Photo Caption: “Art with a Heart” by Jennifer Abundiz of Channel Islands High School
will be one of many works of student art in the Oxnard Union High School District Art
Exhibition online gallery hosted by Channel Islands Maritime Museum through April 30.

by Emily Dodi 

Artists are a hardy lot. They are actors, musicians, fine artists, graphic designers, writers, and
other creatives who make their living by pursuing their passions. They are not strangers to
struggle, even in the best of times. But these are anything but the best of times. The onset of
COVID-19 has pressed a collective pause on the arts in Ventura County and the world.  

The community, at large and at home, has responded with resources to help ease the financial
and emotional strain on artists, including grants, online workshops and opportunities to share and
experience performances and artwork online.

Creative Capital provides an abundance of links to helpful tips, national and local grants and
workshops on subjects like “Coping with COVID: Financial Implications for Creative
Individuals.” Creative Capital is maintaining its monthly list of artistic residencies, grants and
exhibition calls from organizations that are continuing to offer open applications, “despite the
effects of COVID-19.” Go to creative-capital.org for more information. 

COVID-19 & Freelance Artists (covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com) provides
numerous links to grants, helpful resources and webinars aimed at freelance artists affected by
COVID-19.

While brick and mortar locations have had to cancel performances, many virtual venues have
been created to keep the music playing. The Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention
Center (PACC) invites musicians to submit short performance videos for the chance to be
shown on PACC’s YouTube Channel and Facebook page. The videos have been dubbed the
Lemonade Sessions because they are designed to make something good from a bad situation.  

“Rest assured its meaning is deeply rooted in our commitment to making the best of any
situation,” PACC recently posted online. “As we deal with restricted boundaries and ‘social
distancing,’ we know the power of music always finds a way to continue to connect with
audiences …  We’re inspired by stories of artists from around the world who continue to share
their music with the public and provide a much needed break from all the turmoil. But the main
purpose here is to hand over the moment to you, the artist. It’s your time, your music, your art,
and your words.” 

Music performance videos can be between 15-20 minutes long, and the content must be the
equivalent of a PG-13 rating or younger. Videos, accompanied by a brief artist bio and personal
social media handles, can be submitted to info@oxnardperformingarts.com.

Fine art is also going online. Channel Islands Maritime Museum, which has hosted the
Oxnard Union High School District Art Exhibition for decades, has put the popular show of
student photography, drawings, paintings and 3D art on its website. The works, created by
students from Channel Islands, Condor, Oxnard and Rio Mesa high schools, will be featured on cimmvc.com through April 30. Online voting for the People’s Choice Award is open until April
15. 

Billboard.com has listed resources for music professionals and other artists on its website. It
includes the Artist Relief Tree, which is a fund for artists affected by cancellations due to
COVID-19 artistrelieftree.com) and the Freelancers Relief Fund, which offers assistance of up to
$1,000 to cover lost income (freelancersunion.org).

Looking ahead, Americans for the Arts is conducting the Economic Impact of Coronavirus
(COVID-19) on the Arts and Cultural Sector survey. It is “designed to collect information about
the financial and human impacts that the spread of the coronavirus has had on arts and cultural
organizations and artists since that date.” To complete the survey, go to
surveys.americansforthearts.org/s3/CoronavirusImpactSurvey 

Keep checking for new artist resources online. There is help out there. To all the artists, actors,
musicians, writers and other creatives, thank you for everything you do. This storm won’t last,
but you will.