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THE NEW NORMAL: An Artist’s Response to COVID-19

Fine Line Group in partnership with Gallery of Dreams Launch
THE NEW NORMAL: An Artist’s Response to COVID-19

First of its kind funding initiative helps Fort Worth artists get back to work and support community healing from the COVID-19 crisis

 Fine Line Group, the Family office of Sasha and Edward P. Bass, announced the launch of a $100,000 artist initiative to support Fort Worth area artists. THE NEW NORMAL: An Artist’s Response to COVID-19 challenges local visual artists to create works that reflect their experience living through the pandemic as members of the Fort Worth area community.

Led by the Fine Line Group, in partnership with the Alice L. Walton Foundation, the Donny Wiley Memorial Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation, and Kit and Charlie Moncrief, this innovative program is designed to support Fort Worth’s economic and emotional recovery through both service and art and will culminate in the creation of an important and profound body of work that interprets and documents the uniquely Fort Worth experience, during these uncertain, surreal, and often worrisome times.

A recent survey commissioned by Americans for the Arts found that as many as two thirds of artists in the U.S. are without income due to the pandemic, making it one of the hardest-hit professions in the country. THE NEW NORMAL initiative is the first of its kind in the U.S., aiming to jumpstart Fort Worth’s creative economy by providing a highly focused support structure that helps its artists get back to work, while also bringing the Fort Worth community together to share, process, and heal through art that truly speaks to what members of the community are experiencing.

“Throughout history, artists have responded to major catastrophes and provided the world with visual interpretations of a reality that captures and preserves the human experience of the time,” commented Sasha Bass, the initiative’s founder. “Ed and I, along with our partners, are thrilled to launch this program, which will provide much-needed income to our talented local artists and sustain the creative experiences essential to our communal spirit. Even in this age of social distancing, coming together through art is possible.”

“We always envisioned THE NEW NORMAL as an open-source model,” continued Mrs. Bass. “We believe this is a powerful antidote to the isolation, fear, and uncertainty communities may be experiencing during this time. Through the lens of the artist’s eye, we can heal together as one.”

THE NEW NORMAL model will be made available via open-source to any community interested in adopting it in support of their local artists. “We are already in discussions with leaders from three other cities who are working to implement a program like ours,” said Mrs. Bass. “All our efforts so far have been focused on getting THE NEW NORMAL up and running in Fort Worth as quickly as possible, because our artists need help now, but we expect to have a platform for information sharing up and running soon.” In the meantime, interested parties are welcome to reach out via phone or email.

The program’s founders and partners also share a commitment to diversity and inclusion. “Fort Worth is a culturally rich and diverse community, and this program will reflect the unique perspectives of its many talented artists,” said Rose Bradshaw, president and CEO, North Texas Community Foundation. “The Donny Wiley Memorial Fund supports women artists in Fort Worth and we’re thrilled to join forces with Sasha and Ed, and our partners in THE NEW NORMAL. This program fulfills Donny’s legacy by providing local artists the resources they need to respond to this unprecedented disaster… helping our community process, understand and heal from the experience.”

THE NEW NORMAL is administered by Gallery of Dreams, a Fort Worth nonprofit arts organization established by Lauren Childs of Fort Works Art.

Applicants are asked to submit a written proposal including a personal statement sharing their views on how this opportunity will help them create, an overview of the COVID-19- related work they intend to create, and an idea on how their art can support others in our city. Examples of the artist’s current work, along with a statement of need demonstrating loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis, are also required. The full application is available here. There is no fee to apply.

A panel of eight influential leaders from Fort Worth’s most prestigious museums, including the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Sid Richardson Museum, will manage the selection process. Panelists will review candidate applications and award grants—in increments of either $2,000 or $5,000—to at least 60 Fort Worth artists based on the strength of their proposal, portfolio, and demonstrated financial need.

Application Open: Now

Application Deadlines:

Cycle 1: Now–May 11th
Awards announced May 16th

Cycle 2: May 12th–May 26th
Awards announced May 31st

Cycle 3: May 27th–June 10th
Awards announced June 15th


Maggie Adler
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper

Mary Burke
Sid Richardson Museum
Former Director

Lauren Childs
Gallery of Dreams and Fort Works Art
Director and Curator

Alison Hearst
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Associate Curator

Patricia Riley
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
Executive Director

George Shackleford
Kimbell Art Museum
Deputy Director

Sasha and Edward P. Bass
Fine Line Group



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