Ann Tweedy andGeorgia Barnhill: COVID-19 artist contest to be held in Amherst

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The arts community has suffered mightily as a result of the pandemic. The public has been unable to access the exhibitions and programs offered by the town’s local cultural organizations, including those in the Amherst Center Cultural District (ACCD).

Some organizations, like Arts Night Plus and Gallery A3, have been able to pivot to online programs and exhibits in the Gallery’s window; others like the Emily Dickinson Museum, Mead Art Museum and the Amherst Historical Society are closed to the public for months to come. Individual artists and musicians have been unable to exhibit or perform in the town’s venues.

The ACCD is responding to their needs with COVID-19: The Artist Contest. In May, the ACCD was going to spend the $5,000 grant received by the district from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to develop and promote this year’s ARTWeek programming in May.

Obviously those plans had to be dropped and the ACCD decided instead to sponsor a contest for artists in all mediums to express their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $4,000 in cash and gift certificates will be distributed to winners in The Artist Contest. The deadline for submitting work is Aug. 22.

Categories include two-dimensional art, sculpture or art installation, musical or dance performance, poetry or written word, and other. Entries will be a part of a virtual exhibit hosted on the Amherst Center Cultural District website in September with best hopes for a live exhibit in 2021.

The application form can be found at amherstcenterculturaldistrict.org. For questions, please contact info@amherstcenterculturaldistrict.org. We encourage all artists who have ties to the Amherst community to participate.

Ann Tweedy

Georgia Barnhill


This letter is written on behalf of the Amherst Center Cultural District Board.