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City of West Palm Beach helping local artists amid pandemic

Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 18:37:29-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The City of West Palm Beach is launching a new initiative to support Palm Beach County artists struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emilio Apontesierra’s first love is art. However, a few months ago he felt his relationship slipping away.

“My creativity was kind of dead. March, April and May, Oh my God,” he said.

Apontesierra says he started to slip into a depression when he couldn’t display his work.

“Everything was closed,” Apontesierra recalled.

Then he saw West Palm Beach commissioners approved a new initiative giving 15 artists a stipend and a public, city location to temporarily display their artwork.

“There it was like this (snap) oh wow! Let's do something,” he said. “So, I get motivated and the anxiety and the depression was really low because I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Apontesierra is one of the 15 artists working on a piece, offering his personal perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being able to reengage that public space with an interesting piece of art is going to be I think, something that will re-energize the public spaces in many cases,” Armando Fana, Assistant City Administrator said.

Each artist selected for the program will receive up to $6,000 from the city’s Public Art Fund for their work and materials.

“This is just an opportunity for them to once again be able work, showcase their art and hopefully it grows,” Fana said. “This is just a stepping stone for a lot of them to be able to open up doors in other places.”