Artistic organizations create an “Emergency fund for literary arts”

NEW YORK (AP) – Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, three major literary arts nonprofits have teamed up to administer $ 3.5 million to struggling organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with the Mellon Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses and the National Book Foundation announced Friday that they have formed the Literary Arts Emergency Fund. Nonprofits will hand out one-time grants ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 50,000, with the application process taking place Friday through August 7.

Fund administrators noted a recent investigation by nonprofit Americans for the Arts which found that 253 literary organizations had reported losses of more than $ 7.2 million from the virus, often due to canceled events. The impact of these organizations is diverse and nationwide, whether it’s bringing writers into classrooms, sponsoring festivals, or awarding scholarships.

“Writers create the vast and complex record of humanity – they are the chroniclers of our joys and fears, of our varied inner lives, of our humor, of our angst and of our determination,” said Elizabeth Alexander, poet and president of the Mellon Foundation, in a press release. “This one-time emergency grant provides essential support to both these essential storytellers and the organizations that ensure their written work remains accessible to enrich.

National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas told The Associated Press the idea for an emergency fund arose out of conversations between her, Academy of Poets director Jennifer Benka and Mary Gannon. , director of the literary magazines and press group.

“We were all talking about what was going on and how everyone was having issues,” Lucas said. “A lot of these organizations are small and wonder what happens to them the most and how they feel when it seems like no help is coming to them. “


Nominations can be found at


This story corrects the August 7 application deadline.

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