LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since the pandemic, 62 percent of working artists have become unemployed. And when it comes to the economic impact, the arts and culture industry had lost $4.5 billion.
Artpark has received a $200,000 grant that will support artists, technicians, and other cultural sector professionals.
"I just hope that we're able to make something that's meaningful to the Artpark and the community around our park," said artist Muhammad Zaman.
Zaman is a Buffalo artist, and does free-style calligraphy which consists of English, Bangla and Arabic. The past year has been challenging for him; some of his shows were canceled or delayed.
But now he gets to work with Artpark on a mural.
"I hope to engage with the community, and hopefully bring people together," he said.
This year, Artpark said it's going to help rebuild the workforce here in Western New York by hiring more than 100 artists.
Thanks to a $200,000 grant, Artpark will support artists, technicians, and other cultural sector professionals.
They'll get compensation for at least 131 weekly full-time equivalent hours.
"This is a mission of ours, as Artpark, as an arts institution, as a culture institution," said Sonia Clark, Artpark President.
In a full year, Artpark contributes more $13 Million dollars to the local economy.
"Artists provide economic - are an economic engine in any community. But they also are the community," said Clark. "We often look at artists from the sort of prism of how artists serve the community, well what about artists as the community?"
Art Park is now accepting Requests for Proposals from artists, as as well as applications for other jobs at the park.