The High Crest has taken some new turns during this pandemic. We were traveling through the southwest of the US when the country began closing down and we were issued the "stay at home" order. It was surreal absorbing the news of our new life while we were on the road. As we arrived back in Iowa, our journey continued...in a place we call home.
To adjust to this "new normal" we knew right away that we wanted to bring our music to our listeners as quickly as possible. I am a firm believer that music is therapeutic and in the face of our new reality and Covid19, I knew we could use some relief. My first desire was to connect to our friends in our live music community and sing some songs for everybody.
We need music! It connects us, revives us and encourages us. Now, here came this chance for us to bring The High Crest music directly to you, where you live.
The High Crest began, what we called, the Hunker in the Bunker Sessions. We recorded several performances and streamed them live on Facebook. We are in the process of putting these recordings together for an album. We connected with so many of you through our live streams! We laughed and sang, read all the comments and received tips and encouragement.
As I explored other options to stay financially afloat, I applied for a grant through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. I was chosen to receive a $1,000 grant. With the help of this grant and our fantastic community, my creative career has been validated and The High Crest can continue to operate.
I believe the arts are extremely important to preserving individual livelihoods and our collective culture. On behalf of The High Crest I want to thank the Iowa Arts Council, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and YOU for continuing to invest in creativity. Thank you!
The High Crest
Read the full press release below:
DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) announced today that it has awarded $191,000 in grants to Iowa artists and small nonprofit arts organizations who are reeling from the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The first-round relief grants were limited to artists and small nonprofit arts organizations.
The list of recipients includes community theaters, choirs, youth arts groups, a documentary filmmaker and a blues musician who has entertained Iowa audiences for more than 40 years.
In all,156 Iowa artists and creative workers each received a $1,000 award to support their artistic career. In addition, 14 Iowa nonprofit arts organizations each received a $2,500 grant to support their operations. The IDCA received a total of 285 applications in this funding round.
Applicants cited a range of financial losses resulting from canceled performances,
festivals, residencies, commissions, teaching opportunities and more. Organizations lost revenue from admissions and gift-shop sales, as well as canceled classes, programs and fundraising events.
“Iowa’s creative professionals and cultural organizations have been deeply impacted by the current crisis,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “Our industry is incredibly resourceful and resilient, but with so many revenue sources threatened at once, it’s extraordinarily challenging for the creative workforce to navigate.”
Kramer added, “The economic loss to arts organizations is estimated at over $4.5 billion nationwide. Here in Iowa in a typical year, the creative sector accounts for 2.3 percent of our economy and more than 42,000 jobs.”
This was the first round of grants from the new Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, which is administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grants awarded through this fund are intended to support the Iowa artists and nonprofits that have suffered the most, serving as a bridge between severe financial loss and other state and federal assistance.
"Artists and community arts organizations have been hit particularly hard by this emergency and are some of the most vulnerable members of our industry right now," Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. "We want to help Iowa artists and these arts groups bridge the gap, so they can sustain a basic living until audiences and patrons return."
In a recent survey conducted for Iowa by Americans for the Arts, 255 arts and cultural organizations across the state reported a total financial loss of $2.85 million as of April 7. On average, those organizations lost approximately $11,000 due to closures, cancellations and increased expenses.
Nearly all of the respondents reported that they have canceled performances and other events, affecting an estimated 100,000 audience members and participants.
Sixty-two percent of respondents expect the pandemic’s impact on their organization to be “severe” or “very severe.” A quarter of the organizations have reduced staff or payroll.
The Iowa Arts Council will accept applications for a second round of emergency grants April 24 through May 1 from all Iowa arts and cultural organizations that have existed for at least three years, maintain a 501(c)3 nonprofit status and had an operating budget of at least $10,000 during the past fiscal year. The details and application will be posted online at iowaculture.gov.
Funding for this second round of grants comes from the National Endowment of the Arts, through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The grants are intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to thousands of cultural organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of its communities.