Easthampton City Arts (ECA) is pleased to announce Art Workspace Easthampton (AWE): A Residency Program for Visual, Literary & Performing Artists.
Since COVID-19 reached our area in March 2020, ECA began a thoughtful and reflective internal dialogue about how our organization could utilize and leverage our existing resources in new and meaningful ways, so as to offer support to our longstanding—and growing—community of artists during this vulnerable and unprecedented time.
With our galleries being closed to the public and our monthly Art Walks and annual festivals either taking place virtually or being cancelled altogether, we found ourselves called into a profound moment of simultaneous introspection, recalibration, and action. As a community organization that has been deeply committed to serving our artists and our greater local and regional public for the past 15 years, ECA also understood early on that the economic impacts of COVID-19 would necessarily take a financial toll on the working artists in our community, both in the immediate term and also for considerable time to come.
In this spirit of reflection, recalibration, and action, Easthampton City Arts launched the ECA Artist Grants Initiative in May 2020. This ongoing program consists of mini-grants to support artists whose work engages and cultivates community. In this way, we could continue to support working artists and also ensure that our greater community could continue to experience the art and culture that it loves and was missing. A total of $20,000 has been raised and secured for this program—all of which directly supports working artists.
And, as this unprecedented time of pandemic continues—and as our beloved community of artists continues to transform itself through new methods and platforms for making and sharing work across all genres—ECA also continues to thoughtfully and strategically explore how we can utilize and share our resources so as to continue to support local and regional artists in ways that are valuable, meaningful, and effective.
This trajectory of internal questioning and external exploration led to discussions about two of our gallery spaces as potential resources to share with artists in new and meaningful ways. Since mid-March 2020, ECA Gallery (located in Old Town Hall, in Easthampton’s Historic District) and MAP Space (located in Eastworks, in Easthampton’s Mills District) have remained empty and inactive, while the buildings they are located in have since been re-opened for public use. And, as we continue to strictly follow municipal protocols with regard to public health, wellness, and safety, it is currently projected that all ECA art exhibitions and festivals will continue to be on hold until at least spring 2021.
With all of this in mind, we are pleased to introduce and launch Easthampton’s inaugural artist-in-residency program, Art Workspace Easthampton (AWE): A Residency Program for Visual, Literary & Performing Artists.
See a full program overview—including details, timeline, eligibility requirements, and a link to apply—HERE.