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516 Arts to distribute $60K in relief grants

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As the economy collapses in the grip of the COVID-19, artists have watched their incomes plummet overnight.

On Wednesday, 516 ARTS announced it would distribute $60,000 in emergency relief grants to local artists from its Fulcrum Fund grant program. Sixty chosen artists will receive $1,000 in grant money in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

A non-collecting visual arts space, 516 ARTS has received grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the past five years. It is one of just 14 sites in the U.S. selected by the organization.

“We didn’t apply for it,” 516 executive director Suzanne Sbarge said. “They came to us. They saw that we were seeing many artists on the ground doing experimental and collaborative work.”

In the past, 516 has divided the money among projects and individual artists in amounts of up to $10,000.

Artists can apply for the emergency grants on the organization’s website at

“A lot of artists have lost their incomes now,” Sbarge said. “I’m hearing about artists who had exhibitions, speaking and teaching gigs. All of these engagements have gone away and artists are really scared about how they’re going to pay their bills.”

The Warhol Foundation helped 516 develop the guidelines, she added.

Artists can apply from an 80-mile radius, from Socorro and Grants to Santa Fe and EspaƱola.

“The hope is that it creates more community and artists can see one another’s projects,” Sbarge said.

516ARTS also is launching “Museum From Home: The Resilience Project” with online submissions based on themes such as resilience, creativity in a time of crisis, sustainability and closeness and social distancing.

“A lot of my friends are working artists,” Sbarge said. “One told me she lost $12,000 in one night on speaking and teaching engagements. We’ve been asking what is our best response in this time of crisis?”

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