OU Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts administrators are in search of donations for their emergency fund for fine arts students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fine Arts Student Emergency Fund was created in spring 2019 by David Barocio, director of development for the College of Fine Arts, for full-time students in the college. According to the College of Fine Arts website, the fund was created to provide some relief to fine arts students who, when facing financial hardship, “maintain demanding schedules, and ... operate on tight budgets.”
“Since many of our students only earn a minimum wage, they face additional financial challenges including annual costs for tuition, fees and purchasing specialty equipment such as art supplies or performance clothing,” the website said.
In an interview with The Daily, Barocio said applications for the emergency fund have a high rate of approval.
“We actually have a very small committee. They will analyze (the applications) and review them, and then there might be some sort of questions,” Barocio said. “But overall, we have approved nearly 100 percent ... of them, so approval on this is very high.”
The College of Fine Arts has continued to ask for donations to the fund on their social media pages in order to help students impacted by COVID-19.
“Throughout the last six months, this fund has allowed us to provide critical relief to students impacted by COVID-19 and to those faced with life-changing events in addition to the pandemic,” the college’s website said.
Barocio said that, although the fund can help international students, they need to be part of a fine arts curriculum.
For Barocio, the more generous donors are “those individuals who really know the importance of the arts in our areas and they understand that our students really need assistance.”
The application for the Fine Arts Student Emergency Fund is available on the college’s website. After filling out the form, students should mail it back to the address provided.
Editor's note: this article was updated at 11:33 a.m. on June 26 to correct the spelling of David Barocio.