We’re more than halfway through our fiscal year, and CERF+ has already provided $106,647 in emergency assistance to 42 artists. Although this is less than we had distributed last year at this time, when we received a record number of applications in response to Hurricane Maria, it is 27% higher than the same period in previous years.
Almost half of this year’s emergency grants have been made to artists who have experienced natural disasters. Hurricanes Florence and Michael made U.S. landfall in September and October, respectively. Those storms and the devastating wildfires in California constitute the major weather events CERF+ has responded to most extensively to date. We continue to reach out to and assist artists impacted by these and other recent natural disasters.
The people whom we serve inspire us, and we love to see them bounce back following a major disaster. We recently heard from Holly Gillespie, a ceramic artist who lost her home and studio to the northern California Camp Fire last November. Holly is finally getting back to work and attending craft shows. Her recovery is just one example of the difference CERF+ makes in the lives of artists in the aftermath of an emergency. If you know an artist who has experienced a career-threatening emergency, please direct them to our website to learn more about how CERF+ can help.