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Sunday March 22, 2020 | by Andrew Page

RESOURCES: Glass Art Society launches artist relief fund for membership, starting with $10,000 in funding but accepting donations

The Glass Art Society, which has already been helping the glass community to locate emergency relief resources through its website, has launched a targeted fund to help members of this international artist organization to weather the economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. GAS executive director Brandi Clark told the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet that the fund is not actually brand-new, but the organization is repurposing an existing fund to respond to the needs of its membership. "The original fund was created several years ago as a way to help those in our glass community that have an experience -- whether medical, accidental, or natural disaster -- that impacts their ability to make a living and continue their practice," explained Clark in an email exchange. "The distribution of the funds had never been fully fleshed out, but the COVID-19 pandemic and its reach motivated us to quickly put together a way of getting those funds to those that are feeling its impact the most."

The GAS Emergency Assistance Grant comes with specific rules. To apply, you must be a current GAS member, and it is not currently available to students, large businesses, nonprofits, or institutions. There are no restrictions on citizenship as the society has members all over the world.  Grant amounts will vary between 250 and 1,000 U.S. dollars, and can cover income loss, canceled orders, medical costs, shop closures, canceled events or teaching contracts. 

GAS is already soliciting donations to offset the impact of the cancelled Sweden conference, but donors can earmark giving specifically to the Emergency Assistance Grant by emailing the organization's development manager Kristen Ferguson via email at kristenf@glassart.org.

There is currently $10,000 in the fund, according to Clark, who said: "we hope to add to that" through donations. Perhaps in reflection of the current size of the fund, the GAS website asks people to be modest in their grant requests: "Please be considerate in your ask - we are trying to help as many GAS members as possible. Depending upon the number of requests received you may not receive the full amount of your request," reads the application page.

Asked about the initial response to the newly configured emergency grant, Clark said that it has been positive. "There has been an overall sense of appreciation, and applications are starting to come in," she wrote in an email exchange. "I think in the coming days and weeks, people will start to feel more of an impact from this pandemic than they have so far, and we anticipate and increase in applications over the next two weeks."

For more information: www.glassart.org

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for 35 years.