Skip to main content

Art heals and helps connect us all

in Tom Katzenmeyer 3 min read

“If during this time of social isolation; you read a book, listen to music, watch a film, get lost in a painting, please consider the work and the wage of an artist.”

– COVID-19 Emergency Relief for Artists Fund Grant recipient, Stephanie R. Bridges

Tom Katzenmeyer, president & CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council

Tom Katzenmeyer, president & CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council

In just two weeks Columbus has come together to help us raise more than $78,000 for the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief for Artists Fund. Thanks to the generosity of gifts ranging from $10 – $10,000, and the money the Arts Council reallocated from its Support for Professional Artists fund, we were able to get almost $220,000 out to 283 professional artists, ensuring that their most pressing financial needs are met.

Unfortunately, we had to pause applications because our funds are depleted. If we can raise another $50,000 then we can open up for another round of grants.

The public needs the arts more than ever right now. We need music, books, paintings, performers—all of it. Art is how we share our stories, it is a balm that heals, it is the connective thread of our community.

Artists need the public more than ever right now. COVID-19 has wiped out normal sources of income for most artists, and yet they still create. They post all manner of cultural experiences for you, without the promise of a paycheck. We need to make sure that these people, our arts community, whom we value so highly, are able to pay their bills and feed themselves.

We wanted to share a few of the stories of gratitude from our artists who’ve received the emergency support to help you see what a difference a gift to the fund can make.


“I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the GCAC COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant for artists! I lost my entire income overnight due to this crisis and with the grant, I am able to breathe an enormous sigh of relief. I won’t have to feel stressed about how I’ll buy groceries or pay bills.”


“I am new to this community and I am so very grateful and humbled to be from Columbus, Ohio to be part of a community of people who really care about artists and their craft. My inspiration comes through and from many different things and during these stressful times we have to lean on faith to get us through. It is wonderful to have a community that wants to continue to inspire and motivate us to create and not lose hope. Again, I am grateful. There is a saying that states that it takes a village, and that is so very true. Thank you so much GCAC for all that you do and for being that village for us.”


“I am so honored to be a recipient of the Emergency Relief grant. The funds will impact me as a “solopreneur” who relies on events and city markets as well as my school program, I am still able to keep my studio going and create bags to sell as well as get groceries for my family. Thank you so much!”


“Words can’t express how much this means, not only to me, but all the artists and musicians who have received your help through this grant. I am beyond thankful to be living in Columbus right now- this truly shows how strong and supportive our community is during times like this, and I’m honored to call Columbus home.”


“This grant is an enormous help to me not only financially, but also mentally. Even aside from the practical uses like paying rent, it’s a reminder of how great the arts community is, and how much I love being a part of it. In these uncertain times, arts organizations have immediately and decisively stepped up to help fellow artists and entire communities, and I am proud to be a member of such a group.”

Unfortunately, the funds available are limited, and our creative community needs your support more than ever. Every dollar makes a difference, You can make a difference. Make your gift today.

You can make a gift here.

— Tom Katzenmeyer, connect with Tom on LinkedIn.