T&W is honored to be a recipient of a grant from the Literary Arts Emergency Fund, supported by the Mellon Foundation (@MellonFdn). Following is a press release from the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses about the award, which provides much needed support to the literary arts field.
313 Literary Arts Organizations and Publishers Across the U.S. to Receive Funding
New York, NY (April 14, 2022)—The Literary Arts Emergency Fund, launched and administered by the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazine & Presses (CLMP), and the National Book Foundation in 2020, will distribute $4,300,000 in funding to 313 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers across the U.S. that have experienced continued financial losses due to COVID-19.
The Literary Arts Emergency Fund was made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.
“These grants remain vital because the impact of the emergency of COVID-19 remains very present in our lives,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “Throughout the United States, readers, writers, poets, students, and teachers rely on our country’s vibrant ecosystem of literary magazines, presses, and organizations—one that reveals the power and the possibility of the literary arts to the broader public. We are proud to continue our support for this emergency fund and look forward to the remarkable poetry and literature it will help cultivate.”
The organizations and publishers to receive support are projecting $18,874,661 in financial losses in the year ahead.
“In some ways, this year was even more challenging than last year for literary organizations and publishers as there were fewer opportunities to receive emergency funding but also increased costs including producing hybrid events,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.
Fewer federal relief funds were available to support arts and culture organizations in 2022 and forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Act ended in May 2021. At the same time, the literary arts was already an under-funded field. According to a recent report on “Giving for Writing & Literature” released by Inside Philanthropy:
Philanthropic giving for writing and literature is minuscule relative to other artistic disciplines. From 2014–2018 donors gave $418 million to writing and literature programs in the United States. They gave $6.3 billion to the visual arts; $4 billion to music; $2.4 billion to theater; and $1 billion to dance.
The top 10 literary arts grant recipients from 2014 to 2018 received around $63 million. In contrast, the top 10 theater organizations received a total of $364.95 million.
Yet literary arts organizations and publishers are a critical part of the cultural landscape.
The 313 literary organizations and publishers supported by the Literary Arts Emergency Fund published 11,965 literary works, produced 30,201 events, and reached 210,055,047 audience members last year, and did so with a collective annual budget of $177,857,423.
“When you consider the funding available to other artistic disciplines, the literary arts have incredible reach and impact. With that, and the unique quality of cultural engagement that reading poems and stories provides, which can be personally transformative, the literary arts deserve much more support,” said Jennifer Benka, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets.
Nonprofit organizations and publishers sustain literary culture in the U.S. by distributing the work of poets and writers and presenting them at events. They also employ writers as teaching artists who bring literature into classrooms; offer workshops, festivals, and conferences; support the creative practice of poets and writers by providing millions of dollars in grants and fellowships; and honor the achievements of poets and writers, giving their work visibility.
“Literary magazines and small presses provide a first home to thousands of emerging writers each year, and they champion the work of poets, short story writers, and literary prose writers throughout their careers. They are essential to the publishing ecosystem,” said Mary Gannon, Executive Director of the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses.
The administering organizations convened three separate grantmaking panels, and disbursements were approved by each organization’s Board. The panelists were:
At the Academy of American Poets: Teri Cross Davis, Alberto Ríos, and Janice Sapigao.
At CLMP: Joseph O. Legaspi, Steph Opitz, and Sara Ortiz.
At the National Book Foundation: Diana Marie Delgado, James G. Thomas, Jr., and Jafreen Uddin.
For a list of awardees, see the full press release at https://www.clmp.org/press-center/the-literary-arts-emergency-fund-awards-4-3-million-dollars/