I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
2014-2015 QAM Fellow Morgan Bassichis performs at the 2019 Queer|Art|Pride Book and Print Fair
Allies, Friends, and Supporters,
Today, May 5th is #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to the unprecedented need created by the COVID-19 crisis. We've chosen this occasion to launch a new initiative, the Queer|Art|Mentorship Giving Circle — by joining today, you can help us ensure no artist in our community goes without basic needs as we navigate the pandemic together.
In addition to the Giving Circle, we have expanded our website's COVID-19 Response page to include our list of artist resources, our digital events newsletter, and the results of our COVID-19 Impact Study.
Read more below!
QUEER|ART|MENTORSHIP GIVING CIRCLE
In our recent COVID-19 Impact study (see more below), we heard from over half of our Queer|Art|Mentorship community (81 out of 161 artists), and discovered that as amany as 37 former QAM artists are unsure of their ability to afford basic needs—food, medicine, or cleaning supplies—due to the present crisis. We want to make a strong commitment to ensuring no one in our community has to worry about such essentials during a global pandemic.
Donations to the QAM Giving Circle will be pooled and distributed on a biweekly basis to past and present Queer|Art|Mentorship artists requesting assistance covering the cost of food, medicine, cleaning supplies, or other immediate and essential needs; in disbursements of $200 per artist, as funds allow.
A single donation of $200 can support: $150 for groceries $50 for medications $25 for cleaning supplies $25 for personal protective equipment
Anticipating that half of our total community is in a similar situation, we are seeking to raise $16,000, which would allow us to distribute $200 to up to 80 artists, or to cover the 37 people identified by our survey as having an immediate need for a full month.
We strongly encourage making a recurring donation if you are able, so that we may continue to provide essential support to the most vulnerable members of our community throughout the months to come.
In response to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and related shutdown in New York City, Queer|Art reached out to our entire network of Queer|Art|Mentorship artists to hear about how their work and their lives had been affected, and to learn how we could best provide support.
After sending out an impact survey on March 27th to our community of 161 artists, we have now heard back from 80 individuals, giving us a thorough, if incomplete, picture of how our community is doing. The numbers are clear: our community has lost out on hundreds of opportunities to create, develop, and present their work leading to a financial loss of more than $650,000.
Click here for the full report of the COVID-19 Impact Study.
Queer|Art has already successfully started a mutual aid network, through which we are activating artists in our community to do deliveries, offer rides, or simply reach out to provide support for each other. The Queer|Art|Mentorship Giving Circle helps to extend this support by providing direct financial aid to artists who need help right now covering their basic needs.Please consider joining us todayas we work together to ensure the continuing well-being of every member of our community.