Emergency Grants

Below please find a list of emergency grants for artists and arts organizations impacted by COVID-19. For general funding opportunities, visit the Funding page of our website. To have a grant listed below, reach out to us at [email protected]

Other resource lists and organizations to follow:

The Actors Fund has partnered with other entertainment industry organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to those in immediate financial need. Funds are available to union and non-union workers in entertainment and the performing arts.

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The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need.

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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. This fund does not provide financial assistance due to loss of income.

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The Artists’ Fellowship, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 charitable foundation that financially assists professional visual artists and their families in times of emergency, disability, or bereavement. One does not need to be a member of the Fellowship to receive assistance nor does membership in the Artists’ Fellowship entitle one to assistance from the foundation. At this time, this fund will only provide assistance for those dealing with immediate medical emergencies and their aftermaths.

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Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund which folks can donate directly to in support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19. Creatives practicing and teaching their art as well as the administrators who are supporting that art will without a doubt need our financial support to weather this unexpected and uncertain storm. This is a one-time micro-grant of $200.

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The Blues Foundation established the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund to provide immediate resources to full-time professional North American blues musicians whose revenue streams have been severely diminished by the current coronavirus pandemic. The fund is intended for blues musicians for whom performing makes up the bulk of their income and who have no other outlets for work. Award amounts are intended to assist primarily with immediate essential needs such as food, rent/mortgage, utilities, phone and car payments. Medical insurance premiums will also be considered.

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CERF+’s emergency relief grants provide immediate financial assistance to eligible artists working in craft disciplines (such as woodworkers, fiber artists, metalsmiths, glass artists, potters, and furniture makers) after career threatening emergencies. The $3,000 emergency grants are available to established artists working in craft disciplines including folk and traditional artists.

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The Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund is a coalition of philanthropy, government, and business partners that created a centralized funding pool to rapidly deploy flexible resources to community-based organizations that are disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, the economic consequences of the outbreak, community and organizational recovery, and future community emergencies.

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The City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency in partnership with WEDI invite microenterprises based in the City of Buffalo to apply for funding to assist in the preparation, prevention, and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Application and details available: February 8, 2021
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The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) is pleased to announce the COVID 19 Disaster Relief Grant Program – available to small businesses and not-for-profit corporations – for the purpose of acquiring personal protective equipment or installing fixtures necessary to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis
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Erie County businesses or nonprofits may apply for up to $10,000 in reimbursement funds for PPE expenses, including fixtures & equipment.

Minimum qualifications*

  • For-profit or nonprofit business with 50 or fewer employees
  • Located in Erie County **
  • Applicant must meet one of the following:
    • Located in a Highly Distressed Census Tract, Minority-owned, Women-owned, or Veteran-owned

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On March 20, 2020, the State of New York received a Major Disaster Declaration DR-4480 NY from the then President for the COVID-19 Incident. The incident started on January 20, 2020 and is ongoing. The declaration authorizes public assistance for Category B Emergency Protective Measures related to the COVID-19 response.

To mitigate the pandemic’s impact on nonprofits, New York State is launching a targeted initiative to provide information and training to NON-MEDICAL Private Nonprofits (PNPs) and intermediary organizations applying for FEMA funding to reimburse costs incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PNPs and their umbrella organizations are invited to FEMA overview sessions, hosted by the Division of the Budget (DOB) and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), offering an overview of the FEMA public assistance process as well as a number of COVID-19 disaster specific topics and policies that FEMA has implemented, including new and updated policy and guidance recently released by FEMA. The learning objectives of these sessions are:

  • The documentation required and the process working with DHSES to qualify with FEMA as an eligible applicant
  • The process by which FEMA determines applicant, facility, work, and expenditure eligibility
  • The types of expenditures that non-medical private non-profits would typically incur
  • The variances in eligibility of activities and expenditures driven by policy across three distinct time intervals
  • Activities and expenses that FEMA considers ineligible for reimbursement and other constraints and limitations applicants must be aware of
  • The application process in the FEMA Grants Portal

For more details on the initiative and related resources, please access the Grants Gateway site.

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In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the artist community, Foundation for Contemporary Arts has operated the FCA Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund since March 2020. The COVID-19 Fund will disburse one-time $2,000 grants to eligible artists who have lost income from canceled performances or exhibitions because of the pandemic. The program will remain open through September 2021. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists.

Deadline: Applications accepted through September 2021
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Created in 1993 to further FCA’s mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists who:

  • Have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding
  • Incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates

Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad.

Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis
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The Haven Foundation provides assistance for professional freelance persons connected with the artistic or entertainment industries including, but not limited to authors, actors, singers, dancers, directors, producers, choreographers, musicians, artists and screenwriters selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc. rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer. The Foundation considers the following media categories as part of the entertainment industry: books (including audio books), movies, music, theatre, dance and television.

The qualified person must have experienced a recent, unforeseen emergency or triggering event that has significantly and adversely affected the qualified person’s ability to produce, perform and/or market his/her work and, thus, creates the need for immediate relief funds and/or assistance. The Foundation is not able to assist in situations of financial need that result solely from lack of employment, poor sales and/or poor business practices.

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The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit creators with more than $1 million worth of much-needed aid, fueled by individual contributions.

Applicants must have been a working comic book writer, penciler, inker, colorist, or letterer on a work-for-hire basis for no less than 10 years since January 1, 1934 and must demonstrate to the Hero Disbursement Committee adequate evidence of financial need via verbal and written documentation.

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HNY SHARP Action Grants of up to $20,000 ($1,500 to $10,000) are implementation grants for public-facing humanities projects that encourage audiences to reflect on their values, explore new ideas, and engage with others in their community. These grants aim to actively engage audiences through creative programming formats, including workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, exhibits, podcasts, and interactive digital platforms.

DEADLINES & NOTIFICATIONS
  • Application will open Monday, August 2, 2021.
  • Apply by end of day Friday, October 1, 2021.
  • Decisions will be communicated by Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

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Quick Grants are $500 implementation grants for in-person public humanities projects that encourage audiences to reflect on their values, explore new ideas, and engage with others in their community. Available to organizations whose total yearly operating expenses are $250,000 or less. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and must be submitted at least two months before your event takes place.

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The nonprofit welcomes applications throughout the year to professionals in the creative arts. There are no deadlines. Funding is determined according to the individual’s need and is disbursed in the form of a grant not to exceed $1000. Funding will be based on a sliding scale according to each individual’s specific case. All applications are reviewed and given consideration according to the most critical situations and urgency.

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The Recording Academy and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help their peers in the music community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Additional Relief Resources

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is announcing two programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. These programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, regardless of whether they have received NEA funding in the past. This is a change from previous emergency funding requirements at the NEA and significantly expands access to federal funds for the arts and culture sector. The NEA encourages applications from first-time applicants, and will offer workshops, question-and-answer sessions, and other resources for those new to federal funding.

The NEA received $135 million in the American Rescue Plan Act, representing a strong commitment from President Biden and Congress to the arts, and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy. On April 29th, the NEA announced that it was directing 40 percent of that allocation to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations.

The NEA will award the remaining 60 percent of the funding in competitive grants to support jobs in the arts and culture sector and keep the doors open to nonprofit organizations and local arts agencies nationwide.

Deadline for Arts and Culture Organizations: August 12, 2021
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New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen sharp reduction in rental income.

Watch NYSCA’s information session on this fund by clicking here.

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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a federal program that was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program provides support for Americans who are unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI), such as independent contractors, self-employed, gig workers, and more.

If you qualify for PUA, you may be eligible to receive up to 57 weeks of PUA benefits and an additional $300/week for weeks ending 1/3/2021 to 9/5/2021.

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The Erie County Department of Social Services is pleased to share that the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program will open Tuesday, June 1, 2021. The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will provide income-qualified renters who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 with up to 12 months back rent and up to three months future rent. Utility arrears assistance will also be available in some cases.

The NYS ERAP application portal will open on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 9 AM. The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will also have a call center dedicated to the ERAP program open 7 days a week from 8 AM to 7 PM at 1-844-NY1-RENT or 1-844-691-7368

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The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Applications will re-open Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:00 pm.

Click here to view the SBA’s informational webinar outlining the grant’s eligibility, priority periods, and the process.

Application Portal
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In early April, the Arts Collaboratory began offering cash micro-grants and honorariums to UB and Buffalo artists who continue to create during the crisis. Submissions to its Live Your Art (At Home) program are shared on Instagram and IGTV, while its weekly arts program How Now spotlights artists and musicians from the greater Buffalo area.

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The Small Grant Program is an easy-to-engage-in, competitive grant program. Applicants may apply for a grant award between $500 and $10,000. These grants are generally made for a 12 month period only.

The Small Grant Program supports exploration of strategic partnerships and capacity building requests that lead to greater capacity and improved productivity. Funding is for specific activities or projects designed to strengthen an organization’s governance, leadership, technology, programmatic and administrative capacity.

Deadline: July 30, 2021
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The Capacity Building Grant Program is a highly competitive program. Applicants may apply for a grant award over $10,000; the average grant award range is between $10,000 and $50,000. The Capacity Building Program supports exploration of strategic partnerships and capacity building requests that lead to greater capacity and improved productivity. Funding is for specific activities or projects designed to strengthen an organization’s governance, leadership, technology, programmatic and administrative capacity. Initiatives rank higher if they:

 1.) Assist in making good and positive strides during a critical period of growth.

2.) Strengthen the ability to program and impact more families in the WNY region.

3.) Strengthen the ability to work with a broader range of constituents and allies.

4.) Attract new financial partners, favorably affect earned revenue numbers, or enhance fee-based revenue streams.

5.) Reflect a comprehensive approach or are a key component of your organization’s strategic plan for long term sustainability

6.) Foster collaboration

Deadline: July 30, 2021
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