Are You an Artist in Need of Aid? Here Are Dozens of Emergency Grants, Medical Funds, and Other Resources to Help

Deadlines for these funding opportunities are still open.

An artist at work, courtesy of Creative Commons.
An artist at work, courtesy of Creative Commons.

The recent global health crisis has left the art world in an uncertain lurch as galleries and museums shutter and artists see their exhibitions canceled or postponed. In this uncharted territory, many in the industry are feeling uncertain about their financial paths forward—particularly artists, who often work without the safety net of unemployment benefits or even health insurance.

Fortunately, there are resources available to help. Artists will qualify for the federal government’s CARES Act and a stimulus package will be making direct payments in the weeks to come. Plus, organizations are springing up to help connect artists to employment opportunities and grants every day.

So if you’re an artist who needs help bridging the gap, here is a list of resources to help with rent payments, medical bills, and more (and a few for art writers, too).

 

Nationwide Resources

 

Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant

What it is: Interim financial assistance (up to $15,000; standard award is $5,000) for unforeseen circumstances; one-time assistance for a specific emergency. This does not cover dental, chronic conditions, or art projects. 

Who it’s for: Only eligible for visual artists (painters, printmakers, and sculptors) who are in a mature phase of their career (have been working for at least 10 years in their field).

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

What it is: Funds in the amount of $200 per person, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who it’s for: Black, indigenous, and people of color artists or administrators in financial need.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund)

What it is: $3,000 in immediate financial assistance; discounts and donations for art supplies also available.

Who it’s for: Professional artists who have contracted COVID-19 and are in need of financial assistance. Applicants must be legal US residents and face a career-threatening emergency. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

NYFA and Rauschenberg Emergency Grants

What it is: One-time grants of up to $5,000 for medical emergencies.

Who it’s for: Visual and media artists and choreographers who have eligible expenses which include, but are not limited to: hospital and doctor bills (including insurance co-pays), tests, physical/occupational therapy, prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition, and emergency dental work.

Dates to know: Applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.

 

Pollock-Krasner Foundation 

What it is: Grants for artistic merit and demonstrable personal or professional financial need. The size of the grant is determined by the artist’s individual circumstances.

Who it’s for: Artists must be actively exhibiting their work in galleries or museums. The foundation does not accept applications from commercial artists, video artists, performance artists, filmmakers, crafts-makers, or any artist whose work primarily falls into these categories.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Artist’s Charitable Fund

What it is: A non-profit fund that pays a portion of emergency medical bills directly to the medical providers.

Who it’s for: Painters and sculptors who have been affected by medical bills.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Artists’ Fellowship, Inc

What it is:  One-time grants to pay emergency medical bills.

Who it’s for: Artists who are dealing with immediate medical emergencies and their aftermaths.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Artist Relief

What it is: One-time $5,000 grants 

Who it’s for: Artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19, including the lack or imminent endangerment of essentials such as housing, medicine, childcare, and foodDates to know: The fund will operate through September 2020. Grants will be available and distributed over six months to allow time for internal processing as well as communication to reach as many artists as possible

 

The Photographer’s Fund with Format

What it is: A $25,000 fund providing assistance of up to $500 per artist.

Who it’s for: Self-employed photographers facing financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Dates to know: Rolling application process, until funds are depleted.

 

Leveler

What it is: Peer-to-peer wealth redistribution in small increments. Applicants fill out a form explaining how they’ve been impacted and
and others who are in better financial positions can donate.

Who it’s for: People in the arts, hospitality, and gig economy who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. Funds go directly to the persons on the database via Venmo/PayPal.

Dates to know: Rolling application process and as funds are available.

 

Freelancers Relief Fund

What it is: Up to $1,000 in financial assistance per freelance household to cover lost income and essential expenses including food, supplies, utility payments, and cash assistance to supplement income loss.

Who it’s for: Freelancers who primarily reside in the United States who have experienced a sudden decrease in income of 50 percent or more as a result of COVID-19, due to cancellation, loss of work, or caring for family members. These include sole proprietors and limited liability companies where there is only one employee.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

What it is: One-time grants of $1,500.

Who it’s for: Artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Artist Relief Project 

What it is: One-time emergency stipend in the amount of $200.

Who it’s for: Any artist in any discipline who has been impacted by COVID19-related cancellations and closures may apply for assistance.

Dates to know: Stipends and support will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the only limitation being how much is money able to be raised.

 

Art Interrupted Emergency Arts Fund

What it is: An emergency fund launched by the Massachusetts nonprofit Twenty Summers with grants for individual artists up to $500 and grants of $1,000 for arts organizations. Twenty Summers will also help promote artists’ work through video sharing and social media. 

Who it’s for: Artists and arts organizations suffering from unexpected and severe financial loss as a result of COVID-19. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Patreon’s What the Fund

What it is: One-time grants to support artists, as chosen by a board of fellow creators. Patreon has donated $10,000 in initial funds and is accepting further donations. 

Who it’s for: Any creator, anywhere in the world, who has been demonstrably impacted by the COVID-19 situation. 

Dates to know: Accepting applications through today, April 14, 2020.

 

Women Photograph

What it is: Five grants of $5,000 to support photography projects.

Who it’s for: Visual journalists working in a documentary capacity. One grant will be earmarked for a non-binary or transgender photographer.

Dates to know: Application deadline is May 15, 2020.

 

Northeast Resources

 

Boston Artist Relief Fund

What it is: $500 to individual artists.

Who it’s for: Artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by coronavirus.

Dates to know: Application deadline is April 30, 2020.

 

City of Boston Artist Relief Fund  

What it is$500 and $1,000 grants. 

Who it’s for: Individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by COVID-19. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process through June 30, 2020. 

 

Cambridge Artist Relief Fund

What it is: Individual grants up for $1,000.

Who it’s for: individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by coronavirus.

Dates to know:  Open on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as the fund can sustain requests. 

 

Cape Cod Arts Relief Fund  

What it is: One-time relief in the form of grants up to $500.

Who it’s for: Artists who live, work, create, or perform on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Mass Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief 

What it is: Grants of $1,000. 

Who it’s for: Individual artists and independent teaching artists in Massachusetts who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19.

Dates to know: Applications close April 22, 2020.

 

NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund 

What it is: Crowd-sourced fundraising distributed to artists and freelancers in dispersals up to $150. 

Who it’s for: Low-income artists and freelancers, artists of color, and trans or queer artists who have lost wages due to the pandemic in the New York City area. 

Dates to know: Surveys for need will stop and start based on fundraising amount. For every $10,000 raised, 66 more artists can be supported. 

 

Max’s Kansas City Project 

What it is: One-time emergency funding of up to $1,000 and resources for creative professionals experiencing housing, medical, and legal financial assistance.  

Who it’s for: Professionals in the creative arts who are residents of New York State with possible exceptions made for those with relationships to Max’s Kansas City. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

The Mayer Foundation Grant

What it is:  Individual grants averaging around $2,000 each.

Who it’s for: New York City individuals who are distressed or suffering as a result of poverty, low income or lack of financial resources, including as a result of natural or civil disasters, or from temporary impoverishment, loss of employment, death or incapacity of a family wage earner or damage to home and property; to provide health care to those who cannot afford it or whose health insurance or financial resources are insufficient to cover medical needs.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Philadelphia Performing Artists’ Emergency Fund 

What it is: Individual disbursements of up to $250 per person for urgent and quantifiable expenses.

Who it’s for: Performance artists facing a financial hardship caused by COVID-19.

Dates to know: Submissions will be reviewed daily and funds will be sent out via Venmo, Paypal, and Cashapp. Artists may apply more than once. 

 

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Emergency Fund

What it is: Emergency funds up to $500.

Who it’s for: Artists who live in the nine-county region surrounding Pittsburgh and whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by coronavirus or other emergencies.

Dates to know: Applicants are currently being placed on a waiting list and reviewed in the order in which they are received. Funds are distributed based on availability.

 

Maryland State Arts Council Emergency Grants

What it is: One-time emergency grants. 

Who it’s for: Maryland State resident artists who are ineligible for unemployment or other forms of relief and who have suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19 and related cancellations and closures. 

Dates to know: Applications will be reviewed upon submission, and grants will be awarded throughout the fiscal year. The timeline between approval and payment may be 90 days.

 

Wherewithal Recovery Grants (Washington, DC) 

What it is: $1,000 grants for individual artists. 

Who it’s for: Washington,DC-area artists who have suffered a loss of employment, performances, teaching, or other opportunities due to COVID-19. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Midwest Resources

 

Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

What it is: Rapid response grants of $500.

Who it’s for: Indiana individuals working in the arts sector who are impacted by the current public health crisis, specifically independent artists and staff working for small-to-midsize nonprofit arts and cultural organizations; must have a non-commercial creative arts practice that results in at least 40 percent of overall income.

Dates to know: Applicants may apply once per 30-day period, with grants confirmed on a rolling weekly basis and notification to applicants within two weeks.

 

Springboard for the Arts 

What it is: Emergency grants up to $500. 

Who it’s for: Artists in Minnesota who need help paying unanticipated, emergency expenses, who have lost work or wages because of the global health crisis.

Dates to know: Requests will be filled in the order they were received and as fundraising allows.

South and Southeast Resources

 

Charlottesville Emergency Relief Fund for Artists 

What it is: Emergency funds up to $300. 

Who it’s for: Artists in the Charlottesville, Virginia, area who have lost income, regardless of whether the income was from art or other work.

Dates to know: Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received and at the availability of funds.   

 

ArtsGreensboro 

What it is: A ranging money-in, money-out emergency fund.

Who it’s for: Professional artists living in the greater Greensboro, North Carolina, area who have suffered financial losses due to COVID-19.

Dates to know: Applications are evaluated weekly and funds are distributed on a rolling basis.

 

Durham Artist Relief Fund

What it is: One-time grants dependent on need and availability of funding. 

Who it’s for: Artists, arts presenters or arts venues in Durham County, North Carolina, who are suffering losses due to COVID-19. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

North Carolina Artist Relief Fund

What it is: Fundraised stipends based on need and availability.

Who it’s for: Artists and arts presenters in North Carolina, particularly those in Wake County. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

The Atlanta Artist Lost Gig Fund 

What it is: Limited emergency funds up to $500.

Who it’s for: Atlanta-area artists who earn the majority of their income from their art-based practice and who have unmet essential needs due to COVID-19-related revenue loss. Priority is given to members of the Atlanta non-profit arts service organization C4, then to those who are disabled or immunocompromised, then to artists who identify as black, indigenous, people of color, transgender, and/or gender nonbinary. 

Dates to know: Rolling application process and as funds become available. 

 

Atlanta Artists Relief Fund

What it is: Free home-cooked, nutritious meals delivered to the doorsteps of artists in the Atlanta area; medicine and supply pick up and delivery.  

Who it’s for: Those who are unable to leave their home or are out of work.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.


Creative Response Emergency Grants
What it is: $2,000 individual grants.

Who it’s for: New Orleans-based artists and creators suffering from a loss of income or illness due to COVID-19.

Dates to know: Rolling application process with the first disbursement in mid-April.

 

New Orleans Business Alliance

What it is: $500 to $1,000, dependent on need. 

Who it’s for: Residents of New Orleans whose primary source of income (60 percent or more) is gig work and can show proof of hardship due to COVID-19 and who earn at or below 100 percent of the annual median income. 

Dates to know: Applicants can re-apply after 45 days if they remain eligible.

 

Oolite Arts Relief Fund for COVID-19 

What it is:  Up to $500 to cover lost income due to the novel coronavirus.

Who it’s for: Visual artists who live in Miami-Dade county who lost income due to cancellation of specific, scheduled employment, opportunity, or exhibition.

Dates to know:  Rolling admissions accepted through April 16. 

West Coast Resources

 

Spokane Artists and Creatives Emergency Fund

What it is: Crowdsourced emergency relief up to $500. 

Who it’s for: Artists and creative professionals impacted by coronavirus in Spokane, Washington. 

Dates to know: Disbursements will be made weekly.

 

4 Culture Cultural Relief Fund 

What it is: One-time grants of up to $2,000 for emergencies related to COVID-19.

Who it’s for: Full-time residents of Kings County, Washington, who work in the fields of arts, heritage, preservation, or public art.

Dates to know: Applications are accepted through May 15. 

 

The Safety Net Fund 

What it is: A fundraiser-modeled non-profit to support artists during the COVID-19 crisis with individual grants up to $500.

Who it’s for: Bay Area residents artists who have been working within the past six months, are ineligible for unemployment benefits, and have less than $1,000 in income in the last 30 days. 

Dates to know: Grants are processed in the order they are received. 

 

The San Francisco Arts & Artists Relief Fund 

What it is: $1.5 million total in financial support to individuals and organizations, with individual awards up to $2,000.

Who it’s for: Artists, teaching artists, and cultural producers living who are residents of San Francisco can apply for awards to use as they see fit. Individual applicants will be invited to an artist-to-artist listserv to help exchange and foster ideas to support the arts community.

Dates to know: Applications close on April 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. PST. 

 

UNTITLED, ART Emergency Fund, in collaboration with Art.

What it is: Funds of $250 per member of household for “basic human needs such as mental health counseling, healthcare reimbursements not covered by insurance, childcare, food, or rent.”

Who it’s for: Artists who have graduated from a Bay Area institution or have lived in the Bay Area for two years as a working artist. 

Dates to know: The first round of applications closed on March 31, 2020, but will continue quarterly until further notice. 

 

DCA COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund 

What it is: Financial grants of $400 and ensembles up to $1,200 to cover losses in time and/or materials for performances canceled due to COVID-19. 

Who it’s for: Professional performance artists and dance artists (music and theater solo artists as well) who reside in Los Angeles who have been forced to cancel scheduled performances between March 16, 2020, and May 16, 2020. 

Dates to know: DCA will accept applications until approximately 450 eligible applications are received, or until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020, whichever comes first. More rounds of funding may follow. 

 

Southwest Resources

 

Austin Creative Alliance, the Artists Emergency Relief Fund

What it is: Grants up to $500.

Who it’s for: Artists who can show loss of income due to cancellation of specific, scheduled commissions, performances or contracts due to coronavirus/COVID-19 precautionary measures. Artists who receive funding are asked to contribute to the ACA by donating artistic work, creative services, or volunteer time in the future. Priority is given to ACA members and those facing housing uncertainty.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

I Lost My Gig 

What it is: Peer-to-peer support through Venmo, Paypal, and other cash-sharing apps.

Who it’s for: Artists, musicians, and other gig workers in the Austin, Texas, area who have lost work, specifically those who would have earned income through SXSW.

Dates to know: Rolling application process and as funds become available. 

 

Creating Our Future Dallas Low Income Artist Relief Fund 

What it is: One-time awards of $200.

Who it’s for: Dallas-area professional artists who have been severely financially affected by COVID-19.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 

Fulcrum Fund

What it is: $60,000 in emergency relief grants by providing $1,000 each.

Who it’s for:  Sixty local artists in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who have lost income as a result of cancellations due to COVID-19.

Dates to know: Application deadline is April 16, 2020. 

 

Santa Fe Culture Connects Coalition 

What it is: The city of Santa Fe’s arts and culture department and the Lannan Foundation have provided $10,000 plus a $15,000 challenge grant to provide emergency funding in $500 and $1,000 increments. 

Who it’s for: Santa Fe, New Mexico, artists adversely affected by the pandemic. 

Dates to know: Artists can apply in early April and awards will be distributed at the end of the month.

 

Fulcrum Fund 

What it is: A $60,000 emergency relief fund to be disbursed in $1,000 grants to 60 artists.

Who it’s for: Visual or multidisciplinary artists (including graduate students) who live within an 80-mile radius of Albuquerque and have lost income from cancellations and closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dates to know:  Application deadline is April 15, 2020.

 

Resources for Arts Writers

 

Pen Writers’ Emergency Fund

What it is: One-time grants of $500 to $1,000 based on financial need.

Who it’s for: Fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists in the United States who exhibit an inability to meet an acute financial need, particularly those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dates to know: Applications will be reviewed within 10 days of submission.

 

Authors League Fund

What it is: No-strings-attached loans of varying amounts that can be repaid when possible, in part, or through partial donations, and are not subject to tax.
Who it’s for: Career writers, journalists, and poets who have earned a portion of their income from publication and are experiencing emergency circumstances from ill health, medical or dental expenses, unexpected loss of income, temporary unemployment or underemployment, or housing instability.
Dates to know:  Rolling application process.

 

American Society of Journalists and Authors Writers Emergency Assistance Fund 

What it is: One-time grants to help pay for emergency medical bills.
Who it’s for: Career writers who cannot work because they are currently ill or caring for someone who is ill from COVID-19.
Dates to know: The review process for emergency grants takes approximately 2-4 weeks and is based on volunteer availability. Response times may fluctuate.

 

International Women’s Media Foundation Journalism Relief Fund 

What it is: Grants of up to $2,000 per request, though special consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to those having greater financial need.

Who it’s for: Women-identifying journalists who recently lost work or have urgent financial needs that need to be met to avoid severe outcomes relating to the global health crisis.

Dates to know: Rolling application process.

 


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