Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Coronavirulization of America: The Stimulus Package and the Arts

The massive Coronavirus relief package finally passed yesterday - delayed in part due to several highly dubious pork "add ons" which had been added to the package by dirt bag politicians and which had shit to do with the emergency response to the virus attack on the nation. 

Good news to the arts community as Congress uses our money to help all of us! From Americans for the Arts:
Late last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed (96-0) the third phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response relief package. The $2 trillion emergency stimulus package included important provisions supporting the arts sector and creative workforce. The nation's arts and culture industry is experiencing devastating economic losses with closed venues and cancelled performances, exhibitions, and events as a result of the pandemic. 

The U.S. House plans to vote on the bill tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. ET and President Trump, who has already signaled his support of the legislation, is expected to sign it into law shortly thereafter. 

This vital piece of legislation includes direct support for both nonprofit cultural organizations and state and local arts and humanities agencies, as well as economic relief provisions for independent contractors, "gig economy" workers and artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses working in the creative economy.

We are thankful to you, the thousands of advocates and state and local arts agencies, who responded to our action alerts these last few weeks. Your advocacy has been effective and many of our policy asks have been addressed. But we know it's not enough and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin acknowledged yesterday at a press conference that he thought this legislation was just a three-month economic solution to help workers and affected industries.


Specifically, the bill includes the following arts-related items to address the continuing damage caused by the COVID-19 virus:

Federal Arts Funding (Note: This is a supplement to their annual appropriations)
  • $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Special note: Congress accepted our ask to waive matching grant requirements and to waive the requirement for grants to be project-specific. All these new fast-track grants will be for general operating support with no match.  
  • $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • $50 million for the Institute of Library and Museum Sciences
  • $25 million for the Kennedy Center
  • $7.5 million for the Smithsonian
Community Development Block Grants, Small Business Administration, and Unemployment Insurance
  • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grants to cities and counties. Arts groups should work directly with their mayors and local economic development offices for grant support.
  • $350 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency loans of up to $10 million for small businesses—including nonprofits (with less than 500 employees), sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals (like individual artists)—to cover payroll costs, mortgage/rent costs, utilities, and other operations. These loans can be forgiven if used for those purposes. This new eligibility has been a key element of the CREATE Act we've been pursuing;
  • $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for loans up to $10,000 for small businesses and nonprofits to be used for providing paid sick leave for employees, maintaining payroll, mortgage/rent payments, and other operating costs; 
  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance (UI) that includes coverage for furloughed workers, freelancers, and "gig economy" workers. The bill also increases UI payments by $600/week for four months, in addition to what one claims under a state unemployment program.     
Charitable Giving Tax Deduction
  • An "above-the-line" or universal charitable giving incentive for contributions made in 2020 of up to $300. This provision will now allow all non-itemizer taxpayers (close to 90% of all taxpayers) to deduct charitable contributions from their tax return, an incentive previously unavailable to them. Additionally, the stimulus legislation lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for itemizers from 60 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100 percent of AGI for contributions made in 2020.

The Mother-Daughter Duo Who Amassed an Incredible Trove of African American Art

The two Clayton women shared a home and an appetite for collecting, spending nearly 50 years buying works by Black artists from auctions, galleries, and thrift shops.
Read the article in Artsy here. 

The collection includes work by Charles White, Augusta Savage, the DMV's own Sam Gilliam, Laura Wheeler Waring, my former UW professor Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and Barbara Chase-Riboud.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this scum trying to infect your computer with the attachment and also rip off artists:
Isabella Jones wikoma@wikoma.pl
Dear Sir,
We are interested in ordering high quality products from your company.
Kindly find attached and quote accordingly total quantity and FOB target price.
Awaiting your urgent reply
Kind Regards
Isabella Jones
Purchase Manager
FAS INTERNATIONAL SPA
Via Lago di Vico, 60 - 36015  Schio|Vicenza|ITALY            
Direct Phone +39 0445 502197
Fax +39 0445 502010

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Brad Pitt Has a Seriously Impressive Art Collection

"Brad Pitt Has a Seriously Impressive Art Collection" is the interesting title of this short article in ShowBiz CheatSheet
Pitt revealed in a January podcast that his love for art is as strong as ever and that he finds sculpting and collecting art a “very meditative” practice. He also admitted that he doesn’t like to think of his artwork as a collection, even though he admitted to owning a lot of very impressive pieces. Although Pitt is currently still acting, there is always the possibility in the future that he decides to step away from the film industry and turn his focus to his real love – art. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Racist piñata

Meanwhile in Mexico...


Art Scam Alert!!!!

Beware of this SOB:
From: Wilson zimmermanwilson@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 9:36 AM
Subject: ARTWORK INQUIRY
Greetings!
My name is Zimmerman Wilson from Dallas. I found your paintings website while surfing online for what to purchase as a gift for the love of my life.I'm impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job! I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you.. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
Best..

Frida with her Fridas

Frida with her Fridas  F. Lennox Campello, c.2020  Charcoal, conte and LCD screen
Frida with her Fridas
F. Lennox Campello, c.2020
Charcoal, conte and LCD screen

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ovation TV

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC set for March 31, was canceled earlier this month. With millions of Americans now at home, Ovation TV, the nation’s only arts network, is set to celebrate a ‘Virtual’ Arts Advocacy Day by making select arts programming accessible to all on the Ovation NOW app as well as on Ovation’s website (https://www.ovationtv.com/watch/art-house/). 

This content will live in a new section called “Art House” starting now.
“Ovation’s mission has always been to connect the world to all forms of art and artistic expression through our varied programming,” said Scott Woodward, EVP of Programming and Production. “Just as we recognize the importance of the arts, we also see how this type of programming can serve as a positive distraction for people during these unprecedented times. With that in mind, we want to make our arts programming accessible to everyone, without restrictions.” Original Ovation titles available include The Art Of, The Method and Young Marvels. Also available will be classic episodes of Inside the Actors Studio, featuring Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, Paul Newman, Robin Williams, Will Smith, and the special 250th episode. The Art Of is a half-hour docuseries that profiles artists who are creating boundary-pushing work in media that are not part of the traditional definition of "art." Focusing on the celebrated, as well as the undiscovered, this series explores the creative process behind each featured art form and uncovers how and why these artists do what they do. Episodes feature topics such as Tattoos, Graffiti, Hip Hop, Mixology, Sushi, Sneakers, and Animation. The Method takes a deep dive into the creative process. This docuseries features episodes on The Messy Artist, an art studio for children and adults in New Jersey, street artist Hanksy as he and 50 other street artists transform an abandoned mansion in Los Angeles into a magnificent – and temporary – showcase of graffiti art, and some of London’s most innovative street performers, like dance troupe Barely Methodical. Young Marvels celebrates the impressive achievements and struggles of young talent from across all areas of the arts and the parents who nurture, support and sometimes push them. Featuring exceptionally gifted dancers, singers, musicians, and more, this docuseries uncovers a generation of artists intent on making their mark before reaching adulthood. Additional programming includes a diverse lineup of artist profiles and documentaries spanning a myriad of arts: music, dance, theater, painting, fashion, the culinary arts, and more.  Andy Warhol’s Factory People (until Apr 9)Beyoncé: Queen BDolly Parton: Queen of Country (Apr 10-26)Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway (until Apr 9)J-Lo: Let’s Get Real (Apr 10-26)Jean-Michel BasquiatLa Traviata: Opera on Sydney Harbour (until Apr 9)Les Misérables: The History of the World’s Greatest Story (until Apr 9)Modern HeroNina Simone, The LegendRihanna: No RegretsShakira: Hits Don’t Lie (Apr 10-26)Stealing Van Gogh (until Apr 9)Swan Lake by Martin Schläpfer (until Apr 9)Whitney Houston: Everlasting Voice Throughout the month of April, the arts network will also be airing a special arts block every Friday starting at 12pm ET. Ovation TV’s “Art House” is an ongoing effort by the network to provide the public with arts programming. It will continue to live beyond the Virtual Arts Advocacy Day celebration, with new content being rotated in for viewers to access more great arts programming than ever before… free of charge. Arts Advocacy Day, hosted by Americans for the Arts, is an annual event that brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 700 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. Ovation NOW is available on iOS, Android, Roku, and Amazon Fire. The app is free to download and can be used on phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and connected TVs. For more information, please visit http://www.ovationtv.com.