New Relief Grant Application Open for South Dakota Performers and Performers

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – While many businesses have been hit hard during the pandemic this year, many individual artists and performers have suffered substantial losses as well.

“Events are the backbone of my business,” said visual artist Christopher Reistroffer.

Reistroffer spends most of his summers working at big events, but the pandemic has postponed or canceled any major creative work he had scheduled after March 2020.

“This year, with all of these events and a lot of money handed out, it created a whirlwind,” said Reistroffer.

2020 brought a similar story for many other artists and performers across the state.

“A lot of them really depend on summer income, whether it’s art festivals, powwows, or outdoor performances as musicians,” Reistroffer said.

That’s why the Arts South Dakota nonprofit helped organize the Artist Emergency Relief fund this summer.

“We were able to fund 168 artists with donations of $ 500, which we know doesn’t solve anyone’s problems, but we hope it can provide some temporary help to people,” said Andrew Reinartz, director of the South Dakota Arts Community Development.

Today, a new donor has helped open a second round of aid.

“We are very lucky to have an anonymous partner, so anonymous that we don’t even know who they are,” Reinartz said.

They hope to award 90 more grants to artists, performers and culture bearers who can apply from all over the state.

“We had 62 communities represented in those 165 nominees and 26% of those people were citizens of one of the nine indigenous nations owning land in South Dakota,” Reinartz said.

“Essentially, they send seed money, take a small amount of money, and allow you to grow and expand your business a little bit more,” Reistroffer said.

Reistroffer says this is the first time he has received a grant; an investment to help keep local artists and performers afloat until business returns.

“Ensuring that the people who make your home, your home, continue to be able to live and operate and do the work that they do,” Reinartz said.

Applications are now open until January 22. Any artist, performer or cultural bearer who has seen their income impacted by the pandemic can apply. You can find more information on ArtsSudDakota.org.

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