COVID-19 is impacting all of our lives across the globe.
While social distancing and lockdowns are the right moves to protect the health of our communities, the complete picture of the financial repercussions are still unknown. With canceled exhibitions, classes, conferences and workshops over the span of a very short time, many artists are feeling the stress of lost income and an uncertain future.
In the face of the unknown, artists have, unsurprisingly, gotten creative about how they are changing their artistic practice. However, if you, like many, are finding that you need additional financial resources to get you through this time, there are emergency grants available for artists.
We, like many other arts organizations right now, have compiled a list of emergency resources for artists as well an ongoing list of crowdfunding efforts to provide financial relief for artists.
If you have a resource that we haven’t mentioned, please send us an email and we will add it to the list. This is an evolving list that we will be over the next few weeks.
Emergency Grants for Artists
Intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified, mature visual artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. The maximum amount of this grant is $15,000; an award of $5,000 is typical. To quality, you must be a visual artists (music, theater, dance, and writing are not covered by this grant) working professionally in a mature phase of your career for at least ten years.
CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund)
CERF+ provides rapid relief and career recovery loans through their own grants (for artists working in craft disciplines) as well as a list of emergency resources for artists in other disciplines. Additionally, CERF+ just launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to support artists working in craft disciplines. "This fund is essential to our rapid and effective response to those artists who are suffering severe health impacts from the coronavirus, ensuring that CERF+ has the funds necessary to respond to this unprecedented crisis," said CERF in an email release. If you are able, please donate to the CERF+ COVID-19 Response Fund.
Colorado-based Artists' Charitable Fund assists American visual fine artists (painters and sculptors) living anywhere in the United States by paying a portion of their medical/dental/eye-care bills. For example, the Fund has purchased a wheelchair, paid for eye surgery, provided funding for an artificial leg, paid partial medical expenses of several artists who have cancer, as well as other needs for medical assistance. You can find out more about the fund as well as donate here.
The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship.
The organization defines eligibility to “Professional” is defined as those visual artists who make their livelihood through sales as reported on a Schedule C with a U.S. Federal tax return. An active exhibition history is also an important part of documenting “professional.” You can find the application here.
Emergency Grants offers immediate assistance to artists that have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding. Artists should be living and working anywhere in the United States, though projects can occur in the U.S. and abroad.
Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Grants range in amount from $500 to $2,500, and the average grant is now $1,600.
These grants do not cover life-related emergencies such as food, rent, medical bills, childcare, and other basic necessities, reimbursement for expenses that you have already incurred, or projects with no scheduled exhibition or performance dates, so look closely at the requirements and limitations.
The Foundation will disburse $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 virus.
Any AGMA member in good standing is entitled and encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the AGMA Relief Fund. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need.
The Haven Foundation provides financial assistance up to $10,000 to artists who have a health crisis; grants are one-year, and the financial amount provided is to the discretion of the Foundation. Grants can be renewed up to four more years, with a supplemental application. Read the guidelines for application here.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation partnered to offer a new medical emergency aid program for artists. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses. There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.
NCAPER is a voluntary task force of national, regional, state, and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations, NCAPER helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses have the capacity and ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.
Sustainable Arts Foundation
Awards supporting artists and writers with families with up to $6,000.
If you are a musician who has lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, this new grant provides monetary support to musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
State Specific Grants
The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus. The application opens Monday, March 16.
The Mayer Foundation grant provides economic relief to New York artists who are distressed or suffering from lack of financial resources 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. The grant also provides healthcare to those who cannot afford it or whose health insurance or financial resources are insufficient to cover their medical needs. The grant is up to $2,500 and is reviewed on a quarterly basis.
The Seattle Artist's Relief Fund is a crowd-sourced financial relief fund that is already distributing financial relief to artists in the Seattle area. The GoFundMe campaign has reached $144,000 in just its first week and has already received 600 applications. This fund is for individual artists only who live in the greater Seattle area, not organizations or nonprofits. Donate if you can and apply if you need assistance.
Max’s Kansas City Project provides emergency funding and resources to professional artists in the creative arts who live in New York state. Grants of up to $1,000 are given to artists that demonstrate a financial need for medical aid, legal aid, or housing.
ArtsGreensboro has launched a relief fund for artists in the Greater Greensboro NC area who have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply or donate to the fund here. One hundred percent of proceeds go directly to benefit local Greensboro artists.
This program provides grants of up to $750 for artists and organizations in Minnesota to do art projects online or in other forms during the current shutdown of arts venues. This grant is for artists and organizations who have had projects cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.
Artists can request up to $300 to compensate for scheduled work that was scheduled and lost. Artists are eligible to apply for loss of income regardless of whether the income was from art or other jobs. Artists must live in the Charlottesville area including the city of Charlottesville or the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, or Nelson.
Grants in Canada
The Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will provide $100,000 in artists fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020 to help ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19.
The National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is allocating $60,000 in support of emerging artists (as 80 grants of $750). These funds will be granted to theatre artists in training, or artists who have completed a theatre training program within the past five years, to present a piece of art online.
The Canadian government is offering a variety of support to artists who are affected by Coronavirus. For Canadian artists abroad there is a travel fund for artists to return to Canada. There are also Emergency Care Benefits for artists unable to earn money due to Coronavirus.
The Flanders Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is working to provide monthly stipends for self employed people who are not able to work during Coronavirus. This monthly benefit is € 1,291.69 without family expenses and € 1,614.10 with family expenses during the months of March and April.
The Kone Foundation is offering an at home artist in residency support program to fund artists over a three month period. Monthly funds range by artist experience, €2,400 (early career), €2,800 (mid-career), and €3,500 (experienced artist).
The Swedish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Association for the Arts have each decided to direct € 200,000 to the new grant form "Culture in the meantime". In the spring, a total of € 400,000 will be distributed for art practitioners and cultural workers who are hit hard financially by the corona crisis.
The Civic Theater has created a fund to provide financial relief to Irish artists experiencing lost income related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.
Grants in the United Kingdom
The Arts Council of England is providing £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis. The council is also making £20 million of financial support available to individuals ( artists, creative practitioners and freelancers), so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months.
Aiming to provide ten £200 hardship funds for any artists, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts.
Grants in Asia
The Hong Kong Arts Development Council is funding 150 million HK Dollars to subsidise arts organisations, groups and practitioners having work from February to April impacted by COVID-19. This funding includes performances, exhibitions, rehearsals, preparation and post-event work.
Resources to Run an Art Career Online
Resources for Staying Connected While Sheltering-in-Place
Resources to Support the Arts
We firmly believe that the arts will continue to strengthen our communities.
Especially in these difficult times, the arts will continue to lift our spirits and bring solidarity and humanity to our struggling communities. If you want to learn more about how to support artists and the arts during the current pandemic, you can read more here.
Additionally, keep in mind that as these emergency grants start to become flooded with applications, don't forget about all the other grants and funding available to artists this year. If you are stuck at home for the time being, take a look at the guide below and make it an activity to apply to a few.
And, if you know of a relief fund, resource or emergency grant that we missed, please send it to us at email@example.com. We will be updating this list as things evolve.