About & FAQ
What is Creative Response? And why now?
Creative Response is a New Orleans-based art and movement building relief effort to support artists, performers, writers, and culture bearers in the Greater New Orleans Metro Area facing the grave economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These creators shape every aspect of the region, and the current COVID-19 crisis has ground to a halt most art-based programming, gig work, and the city’s core economic engine with canceled and postponed events, closures, and lost opportunities, wages, and layoffs. While there would never be a welcome moment for such a crisis, this comes at the busiest time of the year for local economic activity in the arts during festival season and thus has hit local creators at a particularly vulnerable moment.
This rapid response initiative is designed to provide direct economic support and opportunities to creators working within various practices and across multiple disciplines, alongside the distribution of art kits to support the creative life of local families while they stay home to keep our communities safe. At this seemingly chaotic moment, this website and the organizing efforts behind this work is designed to operate as a resource hub and to provide a support network for creators and organizations.
What is the primary focus and services offered by Creative Response?
Creative Response exists to support the artists, performers, writers, and culture bearers that make New Orleans and the Greater Metropolitan Area one of the most creative regions in the world. This rapid response initiative is primarily focused on three areas of work:
- Providing emergency grants to creators through a collaborative fund currently led by Antenna, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Junebug Productions, and The Weavers Fellowship with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
- Distributing art and activities kits to support young people during these trying times, with contributions from artists and nearly every youth-driven arts education program in the city, serving as a source of inspiration—reminding us all of the resiliency of the creative spirit
- Resource hub of information, opportunities, advocacy, and professional development support for creators and organizations through a coordinated network of art-based organizations
This emergent and collaborative effort is made possible with the generous support and flexibility of many art and social justice-based organizations across the region.
Convened by multidisciplinary arts organization Antenna in collaboration with Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Junebug Productions, and The Weavers Fellowship, Creative Response is a collaborative project supported by an ever-growing network of organizations, artists, activists, and youth-based programs. You can see an entire list of collaborating organizations at the bottom of this page.
How does Creative Response’s Collaborative Fund work?
Creative Response’s Collaborative Fund is comprised of four organizations, Antenna, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Junebug Production, and The Weavers Fellowship, all pooling resources together to collectively provide emergency grants to artists, performers, writers, culture bearers, and filmmakers. Emergency grants of $2000 will be awarded on a rolling basis starting in April 2020. The Fund is currently comprised of $190,000 to distribute, and we are actively seeking additional funds and organizational support to add to the pool of funds as we work to reach our goal of providing emergency support to 500 creators in the region.
Is Platforms Fund and Creative Response the same thing?
The Platforms Fund, a collaborative re-granting effort of Antenna and Ashé Cultural Arts Center with support for the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Creative Response are not the same thing. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Platforms’ normal granting program has been suspended and Warhol Foundation has approved all Regional Re-granting Program partners, of which Platforms Fund is one, to re-allocate their annual $100,000 grants to establish and administer COVID-19 emergency relief funds in their communities. This initial support seeded the collaborative fund, which in addition to Antenna and Ashé Cultural Arts Center, now includes the efforts of Junebug Productions and the The Weavers Fellowship.
Is eligibility for grant funding restricted to creators living in New Orleans?
No, it is not. Eligibility for support is open to creators residing in the Greater New Orleans Area which includes those residing in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. James, and St. Tammany Parishes. Living in the region for at least a year, however, is a requirement. Additionally, a percentage of the funds are earmarked for creators of color, who are systemically excluded from similar opportunities.
Can Organizations apply for grant support?
No. Grants made through the Fund will only assist individual creators who have been impacted by the pandemic, financially or otherwise, and can be used to help cover essential expenses such as food, rent, medical costs, and childcare.
What are the Creative Response Kits? What’s in them? And where are the kits being distributed?
The first round of kits, which launched on April 1st, included sketch-pads, coloring sheets, writing prompts, movement activities, and art supplies. To address contagion and safety concerns, we are following the Center for Disease Control safety guidelines. The kits are paper-based, with assembling occurring on Fridays and distribution on Wednesdays to reduce the risk of contagion. Currently, the delivery of the kits is happening at family nutrition programs at various New Orleans public schools, please check the Kit page for where they will be next! The kits consist of contributions from a growing list of organizations and nearly every youth-driven arts education programs in the city including Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Junebug Productions, KID smART, 826 New Orleans, Sketch Basin, YaYa Arts Center, Youth Run NOLA, Upturn Arts, New Orleans African American Museum, Dancing Grounds, Mixed Media, ricRACK, Neighborhood Story Project, PUNCTUATE, NOMA, and more added every week.
Are the kits available for download?
Yes, the kits are available online for download on the Kit page. Still, more importantly, we are distributing them every week at active community meal sites around the city, recognizing the inequity of broadband access and affordability. The dissemination of the kits is occurring every week until the stay-at-home orders are lifted.
How can organizations and artists participate, contribute to, or receive the art kits?
Artists and organizations interested in supporting or contributing to the kits are asked to contact Amanda Cassingham-Bardwell, Draw-A-Thon Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an organization or school that would like us to distribute at your site, contact Amelia Broussard, Antenna Gallery Director, at email@example.com.
My organization is interested in participating in or contributing to Creative Response. How do we get involved?
Creative Response is a collaborative project supported by an ever-growing network of arts and social justice-based organizations. To get involved, please contact Shana griffin, Associate Director at Antenna, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a project or program that is supporting creators in the greater New Orleans region, we want to hear from you!
I would like to donate. How do I make a contribution to this effort?
Creative Response seeks the support of individual donors, organizations, and institutions as we respond to the emergency needs of the creative community and build a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.
There are many ways to support this initiative by making a financial gift, contributing to the art and activity kits, organizing or hosting a professional development teach-in, volunteering to distribute kits, or sharing information. If you would like to donate right now, click the above donate link! Email Antenna Executive Director, Bob Snead at email@example.com if you have any resource: funding, art supplies, or people power you would like to contribute!