ATLANTA – Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a new relief fund for #GivingTuesdayNow, to support Atlanta’s independent creatives affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new creATL Relief Fund will assist Atlanta’s creative community working in the gig economy with grants to alleviate economic hardship caused by project cancellations and other pandemic-related disruptions.
Mayor Bottoms announcement comes in time for #GivingTuesdayNow – a new global day of giving and unity that is taking place on May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to challenges caused by COVID-19.
“Atlanta is a vibrant city and international hub for creatives and entertainment industry leaders,” said Mayor Bottoms. “We want to ensure our talent and cultural arts sectors are stable and well-supported during this time. This fund will help our creative artists continue to enrich our lives and our communities.
Launched through a public/private collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of City Planning, Invest Atlanta, and City National Bank, the fund was initially capitalized by donations from these entities and other local leaders in the industry. Applicants will receive $1,000 each if approved. Applications will be reviewed at the end of the application submission period. Grant funds will be awarded in accordance with a lottery system.
The fund is actively accepting additional donations to increase resources made available to independent creatives. All contributions to the fund will be applied to grants for freelance and gig-workers in creative industries—such as film, music and entertainment—to support essential financial obligations like food, housing, utilities, medical expenses, and transportation costs.
“Independent creatives are a major part of the workforce with Atlanta ranking second among major cities in the nation when it comes to people finding work in the gig economy,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Invest Atlanta’s goal is to support as many businesses as possible through the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19. We are thankful to all the partners in this project who are working to put much-needed dollars into the hands of Atlanta’s creative community.”
“Few industries have been hit as hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as the creative industries,” said Martha Henderson, executive vice president and manager of entertainment banking at City National Bank. “All production has ceased, all live tours are cancelled, and theaters and venues have gone dark. Countless people are unable to work. City National has a long history of standing by the creative industries, and this time is no different. We are grateful for the partnership and the opportunity to help people who really matter in this ecosystem.”
Atlanta residents who work in the creative industry are eligible to apply for the creATL Relief Fund. To receive a grant, applicants must be part of the creative industry workforce—including film, television, media, music, eSports, and digital entertainment—and live and operate within the city of Atlanta. Applicants must be able to demonstrate loss of job opportunities, contracts, freelance or other work in the creative or entertainment industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact on their ability to cover living expenses and basic financial needs.
Grant awards are subject to the conditions of the program. All eligibility requirements and application information are available on Invest Atlanta’s website at www.investatlanta.com/creATL.
Organizations interested in donating to the fund should contact Sheoyki Jones at creATLrelief@investatlanta.com for more information.