COVID-19 emergency grants for artists

Linda Armstrong | 7/9/2020, midnight
The arts community has suffered greatly during this pandemic. Since mid-March, all types of live performances have ceased.
Empty theater Image by Andreas Glöckner from Pixabay

The arts community has suffered greatly during this pandemic. Since mid-March, all types of live performances have ceased. I have always said that the arts community is a blessing and a very important part of our lives. It is one that inspires us, enlightens us, brings us pure joy and teaches us about ourselves. I am glad to share that the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), an independent 501c charity established in 1971 funded through government, foundation, corporate and individual support, has compiled a list of artists’ relief funds that provide emergency grants in the United States due to the COVID-19 emergency.

The following are a listing of general grants and some New York specific ones that are available, with the specific requirements for those who apply. The COVID-19 Emergency Grant will distribute $4 million dollars. For a complete listing, visit www.nyfa.org.

Artist Rescue Trust (A.R.T.)—Artist Rescue Trust exists to provide support to musicians and artists whose ability to perform, tour and earn a living has been negatively affected by COVID-19. A.R.T. will provide $1,500 over three months to artists in need and amplify the stories, performances and creations they had hoped to share with the world before the pandemic limited their ability to do so.

Artist Community Relief Fund (Lower East Side and Chinatown, NYC)—The Artist Community Relief Fund supports artists and arts workers in the Lower East Side and Chinatown community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides unrestricted $250 emergency grants. (Seeking additional funds to support another round of awards.)

Artist Relief—Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to 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.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund—The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

Behind the Scenes Grant—Behind the Scenes will accept applications from anyone who has been hospitalized with COVID-19 and is in financial need. You may be eligible for a grant if you currently reside in the United States or Canada and have earned your living for at least five years in the entertainment technology industry. This means that your major source of income is from your work in this industry, which includes being directly involved with production: behind the scenes in any type of performance venue, or behind the camera, or on the road. It also includes working companies who are directly involved in supplying entertainment technology products and services such as dealers, manufacturers, production companies, consultants, and design firms. Performing artists are not eligible.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources—An aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Immigrants—A comprehensive spreadsheet organized by the Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation rounding up resources, from financial assistance to legal help, that cater to the undocumented immigrant community. Also available in Spanish.

Dancers Above Water Relief Fund (New York City Metropolitan Area)—The Dancers Above Water Relief Fund may provide financial support of $500 to a dance professional in need and/or goods & services contributed and available.

Indie Theater Fund Rapid Relief Grants due to COVID-19 (New York City)—Rapid relief grants of up to $500 will be awarded to support the theater community, prioritizing the consortium of companies, venues, and individuals working in NYC independent theater (Off-Off-Broadway in theater houses of 99 seats or less), operating with budgets under $250,000.

Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund—This fund is to help queer writers of color who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Priority will be given to queer trans women of color and queer disabled writers of color.

I truly hope that this list of grants will assist artists in making ends meet, along with hopefully being able to receive unemployment. These are just such trying and troubling times for so many people. To contact the NYFA to find out about donating, if you are able you can either go to the website www.nyfa.org or call 212-366-6900.