To make sure that diverse voices from independent artists and organizations that focus on underrepresented storytellers are not muted, Sundance Institute announced the creation of a $1 million “COVID-19 Respond and Reimagine Plan,” via an announcement on April 17, to “support and nurture Black artists and people of color in film, media, and theatre.

Said to be just the beginning of a sustained rollout, Sundance Institute noted that one-third of funding will immediately go to 100 artists who participated in their 2020 spring and summer Lab series. Another third will support artists across the nation, via the Artist Relief program. The remaining funds will help nationally and internationally independent artist organizations in historically underrepresented communities.  

“There can be no return to business as usual. When history looks back, this will either be the moment when we invested in artists, making it possible to turn what we’re feeling during these scary and surreal times into powerful, lasting creative work—or it will be the moment we lost a generation of art and artists because we failed to support them when and how they most needed it,” Sundance’s Tabitha Jackson, Keri Putnam and Michelle Satter wrote in the statement.

“That’s why it is so urgent and essential to dig deep, even if it means making sacrifices, and act now to ensure that the world on the other side of the pandemic is one that’s full of art, storytelling, and vibrant, diverse perspectives.” 

To learn more about how Sundance supports artists, visit Sundance Co//ab, a free digital resource site, and its Opportunities page.