South African artist student trying to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus by wearing a mask.

Artist Relief Grants from the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) will be made available for South African creatives who have been affected by COVID-19. The aid shall provide opportunities for South Africans to offset the loss of income and the consequent spike in expenses following the national lockdown and other emergency measures.

What is the BASA Artist Relief Grants?

BASA is a public benefit organization committed to promoting sustainability and relevance of the arts in society. In addition, it also offers innovative programs that provide and support knowledge transfer, skills development, and training in the cultural and creative sectors.

As a joint initiative between the government and private sector, BASA is funded by an allocation from the Department of Arts and Culture. While BASA already has existing supporting grants, the Artist Relief Grants have only been established last year in response to the growing need for support of South Africans affected by COVID-19.

This opportunity for South Africans is specifically aimed toward artists who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or are being treated for COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, the relief grants also include artists who are experiencing a loss of income due to cancellations or postponements of confirmed engagements in South Africa as a result of being infected with COVID-19 or due to the National State of Disaster and subsequent lockdown.

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The BASA Artist Relief Grants shall provide opportunities for South Africans to offset the loss of income and the consequent spike in expenses following the national lockdown and other emergency measures.| Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

What Opportunities Can Be Funded?

BASA will consider applications from individual South African artists for one-off, short-term financial aid for COVID-19-related medical care and/or prescription medicines.

Furthermore, the organization will cover proven medical expenses to a maximum value of R10, 000. Copies of medical certificates, prescriptions, and receipts for the purchase of medication specific to the treatment of the COVID-19 infection will be required.

On another note, the Artist Relief Grants support up to 50% of proven loss of income due to a canceled contract, to a maximum value of R10, 000. However, a one-page letter from the applicant’s client/employer detailing a high-level overview of the project, copies of contracts, official letters, communication, and any other relevant supporting documentation will be required.

Lastly, BASA will decide a percentage of proven loss of income due to the postponement of a contract. For this, a one-page letter from the applicant’s client/employer detailing a high-level overview of the project, copies of contracts, official letters, communication, and any other relevant supporting documentation will be required.

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Eligibility of Africans Affected by COVID-19

Please note that the BASA Artist Relief Grants will assist individual artists, freelance creatives, or independent contractors from South Africa. In order to qualify for the said opportunities for South Africans, the applicants must be:

·  The BASA Artist Relief Grants will assist the individual artist, freelance creative, or independent contractor.

Applicants must be:

·  Practicing artists, whether emerging or established, at least 18 years of age, with proven work experience of at least 12 months in any arts/culture/creative genre and who are

·  South African citizens with valid ID documents, or Practising artists, whether emerging or established, at least 21 years of age with proven work experience in any arts/culture/creative genre for at least three years and who have had permanent residence in South Africa for at least 12 months with a valid passport and the applicable visa.

·  Preference will be given to applicants who have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The organization will cover proven medical expenses to a maximum value of R10, 000. | Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Exclusions:

·  Organizations, collectives, or any other group of artists are not eligible for these grants.

Members of such groups who have been affected may only apply for an Artist Relief Grant in their personal capacity (as per guidelines and required criteria). However, organizations and their business sponsors are still invited to apply for Supporting Grants through regular channels.

·  Artists with permanent employment of any kind are not eligible for these grants.

The Artist Relief Grant is specifically aimed at freelancers or independent contractors whose sole income source is their creative work and who do not have a regular salary source or institutional support.

·  Similar to Supporting Grant eligibility, projects or events outside of South Africa are not eligible for these grants.

The Artist Relief Grant will only consider applications for loss of income within South Africa.

·  Similar to Supporting Grant eligibility, film and television projects are not eligible for these grants.

The Artist Relief Grant will only consider applications for film festivals, not production or other film and television project costs, as these are the mandate of the National Film and Video Foundation, which also receives funding from the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come basis to the first 67 eligible applicants and will close thereafter. For more details about the application process, you may visit BASA’s official website.


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