As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutters, galleries, museums and concert halls, cancels events and leaves freelancers without a steady stream of income, Tony Iadicicco of Albany Center Gallery is providing a virtual space where artists can find opportunities and support. Illustrator and Collaborative contributor Jade Warrick AKA Trashkid was commissioned to design the site’s logo. 

Through Creative Impact: A Capital Region Artist’s Support Group, Albany Center Gallery with partners including Collectiveffort and The Collaborative is connecting artists to donors and organizations looking to either provide support or place creatives in gigs. The group also serves as a place to share resources, best practices and a place for local artists to brainstorm new efforts. 

“We’re doing what we can to help commission and hire out things right now not knowing where things might sway,” says Iadicicco. “So many of my friends are creatives and they are facing this stressful puzzle. So what we’re doing is to try to alleviate it as best we can while knowing what we create may well be an ongoing solution.”

Iadicicco has spoken to a number of professors and possible donors who have offered to provide some assistance to creatives where they can. However, he notes that a lot of funding will go to the immediate response to the virus. 

“When you think about Root3d, Collectiveffort, and Power Breakfast Club they are all centered around building community,” says Jamel Mosely of Collectiveffort on his organization’s involvement. “This pandemic is calling for social distancing when in times of hardship is when we need to come together the most. So when we can’t come together physically, we’re working on ways to come together digitally.” 

This moment stands out to Iadicicco as critical to not only to support artists but to make sure recovery efforts keep their importance in mind. If a recession is on the way, Iadicicco knows full well that arts funding typically hits the chopping block first. 

“When things come around again we will need artists’ visions. We will need their voices at the forefront. The arts are always important–not just in the good times,” says Iadicicco. 

Visit the group to join or search for Creative Impact: A Capital Region Artist’s Support Group on Facebook.