The Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities gave $43,000 in emergency relief funding to support 20 arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The money came from the Mermaids on Parade events held over 20 years ago. Arts supporters Peter and Bess Decker spearheaded the idea to create the mermaid mascots that are located all around Norfolk, VA. Over 100 original fiberglass sculptures were hand painted by local artists and auctioned off to local businesses and individuals. Most of the money raised was distributed to local arts organizations.
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has been responsible for safeguarding a portion of the proceeds as an emergency fund for use during times like these. Grants have been made in an equitable manner to help the most vulnerable fiscal year 2020 grant recipients.
Dr. Elizabeth Richards, Executive Director of Bay Youth Orchestras states “I want to thank you for this generous gesture. I appreciate your efforts to support our organization and others like ours during this time of uncertainty. Thank you again and again!”