Dear Corporate Neighbors and Long-time Supporters of Art and Culture in Seattle,

This open letter is a desperate plea written on behalf of the most vulnerable in the Seattle arts ecosystem for immediate and significant investment in community-led COVID-19 relief efforts. While there have been multiple relief efforts for artists initiated, the funds available are nowhere near enough to meet the need. As of April 5, 2020 we have collectively documented $1,453,472.52 in lost income caused by the unrelenting impact of COVID-19 on 231 local, independent artists – a number that grows by the hour. As basic human needs such as secure housing, prescription medicine, groceries, and other essential needs are increasing, inadequate action is no longer enough. The time to act is now. 

With the recent stay-at-home ordinance, the urgent need to practice social distancing and isolation to protect our elders, disabled, immuno-compromised, and those with underlying chronic illness hit many communities with unexpected and sudden force. For the arts ecosystem, this impact was felt as early as February, when audience numbers and event-based sponsorships began to dwindle while show and studio cancellations exacerbated an increasingly dire situation. After the March 11th announcement of a moratorium on all events over 250 people, with more restrictive mandates looming still, artists across all disciplines began losing critical income in droves. As gig work and contracts are postponed or canceled, and the doors to every venue, gathering place, and cultural space in Seattle have been closed indefinitely, the situation for local artists - who were already enduring economic precarity to exist in one of the most increasingly expensive cities in the world - has now reached a new, critical level.

The immediate threat is even more tangible for artists from historically underserved and marginalized communities who often lack union representation, qualification for unemployment benefits, and institutional access. It is in solidarity with these fundamentally valuable yet consistently under-resourced members of our arts community that we are reaching out. This virus has shown us that we are dependent on each other, and it's time to pull together in community.

Because of this urgency, it is critical for you as supporters of our communities to understand that by focusing corporate and foundation giving solely on the most visible entities and organizations, the many who need relief immediately will go unserved due to burdensome and/or lengthy grant processes as well as red-tape bureaucracy.

We are asking you today to help break a pattern of disparity in the arts, culture, and philanthropic sector by giving quickly and generously to Seattle Artist Relief Fund Amid COVID-19 organized by Ijeoma Oluo, Ebony Arunga, and Gabriel Teodros. This fund, established as direct and flexible mutual aid, is being led by trusted, long-time community leaders with and for those most impacted. Your support can be shown by donating directly as a tax-deductible donation through LANGSTON by emailing By bolstering these efforts, you will not only be fortifying your place as historical contributors to the vitality and breadth of the local arts community, but you will be taking a step towards dismantling systemic barriers to access including but not limited to race, class, education, gender, and immigration status, at a moment when rapid response solutions and authentic relationships mean everything. Please seize this opportunity to empower community leaders in effective, transformative service to their own communities. Only then can we restore hope and sustain Seattle arts and culture towards a stronger, more equitable tomorrow.

Thank you for your support,

Seattle Independent Artist Sustainability Effort (SIASE)

Impacted Artists and Community Members in Solidarity:

John M Kelleher

Lee Mullen

Cassi Q Kohl

Tim Basaraba

Mark Grenfell

Rebecca Maiten

Maja Purcell

Dylan Welsh

Michael O’Neal

Rik Deskin

Robert Govetas

Allie Stodola

Mario Martinez

K.D Schill

Brandon Greenwood

Dustin Curtis

Joe Seamons

Michaud Savage

Arami Walker

Adra Boo

Kalisto Nanen

Christina Dietz

Ronnal Ives

Falon Sierra

Wynne Earle

Anna Gibson

Shermona Mithcell

Satpreet Kahlon

Glynne Davies Puchlov

K. Brian Neel

Jason Kappus

Bronwen Houck

Michael T. Perkins

Victoria Ramon

Jenny Ku

Kim Douthit

KyeAnne Wilde

Bella Jovan

Sam I’Am (Sam Harrison)

Sarah Thompson

Margaret Hotchkiss

Julia Wald

Max Holmberg

Gretchen Bell

Rachel Bennett

Olivia Solomon

Amy Luck

Shomari Shanks

Derek Smith

Helen Roundhill

Eli Lara

Michael Xi

Troy Intylekt Sheppard, BOC Music

Aishé Keita

Marshall Hugh

Chun-Yen Huang

Aaron Norman

Leigh Legler

Braden Lawrence

Mark ‘Kit’ Boyer

Deontre Singletary

Chris Boscia

Jean Chaumont

Flora Carlile-Kovacs

Valerie Miller

Carl Webster Jr.

Khazm Kogita

Alyza DelPan-Monley

Beth Pollack

Carrie Rexroat

Joseph Cabey

Nicholas Bernard

John Rainwaters

Chanarah Caupain

Andon Hiltner

Derrick Clarit

seranine elliot

Helene Eriksen

David Ayala

Jayson Barker

Scott Matthew Yoder

Christopher Smith

Jennifer Ewing

Mark Tedin

JJ Gerber

Stieg Retlin

Alexander Hubbard

Debby Boland Watt

Cozell wilson

Aaron Anderson

Shileah Corey

Tonya Dean

Meredith Berlin

Jessica Trundy

Lester C. Pearson

Amr "ZAG" Awwad


Gavin Yehle

Aaron Castillo

Amanda Pitsch

Shay Trusty

Holly Ricciardi

Che Sehyun

angel alviar-langley

David Davis

Luke Cottingham (Lük Lupe)

Jill Freidberg

Benjamin Hunter

Ebo Barton

Kenneth Huntington

Alyssa Keene

Monique Aldred

Sarah Salcedo

Jordan Platz

Colleen Monette

Bow Jones

Elisha Ewing

Robert Lane

Nanacy Hanauer

Erin stroh

Leah Andrews

Jordan Rundle

Maja Purcell

khemarintr suwanchote

Cody Choi

Jennifer Verador

Tomo Nakayama

Alex Medina

James Porter

Matt Offenbacher

Christopher "Chip" Sherman

Geneiva Arunga

Opal Peachey

Dawndi craig

Vincent Keele Fine Art

Bethanie "Be" Russell

DeShawn Bolton

Shakera Mathews (Artbae)

Matthew Lang

Vivian Hua 華婷婷

Olisa Enrico

Royce shorter jr

Katherine Shores

Stasia Irons

Carl Lawrence

Noel Brass Jr.

Jeremy Shaskus

Krysteen Lomonaco

Jamel Moxey

Sally Brock

Forrest Perrine

Memphis J Ribic

Casey Raiha

Terrance Curtis Robinson

Kallejah Rollins

Marlow Harris

Ivan Mrsic

Andreya Taylor

Lucas Chapel

Daniele Griffin

Julia Freeman

Anouk Rawkson

Julie Armitage

Percy Frazier

Cody Choi

Jo David

Crisantos Chavez

Michael Xi

Shelagh brown

Peyton Oller

Ben Hirschkoff

Andrey Psyche

Gavin Reub

Markeith Wiley

Jessica Jung

korvus blackbird

Shakira Adams

Riley Creighton

Olivia Howle

Mike Piper

Brooke Jackson

Kari O'Driscoll

Omari Jarmon

Adam Brozozowski

Michelle Ishimitsu

Kate Berwanger

Jonathan Williams

Emily Chao

Jamil Suleman

Erin Shafkind

Esther Ervin

Judson Felder

Lori Goldston

Carolyn Hitt

John Harry Baluran

Debra Calkins

Seth Goodkind

Alex Garland

Lara McIntosh

Autumn Tranquilino

Jueqian Fang

Mariah Belgrod

Ralph Perez

Jamil Suleman


D. Lisa West

Britta Johnson

Stuart Zobel

Jennifer Moore

Kelly Froh

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez

Cornell Gordon

James Battle

Julie Conway

Nichelle iNfinity Alderson

Shaw Osha

Gabrielle Duong

Jordan Christianson

Feezable The Germ

Syed Taqi

Princess Fernando

Ellaina Lewis

Rachel Jackson

Lauren Du Pree

Tiana Ross

Scott Behrens

Ahmed Davis

Purpelle Tramble

Tricia Diamond

Michele McCauley

Miles "39" Stanberry

Esther Reiquam

Kenneth Waweru

Kait Rhoads

Kim Schwarzkopf

K.D. Senior

Miles Pertl

Sam Farrazaino

Kevin Sur, Artist Home

Manny Cawaling

Nikkita Oliver

Tom Eykemans

Sharlese Metcalf

Elaine Simons

Keri Kellerman

Sharon Arnold

Sadiqua Iman

Lady Scribe, Seattle Sound Music Awards

Kelli Faryar, NW Folklife

Malayka Gormally

Nichole DeMent

John Boylan, 9e2 Seattle

Marcus Green, South Seattle Emerald

Molly Mac

Carol Rashawnna, Williams of K-Love 4 Art

Terry Novak,  Photographic Center Northwest

Aurelio Valdez, Arts Corps, SW Youth and Family Services

Krista Peoples

Elizabeth Brown

Cary Moon

Julia Carpenter

Diana Rodriguez, Youth in Focus

Philippe Hyojung Kim

Betsy Brock, On the Boards

Laura Hart Newlon

Hanita Schwartz

Mohamud Yussuf, Runta News

Jennifer Zeyl, Intiman Theatre

Cynthia Brothers, Vanishing Seattle

Sydney Pertl

Peter Reiquam

Dori Hana Scherer

Lana Blinderman

Ariel Bradler, Theatre Puget Sound

Timothy Firth, common AREA maintenance

Angielena Vitale Chamberlain / Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center

Carole Fuller, Advisory Board, UW School of Art+Art History+Design

Emily Zimmerman, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, UW School of Art +Art History + Design

Community and Arts Organizations in Solidarity:

Inspire Washington

K-Love 4 Art, LLC

BOC Music

The Station

Cafe Red

COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network

Seattle Against Foreclosures and Evictions (S.A.F.E.)

3rd Shift Dance

Body+Heart+Mind Academy

Seattle Transit Riders Union

Seattle Everyday Peoples

Blue Cone Studios


Intiman Theatre

Alchemy Union

Indie Genius Media, LLC

Balance of Concepts Studios

Concucss Creations

ATB Studios

MRLang Solutions, LLC

The Hydrant

Hitoiki Dojo

Studio Current

Crystal Clockworks

Filthy Fingers United

The Rhapsody Project

Friends of the Showbox

Lo Fi Performance Gallery

Woodland Theater


Badder Body, LLC

Purrdie Burrdie, LLC

Open Flight Studio

Global Artists Collective

La Norda Specialo

Northwest Film Forum

Culinary Cartel by The Curvy Chef


Common Area Maintenance

Earth Pearl Collective

The Grocery Studios

Al Doggett Studio

Equinox Studios

Across The Bridge

SeaPertl Productions

Cypher Cafe at Washington Hall

Shelf Life Community Story Project

Vermillion Art Bar & Gallery

Specialist Gallery


Washington Capoeira Center LLC

Brain Child Learning Center

Black Lab Productions

Alliance for Community Media Northwest Region

New Art Projects Co., Inc.

Meticulously Eccentric

Seattle ACED

Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center

SOIL Gallery

Strange Fire Collective


P7 Multimedia

Seattle in Color

GuildWorks Inc.

On the Boards

Artist Home

Theatre Puget Sound

The James W. Washington Jr., and Janie Rogella Washington Foundation

Creative Justice

Cold Cube Press