In Arts & Entertainment

Help keep Milwaukee County artists afloat during this difficult period.

UPDATE: ImagineMKE has raised $150,000 for artists, campaign ends tomorrow

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE

UPDATE: Since this article was posted in mid-March, ImagineMKE has raised $150,520 – more than triple its original goal – and asks the community to continue giving until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 30, to help support the 102 artists still on the waitlist.

So many folks are being affected financially – all of us, really, but some more immediately and perhaps more profoundly than others – by the measures being taken to try and stem the spread of COVID-19, and many are wondering how they can help.

ImagineMKE has set up an online fundraising campaign to raise $50,000 to help artists affected by disruptions caused by coronavirus and has, at the time of writing, raised 10 percent of its goal.

ImagineMKE is a coalition of arts, culture, and civic leaders working to make Milwaukee one of country's most vibrant and thriving cities. Board members include folks from MARN, Wallpapered City, The Milwaukee Rep, MIAD, Johnson Controls, UPAF, Artists Working in Education and others.

On the website for the fundraiser, ImagineMKE writes,

While businesses, governments, and public health officials are working together to stem the tide of COVID-19, many working artists are deeply feeling the effects of multiple and ongoing and cancellations of bookings due to the current pandemic. To help support our city's artists and creators, we are joining with arts and culture partners to raise funds for a MKE Artist Relief Fund that will benefit Milwaukee-based artists who have experienced a financial loss due to a canceled live event, performance, or engagement.

The work of our city's great musicians, DJ's, dancers, visual artists, arts presenters, actors, filmmakers, and teaching artists depends on people showing up and being able to see and experience their work. With the cancellations of events in the present and near future, this not only impacts their ability to earn a living off their work, but many of those artists also supplement their incomes with other work, often in the service industry, which is also suffering because of the pandemic.

We need to support our city's artists more than ever, and the more we can raise, the more support we can provide. Funds donated here go directly to artists in Milwaukee County who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19. The application is now live – click here to learn more about the review process.

Any artist living in Milwaukee County can apply for up to $500 in assistance. For more information or to submit a request for support, go here.

To give, go here.

Folks who donate $50 or more to the fundraiser will get two free tickets to Summerfest.


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