Spotlight: NSCDC Spreads Awareness and Opportunities

Art by Yuko Okabe

In a crisis like the current pandemic, inequity doesn’t just persist; it is exacerbated. Many are struggling, including the creative community.The precarious nature of our everyday lives has come into sharp focus as more and more arts & cultural workers lose employment, cultural organizations cancel events and exhibitions, and opportunities to produce art outside the digital sphere run few and far between. And amongst our most marginalized communities, the toll of the virus has hit especially hard, making an even deeper impact on physical health, safety, education, and economic stability.

But as we’ve seen before, the creative community continues to find innovative ways to lift up each other and support the communities we serve and represent. That’s why we want to highlight the efforts of North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC), which is offering paid opportunities to artists to develop Public Safety Announcements (PSA) that are representative of and specifically serve immigrant, non-English speaking, and low-income communities of color. Driven by the recognition that not all vital public safety information is reaching every community equitably, NSCDC wanted to develop an initiative through their public arts program, the Punto Urban Art Museum, that would harness the powerful ability of the arts to communicate and aid in this public health crisis. 

Twenty-five artists will be awarded $1000 each for proposals that develop PSAs addressing topics related to the COVID-19 public health emergency and are culturally relevant to the marginalized communities NSCDC serves, especially LatinX and Spanish-speaking communities. Selection will prioritize applicants from marginalized backgrounds and artists who have lost opportunities due to the pandemic. Additionally, NSCDC is particularly interested in how they can distribute art outside of the digital sphere. Recognizing the divide in access to social media and other forms of online communication in marginalized communities, PSAs that are effective non-virtually will be of significant help in addressing the inequity of information. Interested applicants should visit for more information and submit their proposals by May 15th. 

MASSCreative applauds the unique opportunity NSCDC has created with this program, addressing both the economic needs of the creative sector and the public health concerns of marginalized communities. It is these types of efforts that demonstrate that arts and culture are not a luxury, but a vital and powerful tool in combating inequality and uplifting our community. In times of crisis, the arts matter more than ever.

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