The pandemic has impacted all corners of the economy including the arts. Those in the art world have lost out on gallery openings, ticket sales for in-person events, and both corporate and philanthropic giving.
The Wyoming Arts Council has been trying to support individual artists and groups throughout the pandemic with various grants.
"We know that arts and cultural institutions and artists have been hit really hard by COVID-19," said Michael Lange, executive director of the Wyoming Arts Council. "Many artists are reporting that they've had minimal or no work since the beginning of March."
So this month, the council will disperse $2.4 million to some 250 artists and organizations. Nearly 200 of those recipients are individual artists.
Lange said the arts bring money into the state, and support education at all levels.
"They also help build on our social being," he said. "They help people connect with and understand the world around them, to recognize how we are different and what brings us together."
Lange said these funds will help artists stay in Wyoming, and continue to support the state's economy.
The $2.4 million comes from the federal CARES Act funding the state received earlier this year. It must be used to backfill lost revenue, or otherwise to cover costs incurred because of the pandemic.