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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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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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 New Music Solidarity Fund is designed to help new/creative/improvised music freelancers whose livelihood has been threatened as a result of performances which have been canceled during the COVID-19 crisis. The Fund was started by a group of musicians in the new music community who have raised over $130,000 in a week, primarily from fellow musicians, composers, and music professionals. At present, at least two hundred and sixty, $500 emergency assistance grants will be made available to applicants who meet the designated criteria.

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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 3/14/2021.

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PEN America is an organization of writers and their allies, and that solidarity is never more important than during a global crisis such as we face in the coronavirus pandemic.  PEN America will distribute grants from its long-standing Writers’ Emergency Fund 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. Grants will be awarded until fund has been exhausted.

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This fund is for queer writers of color only (not organizations or nonprofits) who are in need of financial assistance right now.

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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 open Thursday, April 8, 2021.

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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