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Need Help? Emergency Grants Available for the Arts Community

All around the world artists and arts organizations have suddenly found themselves facing unprecedented circumstances. All large gatherings and live performances have been put on pause for the foreseeable future as we attempt to end this pandemic. This global health emergency has left many artists without a source of income, and unsure of when the strict social distancing and self-isolation rules will be lifted to allow for performances and gatherings to resume.

Thankfully, there are organizations that are providing grants to artists to aid financially during this time.

See below for a list of resources for the arts community.

Dramatists Guild Emergency Grant


DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

DGF Emergency Grants regularly support costs associated with healthcare, childcare, housing, disability, natural disaster relief, and other unforeseen circumstances. DGF does not support requests related to production expenses or taxes, nor requests from individuals not actively seeking employment if they are able to work. Requests typically range between $500-$3,000. Please be advised that DGF does not support all requests.

Applicants will be notified within two to four weeks of submitting all required materials. DGF Emergency Grants are typically one-time only gifts.


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program


If you are a bartender, bar back, bar server, or are otherwise engaged in the service or preparation of alcoholic beverages, you are eligible to receive this grant.

Grants will be made in the form of lump sum distributions to the recipient, or as determined by the USBG National Charity Foundation's Board of Directors based on the needs of the particular recipient. Each grant recipient will be required to provide USBG National Charity Foundation with documentation that the grant was used in a manner consistent with the terms of the grant. Although the extent and form of documentation required in connection with a particular distribution will depend on the nature and urgency of the underlying catastrophic event or emergency hardship, preferred documentation will include evidence produced by third parties and used for other purposes, such as police reports, fire department reports, medical prescriptions, receipts, eviction notices, condemnation notices, overdue invoices, other third party affirmations and other similar tangible documentation.


Dance NYC COVID-19 Dance Relief Fund

New York City Metro Area

Freelance dance workers are eligible to apply for monthly awards of $500 with a maximum of $1,500 across the grant period, from March 2020 to May 2020. Applicants must submit an application for each month. Applications for April funds will open on Friday, April 10, 2020. Applications for May funds will open on Friday, May 8, 2020. Applicants may submit applications for any month throughout the grant period and will be able to carry over information from one application to the next, as needed.

Due to overwhelming demand, Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund applications for March support to Freelance Dance Workers closed on March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. EST. The application will reopen on April 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. for freelance dance workers seeking funding for the month of April. Applicants who have begun an application for March support but have not completed it may do so by Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 11:00 p.m. EST.


Indie Theater Fund Rapid Relief GRANTS Due to Covid19

New York City

The Indie Theater Fund is launching this fundraising campaign to provide direct support and emergency relief to independent theaters and artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rapid relief grants of up to $500 will be awarded to support our 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. We will award grants on an on-going basis until our funds run out. Grants can be requested via a simple online application (LINK HERE: and will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis. We will do our best to turn these around quickly. Grantees will be asked to give a short report about the use of funds.


Rauschenberg Foundation Emergency Medical Aid


New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is partnering with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer a new emergency grant program called Rauschenberg Emergency Grants. This marks the first phase of a program that will be in the tradition of Change, Inc., a non-profit foundation established in 1970 by Robert Rauschenberg to assist professional artists of all disciplines in need of emergency medical aid.
The program will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories. If you aren't sure if your artistic discipline fits within these guidelines, please contact the grants administrator.

There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.

Please note: there is a set amount of funding allocated for these grants each year; once this amount has been awarded they cannot accept additional applications until more funds are made available. Their website will indicate when all funds have been granted.


Artist Relief Project


Any artist in any discipline who has been impacted by COVID19-related cancellations and closures may apply for assistance. Stipends and support will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the only limitation being how much money we are able to raise. The only requirements are (1) you demonstrate you're an artist by sharing your resume and website, where applicable, and (2) you share this fundraiser with your own networks and provide a screenshot of that activity.

The application asks some basic questions, such as how you've been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and for some basic documentation, such as a resume and/ or website to demonstrate your status as a working artist, musician, or performer. Additionally, we ask that you help spread word about this initiative by sharing the fundraiser (along with a heartfelt message about why it's important to you) with your networks and uploading a screenshot of that activity.


Idea Awards COVID-19 Response Grant Lottery


You are eligible to enter the lottery for a grant of $2500 from the Bret Adams & Paul Reisch Foundation if you are:

1) A playwright, composer, lyricist, or librettist
2) Have had a full professional production (defined for these purposes as a LORT, Off-Broadway, or Broadway full production, not a reading or workshop) of which you are a writer that was cancelled, closed, or indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 closures.

They will be keeping the form open until April 14th, and after that date we will be doing a random selection, to make sure the process is totally impartial. Each artist may only submit ONE time, even if you have had more than one production cancelled. If you submit more than once, your entries will be removed.


NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund

New York City

Shawn Escarciga and Nadia Tykulsker, two artists/administrators/advocates in NYC are raising money to support other artists and freelancers who are taking financial hits as a result of closures and lost income from Covid-19. Their intention is to collectively raise funds to provide emergency and preventative resources to those at financial risk as our government is doing little to protect our well-being. They seek to provide support for low-income, BIPOC, trans/GNC/NB/Queer artists and freelancers whose livelihoods are being effected by this pandemic in NYC. Whether it's from cancelled gigs, lost jobs, or a lack of business due to coronavirus scares, we hope to orchestrate an egalitarian approach to crowdsourcing.

Funds from this campaign will go into their fiscal sponsor's bank account, and as results from the survey come in, they will send the funds to the individual artist requesting them (the beneficiary). Shawn and Nadia are working with other organizations and artists to ensure that funds are dispersed ethically and are accounted for directly. Funds will go directly to the artists to counter any lost income incurred as a result of cancelled jobs, gigs, and illnesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the city.


Recording Academy and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

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

Music industry professionals may apply for basic living assistance (rent or mortgage). Initial grant requests can be made up to $1000 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost. Should we receive additional funding, we will evaluate the grant amounts available. All items below must be included in your request:

A completed MusiCares application
Proof of cancellations and bookings
A biography, resume, or discography


Anonymous Was A Woman Emergency Relief Grant

Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) has introduced an emergency relief grant program to support artists impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The program will distribute $250,000 in grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to artists who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. As with AWAW's annual award, the program is open to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 in the United States and territories, and aims to address the unique challenges faced by artists in middle age or older, particularly at this critical time.

Anonymous Was A Woman has partnered with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) to administer the grant. Like AWAW's annual award, the emergency relief grant has no strings attached, and the recipient may use the funds however they see fit. While the annual AWAW award is nomination-only and chosen by a panel in recognition of artistic accomplishments and potential, artists may apply directly for the emergency relief grant, which is awarded based solely on documented loss. The application is open from April 6 through April 8, with funds awarded to eligible applicants in the order in which applications are received. The application and detailed information on the Anonymous Was A Woman Emergency Relief Grant can be found on NYFA's website.


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