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516 Arts opens next round of emergency relief grants

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For nearly a year, 516 Arts has been helping New Mexico-based artists with funding through its Fulcrum Fund.

The arts organization is currently taking applications for a fourth round of emergency relief grants.

Grants of $1,000 are available to individual artists statewide, which are intended to pay for essentials like rent, utilities, groceries, childcare, and medicine. Artist-run or alternative artspaces in New Mexico focused on visual arts are invited to apply for grants of up to $5,000 in support of their operations. The deadline is 11: 59 p.m. April 2, at

The total amount to be awarded in the next round is $60,000, provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Frederick Hammersley Foundation.

Now in its sixth year of operation, the Fulcrum Fund was created in 2016 by 516 ARTS at the invitation of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to join their Regional Regranting Program. 2020 was an unprecedented year for the program, which under normal circumstances supports visual art projects. However, in response to the profound financial need that artists were facing during the pandemic, the focus was shifted to offer emergency relief grants. These grants have helped individual artists who lost some or all of their income due to the pandemic, and they have helped to sustain artspaces and nonprofits that had to close their doors to comply with public health mandates.

Fulcrum Fund Covid-relief grants awarded in 2020 totalled $256,000 and combined with this new round, will be a grand total of $316,000.

Seventy-nine percent of the grants went to artists of color.

“When artists are facing empty cupboards, it means so much to have these funds come through to them. It gives a sense of resurgence and confidence that we will get through this,” said Roger Fragua of Jemez Pueblo, a board member of 516 ARTS. “It’s hard to put a value to that.”

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