Coronavirus Relief Funds for Individual Artists/Creatives

For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing a ton of research on art advocacy as part of my participation in NALAC’s Advocacy Leadership Institute and I’ve found a lot of great resources for artists. In particular, our biggest challenge right now is dealing with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and mitigating the impact on already struggling communities. The good news is that philanthropic organizations have stepped up to provide relief funds and assistance to those in need, however it might be difficult to find this information, so I’ve curated a list of relief fund programs for individual artists, and I’ve grouped them thematically.

I’ll continue to add to this page as I find resources, however, I won’t have the bandwidth to remove opportunities as they expire. If you come across an opportunity that’s expired, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post so that I can remove it. I’ll also be updating this Twitter thread, if that’s easier to keep track of for you. THANK YOU AND I HOPE THIS HELPS! đź’•

General Relief Funds for Artists

  • Artist Relief. Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to US-based artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists.
  • Artly World launched the Artist Relief Project supporting artist with $200 grants
  • Forecast has launched a national initiative to support public artists and public art programs during this pandemic.
  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts has a relief fund for artists who incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates
  • The Opportunity Agenda. Creative Change – COVID 19 Emergency Assistance Stipends for Artists & Cultural Strategists provides emergency assistance stipends of $1,000 for US-based artists and cultural strategists pursuing social justice objectives through their work. Members of The Opportunity Agenda’s Creative Change Network as well as others who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply. Stipends may be used exclusively to support recipients facing financial hardship whose work in their respective arts and/or social justice field(s)has been significantly disrupted, reduced, delayed, or lost due to COVID-19. This is a limited time opportunity and stipends must be used by July 31st, 2020.
  • Rauschenberg announced an Medical Emergency grant program for artists.
  • 4Culture will begin accepting applications for the Cultural Relief Fund April 1 through May 15.
  • CERF+ – CERF+ Emergency Assistance – Supporting intensive care, focused on those infected with the COVID-19 that require intensive medical care.

Relief Funds for Female Artists

Relief Funds for BIPOC Artists

  • Arts Administrators of Color Network launched a relief fund to support BIPOC artists and administrators.
  • This is not Coronavirus-specific but Firelight invites filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, with particular interest in those who identify as indigenous and/or of African descent, to apply for the inaugural William Greaves Fund. This is a new dedicated fund to resource 5-7 talented storytellers per year. The size of grants will range up to $25k each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film. The application opens March 12, 2020 with an anticipated announcement and disbursement in July 2020.

Relief Funds for Actors

  • Actors Fund emergency financial assistance program helps eligible applicants in need. It is not income replacement, but limited funds for basic living necessities. The Actors Fund is also administering COVID19 Assistance programs for performing arts and entertainment unions including SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists and Musicians Local 802. Additionally, The Fund is administering the Jujamcyn Theatre Assistance Program
  • Denver Actors Fund launches $35,000 emergency relief fund for theatre artists

Relief Funds for Musicians

  • MusiCares – Short-term financial assistance for musicians’ personal needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Musicians Foundation – Financial assistance to professionals in the music industry.
  • Jazz Road Quick Assist Fund – $1,000 grants available for freelance jazz musicians impacted by COVID-19 to offset lost income due to cancelled events in March, April, and May 2020.

Relief Funds for Visual Artists

  • The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant is for painters, printmakers and sculptors

Relief Funds for Writers

  • PEN America. PEN America is expanding its long-standing Writers’ Emergency Fund as part of our efforts to support the literary community at a time when the health and livelihoods of so many are at risk. PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have developed a new streamlined process for the duration of this crisis, and expect to be able to review and respond to applications within 14 days. To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States, be a professional writer, and be able to demonstrate that this one-time grant will be meaningful in helping them to address an emergency situation. The fund is limited, and not every application can be supported.
  • Dramatists Guild Foundation launches relief fund supporting individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters.
  • Author’s League Fund – Helps professional authors, journalists, poets, and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune.
  • The Arts Writers Grant Program was founded in 2006 to recognize the precarious situation of arts writers, and their indispensable contribution to a vital artistic culture. As the COVID-19 outbreak further threatens the cultural and arts writing landscape, the Arts Writers Grant Program is grateful for the Andy Warhol Foundation’s continued support. The grant supports both emerging and established writers who are writing about contemporary visual art. Ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 in three categories—articles, books, and short-form writing—these grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from short reviews for magazines and newspapers to in-depth scholarly studies.

State or Region-specific Relief Funds for Artists

  • Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. The Baltimore Artist Emergency Relief Fund is a coalition-led initiative designed to provide direct assistance to Baltimore-based artists and creative entrepreneurs who have lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis. The fund offers emergency grants of $500 to Baltimore City creatives who are experiencing financial strife as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Theatre Bay Area has set up the COVID-19 Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund.
  • UNTITLED, ART announces the UNTITLED, ART Emergency Fund, in collaboration with &Art& serving artists in the Bay Area. 
  • Boston launched an artist relief fund.
  • Arts Foundation of Cape Cod: The AFCC’s Cape Cod Arts Relief Fund will provide the first $10,000 to meet what we know is a much greater need. Focused on lost income, the Cape Cod Arts Relief Fund will provide one-time relief in the form of grants up to $500 to artists who live, work, create, and/or perform on Cape Cod. 
  • The Arts Community Alliance (Dallas, TX). The TACA Emergency Arts Relief Fund is a resource dedicated to provide short-term immediate relief to Dallas County nonprofit arts organizations who have experienced lost revenue or increased expenses due to Coronavirus/COVID-19 precautionary measures. Eligible organizations can receive awards of up to $10,000.
  • Denver Actors Fund launches $35,000 emergency relief fund for theatre artists
  • CultureLA established an arts emergency relief fund
  • Houston Arts Alliance. The Artist and Arts Worker Relief Fund will provide Houston area artists and arts workers (arts nonprofit employees, gallerists, etc.) that have lost income and basic life securities as a result of COVID-19 grants up to $1,000 will be available and serve as a bridge to public assistance options. 
  • Max’s Kansas City Project has emergency grants for New Yorkers in the creative arts
  • The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland will offer pro bono consultations to any U.S.-based non-profit arts or culture organization between March and June 2020, as a response to the mounting effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Frederick Arts Council (Maryland) launched a GoFundMe campaign for relief funding.
  • Michigan Music Alliance’s Michigan Artist Relief Fund (in collaboration with Walk the Beat–a music nonprofit regularly raising funds to get musical instruments in kids’ hands)
  • ArtsMemphis has established an Artist Emergency Fund to help self-employed artists of all arts disciplines (visual art, literary arts, film, dance, music, theater) and artists employed/contracted by nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Shelby County recover from lost income due to the cancellation of scheduled gigs or opportunities (such as a commission, performance, contract, etc.), or due to layoff or furlough due to COVID-19 precautionary measures. Artists may request up to $500 to compensate for work that was scheduled or contracted and cancelled or lost.
  • Oolite Arts (Miami, FL) launched a relief fund offering $500 grants for artists that have lost income.
  • NC Artist Fund Relief Fund: a collaboration between Artspace, PineCone, United Arts Council and VAE Raleigh
  • Greater Columbus Arts Council (Columbus, OH) announced a relief grant for artists.
  • Regional Arts & Culture Council (Portland, OR). RACC’s Emergency Fund for Individual Artists supports creative professionals who have experienced a financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is open to artists at all levels of their careers, in a broad variety of disciplines. Applicants will be asked to submit evidence of their artistic practice, household income, and financial loss in the application. RACC will make awards up to $500 in order to support as many individual artists as possible, prioritizing those without access to other COVID-19 relief funds. 
  • New Haven Creates Relief Fund is a partnership between the City of New Haven’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven providing up to $1,000 based on their financial situation, with a priority for low-income individuals and small-budget arts organizations.
  • The Village Arts and Humanities (Philadelphia, PA). The Emergency Gap Fund for Philly’s Black Working Artists is a fund that disburses one-time grants of $500 to help Black working artists residing in Philadelphia stay stable and safe while weathering the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (Pennsylvania) launches a relief fund for artists in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Lawrence, Indiana, Greene, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.
  • Puerto Rico’s “Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña” has put together a resource guide by art discipline.
  • Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund Established for Rhode Island provides grants of up to $1,000 available to artists who have lost income due to the health crisis. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), in cooperation with the Rhode Island Foundation and the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, is launching a fund to help Rhode Island artists who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications can be submitted at any time and awards will be made on a weekly basis until funds are exhausted.
  • Center for Cultural Innovation launched the SF Arts and Artists Relief Fund made possible by the direction of Mayor London Breed, SFAC, and GFTA with the City and County of San Francisco allocating $1.5 million to this grantmaking relief effort.
  • Ijeoma Oluo on behalf of LANGSTON Seattle  has started a GoFundMe campaign to support artists in Seattle affected.
  • Spokane Arts launched a relief fund for individual artists
  • The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 or $1,000 to working artists who live in St. Louis City or St. Louis County whose immediate creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona. The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is providing the Pivot Grant to fund artistic projects or programming which have been adapted to alternative methods of sharing (i.e. virtual, digital, socially distant) in response to the ongoing health crisis. Granted awards will range from $500 – $1,000 for individual artists or $1,000 – $2,500 for non-profit (501c3) arts organizations. Submissions may include new, currently in-progress or on-going projects and programming. The Pivot Grant may be used to cover costs associated with these projects or programs, which can include, but is not limited to, staff wages, artist fees, technology, and material costs.
  • The Worcester Creative Relief Fund will award grants in the amount of $500 to artists who live or work in Worcester and have had their creative practices and incomes adversely impacted by COVID-19. The Fund is designed to support Worcester artists of all types (visual, performing, design, etc.) who have been financially impacted by event/gig cancellations, the inability to exhibit their work/book shows, and/or have lost revenue from their day jobs being eliminated due to COVID-19.

Miscellaneous Resources

A list of other free help or support resources that you can use to get through this.


A majority of this information has been taken from Americans for the Arts but also includes resources from a variety of reputable arts organizations like the California Arts Council.

If you’re an artist or creative worker whose been affected by Coronavirus, consider filling out the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers administered by Americans for the Arts. The survey is designed  is designed to capture financial and creative impact of COVID-19 on creative workers, highlight the resiliency and generosity of the creative sector, and make sure that the 5 million creative workers in the U.S. are supported and heard during this ongoing crisis and the eventual recovery.

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