Hello from the California Desert Arts Council
CDAC’s mission is to unify, empower, and promote the arts and culture community in the Coachella Valley. Since COVID-19 all but shut down the creative economy, CDAC has awarded relief grants to more than 40 local artists and arts organizations and continually publishes roundups of valuable information and resources available to the community.
This month’s e-newsletter offers the latest resources, news, advice, and ideas for navigating the pandemic and innovating for the future. Here we go:



How to reopen — and the resources to do it (California Desert Arts Council)
We present valuable tips for reopening arts venues and hosting events, plus five resources for small business loans, artist grants, and other financial relief.

Relief program accepting applications from artists working in crafts (CERF+) 
CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund) provides one-time $1,000 grants to artists working in craft disciplines and facing dire circumstances due to food, housing, and/or health insecurities. Priority is given to applicants who are traditionally underserved by the grantmaking community, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, as well as (and including) folk and traditional artists. The deadline is Sept. 9.


Coachella Valley arts organizations announce plans for season (California Desert Arts Council)
As the fall season approaches, some arts organizations, events, and venues have begun announcing their programs with new safety protocols and the frustrating possibility of additional venue closures.

Updates from around the Coachella Valley (California Desert Arts Council)
Modernism Week Fall Preview goes online; Agnes Pelton exhibition to reopen Palm Springs Art Museum; local theaters form new alliance; Desert Star Award nominees announced; and why the Coachella Valley is a great place to make a movie.


Do less, better (Artnet)
Dia Art Foundation director Jessica Morgan reflects on lessons learned from leading cultural organizations before the pandemic that are even more relevant today.

Get audiences to pay more for streamed content (Arts Professional) 
What would happen if an audience was allowed to make a reservation for a small fee, enjoy the experience, and then pay afterwards, when the emotional value is highest? Kahlil Ashanti tried it out — and was very glad he did.

Make theaters safe again (Dance Magazine)
Before the pandemic, American Repertory Theater’s artistic director started working with a Harvard exposure assessment scientist to design a “healthy” new theater. When the pandemic shutdown began, ART published and continually updates and shares its “Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater.” It offers insightful for local theaters to consider.


What do we want from art in a post-COVID world? (Artnet)
Above all, according to a massive new study, audiences want “more fun” when they return to public life post-lockdown.

Dreamstage debuts virtual concert hall (The Strad)
The new digital platform by Jan Vogler is aimed at helping artists who have lost performing opportunities due to COVID-19. 

Will virtual performances change the notion of theater? (The Conversation)
Theater companies are pushing storytelling boundaries with online audiences amid COVID-19.

Radio: what’s old is new again (The Washington Post)
During the pandemic, the director of the Academy for Classical Acting decided not to look forward via technology, but to hark back to a bygone era. In the fashion of Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre of the 1930s, the ACA is producing three radio dramas to be live-streamed and released as podcasts.

Are we in the middle of a Black art renaissance? (Lit Hub)
A manifesto for the Global International African Arts Movement is about moving people forward through artistic and intellectual expression into spiritual expression.

Chronicle critics debate lasting effect of pandemic (San Francisco Chronicle)
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing changes in the way the arts are created and experienced. Will these shifts be permanent? Classical music critic Joshua Kosman and movie critic Mick LaSalle debate the question.

Do we need a New Deal for the arts? (Crosscut)
FDR’s plan put artists on the national payroll after the Great Depression. The COVID-19 recession demands a similar investment.