson during the pandemic shutdown that will culminate in a public exhibition
- a dancer/choreographer could be commissioned to create a piece about life in Hudson during the pandemic shutdown that will culminate in a video or public viewing
- a photographer could document the streets and scenes of Hudson during the pandemic shutdown that would culminate in an online and/or gallery exhibition
- a writer or poet could create texts reflecting life in Hudson during the pandemic shutdown that could culminate in a chapbook, a slam-poetry session, and/or a collection of other writers works
With input from the public and the HDC, the program was created by the Emergency Cultural Task Force, led by Seth Rogovoy, working in tandem with Linda Mussmann, Jonah Bokaer, and HDC acting executive director Branda Maholtz.