The historic murals inside Coit Tower and at many other spots in town are New Deal murals, Great Depression-era projects mostly meant to just get some money into the pockets of creative types who were out of work. San Francisco is announcing a similar though much smaller program called Creative Corps, according to KQED, and hiring 30 artists to not only give them some badly needed economic support, but also promote COVID-19 public health and safety measures.
According to the mayor’s office press release, the 30 artists being hired will include actors, dancers, and musicians to be “deployed as Community Health Ambassadors.” There is also plenty of work for visual artists to create what the release calls “public health-themed murals.”
“Many artists and performers are out of work due to COVID and are looking for ways to pay their bills and make a living while also pursuing their artistic interests,” Mayor Breed says in the press release. “This new program supports artists financially while also reminding community members to stay safe this holiday season. San Francisco’s artists and cultural organizations are what make our city such a vibrant place, and we need to do all we can to support them. The Creative Corps is an innovative approach to help our artists during this difficult time, and will bring some joy and fun to public spaces throughout the City.”
The murals part makes sense, though it is not explicitly explained what these Community Health Ambassadors will be doing. It may be something along the lines of the very entertaining video above from the County of Marin, a witty public service announcement set to the tune of 80s single “Come On Eileen,” but parodied “Weird Al”-style into “Stop COVID-19.”
Visual artists can apply online for consideration. Actors, dancers, and musicians are encouraged to email [email protected] for more information. The pay is not disclosed in the release, though it does note that 30 artists will be hired, and that program is funded with $250,000 from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).