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MOCAD Partners with the City of Detroit For Rapid Response Fundraiser

To Assist Artists During the COVID-19 Crisis, the Museum and City Have Set up a Support Fundraiser


One community hardest hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19 is your local artists. In an effort to support local talent in their time of need, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit(MOCAD) is partnering with the City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (ACE) to set up a way for artists to sell their work.

Named the “Rapid Response Fundraiser for Artists and Creatives,” the online initiative aims to support artists and creatives while they currently face financial hardships stemming from canceled gigs, shows and exhibits. The initiative also aims to help MOCAD, which has been forced to temporarily shut its door amid the growing pandemic.

“In addition to health concerns, this is a challenging moment for many in our community as we deal with canceled income and revenue streams during uncertain times,” shared MOCAD Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder in a press release put out by the City of Detroit. “MOCAD has always been anchored by a rich spirit of community and mutual generosity, and we believe that continuing communication and exchange are crucial for all of us.”

Artists interested in taking part will need to submit work should send an email and a single sample of their work to MOCAD Membership Manager Wayne Northcross at wnorthcross@mocadetroit.org or the ACE Office at detroitartsandculture@gmail.com. Those chosen may then sell a single piece of art on the site, and if it sells, the museum will split the proceeds 50/50 with the artist.

Rochelle Riley, the City’s Director of Arts and Culture, expressed support for the fundraiser in the press release put out by the City and praised MOCAD’s efforts due to the dire need for financial backing many artists are facing at this time.

“Many artists are independent contractors, solo workers – musicians, muralists, dancers, poets, and others – who live 1099 to 1099,” shared Riley, “I spoke with one artist who lost $30,000 in income in a single day because of cancellations. She’s worried about how she’ll make it through the summer.”

The art fundraiser began on March 27, and all work will be featured at mocadetroit.org.


The City’s press release outlined the following questions and answers for artists:

1. How should I price my art?

  • Artists should price works commensurate with going market rate for their works. Newer or younger artists might not be sure how to price their work. A rough cost calculation might be something like:
    # of hours worked x hourly wage x cost of materials + 20%

2. Will MOCAD harbor any responsibility for the transaction?

  • MOCAD agrees to facilitate the sale and pay the artist and provide recipient/collector information in a timely manner. MOCAD does not take responsibility for lost or damaged art but will request that artists handle shipping paid for by the buyer.

3. How many pieces should I submit?

  • Each artist may submit only one piece per artist. A diptych or set of works should be submitted as a single work and priced as such.

4. How long do I have to ship the works out to the buyer?

  • Artists will coordinate shipping directly with the buyer after purchase.
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