Tag: Creatives Rebuild NY (CRNY)

12 years ago this month, I started what has been for me — my life’s work.

And honestly, when I started this site, I couldn’t have imagined three-quarters of the things I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to ever happen.

  • I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in Chicago and Baltimore
  • I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal back in 2019. 
  • I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger. 
  • A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography? 
  • I couldn’t have imagined photographing George ClintonPatti LaBelleSnoop Dogg, BlondieNile RodgersRoky EricksonPhilip BaileyBlind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.
  • I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends. And by far, music friends have proven to be the very best of friends. 

JOVM turned 10 in June 2020. And during the middle of the very worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. And although we’re slowly managed to claw our way back to a degree of normalcy, in which gathering together can happen, things across the music industry still seem rather bleak: Touring has always been a big financial risk for musicians but COVID-19 has made it even more complicated, because musicians are out there risking their health and lives — because they need to make money to live.

We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and uncertain landscape that may well be with us for an indefinite period of time. But with these past 12 years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere.

I strongly believe that I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is desperately necessary because both the music and media worlds are often so incredibly homogenous. Someone out there has to do something different. And representation in every aspect matters. So in many ways, this has to continue.

As I do every month, I want to thank the following folks and organizations. Without them this past few years — and especially this year — wouldn’t have been remotely possible:


Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out. Any amount really helps. Seriously.

I must thank the folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m relieved, proud and humbled to be included in their Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The money I’ll receive over the next 18 months will be put to good use — keeping this little dream of mine going. I don’t think there’s enough words to thank them — or to show how grateful I am. (I’ll keep trying, of course!)

There are other ways you can support.

You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop 

You can also support my following me on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/william_ruben_helms 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1# or you can contact me directly.

The ideas behind Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) aren’t new — but the sense of urgency behind its implementation is very new: Inspired by the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) Artists Project of 1978-1980, Creatives Rebuild New York is an extension of Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander’s work on the Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine New York Commission in 2021, created as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The initiative was further developed in collaboration with Emil J. Kang, Program, Director for Arts and Culture and Creatives Rebuild New York’s Executive Director Sarah Calderon, who was previously managing director of ArtPlace America.

Creatives Rebuild New York officially launched last Spring, as part of a growing national movement of broad-based employment programs that put artists back to work. All of these vital relief programs have helped thousands of artists maintain their artistic practices and maintain their livelihoods while mitigating financial disaster, heavily influenced by the pandemic.

Rooted in the belief that improving the lives of artists is paramount to the vitality of New York State’s collective social and economic well-being, Creative Rebuild New York’s programs build further upon COVID-19 relief, to envision longer-term, sustainable opportunities for artists across the State.

Sponsored by Tides Center and funded The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation and The Stavros Niachros Foundation, Creatives Rebuild New York has two programs as part of its mission:

  • CRNY’s Artist Employment Program (AEP): A 2-year program that will fund employment for 300 artists working collaboration with community-based organizations across New York State. Participating artist will receive a salary of $65,000 per year (commensurate with the median household income in the state), plus benefits and decimated time to focus on their artistic practice. Community-based organizations will receive $25,000-$100,000 per year to support their collaboration with those artists.
  • CRNY’s Guaranteed Income for Artists: An 18-month program that will provide, regular, no-strings attached cash payments for artists in the state, who have — and of course, show — financial need. Each artist selected receives $1,000 per month. The Guaranteed Income for Artists program aims to help artists meet their basic needs outside of traditional or merit-based grants. This program, is part of a larger national discussion that municipalities, policymakers, community leaders and activities across the country are engaging in about guaranteed income and economic stability for those, who are living with financial need.

Late last year, I came across a friend and colleague’s Instagram story, which mentioned Creatives Rebuild New York. I looked up their website and immediately saved their homepage on my browser history and began following them on Facebook. Back in February, they opened up applications to the public — and I put in an application as quickly as I could.

Some 60,000 artists and creatives applied. In mid April, I learned that I was pre-selected for the Guaranteed Income for Artists program. After going through a detailed background and income check, I got an email the other day from CRNY that said that I was one of those 2,400 folks receiving the income grant. I actually needed a few days to put my thoughts together because I was feeling a lot of different things – – including, relief, vindication, pride, satisfaction.

This money will help me continue my work with JOVM — and for that, I feel it’ll be life changing. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that CRNY won’t regret it. So, thank you folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. Thank you so very much.