Cultural and creative economies are some of the sectors hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. “I lost all of my regular gigs, which I did for over twenty years six nights a week”, said musician Jeff Peterson. “I want to keep recording and releasing projects, but it is challenging financially.” Peterson, a master of kī hoʻalu (Hawaiian slack key guitar), had over 2.5 million song streams on a popular platform last year, yet received less than $1000 from those streams. “I have had to learn to transition to other types of work and have turned to more teaching online.” With funding from a SFCA American Rescue Plan grant, he has written and published an instructional method book, a project he had been thinking about for a long time to make learning traditional slack key methods more accessible and to help perpetuate the art. Now that he’s learned how to write, edit, and compile books, he would like to continue with a series. Peterson was also able to compose many new pieces to feature in the book. “I feel that Hawaiian music should be taught in all schools throughout the islands, and I am hoping this book can be used as a source of learning.”
Through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) has distributed federal funds to dozens of Hawaiʻi’s arts and culture organizations, practitioners, and artists. Provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the money seeks to support the arts and culture sectors to survive and recover from the widespread impacts of the pandemic.
This summer, SFCA has two additional initiatives through the American Rescue Plan Act to strengthen the creative workforce and support the communities of Hawaiʻi: SFCA Cultural Fellowships and SFCA Creative Workforce Grants.
- The SFCA Culture Fellowship is for active individual artists and practitioners living in Hawaiʻi, and is a project-based community impact arts and culture fellowship. Eight awards of $25,000 will be awarded. Applications open June 15 – July 31, 2022 on Hawaii.GoSmart.org.
- The Creative Workforce Grant is a one-time grant providing eligible Hawaiʻi nonprofit 501(c)3 art and culture organizations support towards staff salaries and/or contractual personnel within the organization. Intent to Apply on HawaiiGoSmart.org will be open July 1 – 30, 2022.