SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


Emergency Grants & Resources for Artists

Last updated: April 2023

This list has been compiled in an effort to help artists across the nation find emergency funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check the organization's website for further information about eligibility and application details.

National Programs

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant 

  • For qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors who are able to demonstrate a minimum involvement of ten years in a mature phase of his or her work
  • One-time assistance for a specific emergency; while they recognize the economic toll of the COVID-19 crisis, they regrettably are not able to assist with funds to replace lost or interrupted income
  • The maximum amount of this grant is $15,000; an award of $5,000 is typical
  • This program has no deadlines


Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

  • For those who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and arts administrators
  • A one-time micro-grant of $200


Artists Fellowship Emergency Aid

  • For professional fine artists and their families dealing with immediate medical emergencies and their aftermaths
  • Year-round opportunity, except in the months of July and August
  • Best time to apply in at the beginning of the month


Artist Relief Project

  • For any artist in any discipline who has been impacted by COVID-19-related cancellations and closures
  • Stipends and support were given on a first-come, first-serve basis with a one-time emergency stipend of $200 and free resources and support to pursue alternative economic opportunities
  • Alternative needs-based opportunity was also available
  • Sign up for their newsletter to stay informed on future opportunities


COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resource

  • For freelance artists looking for funding opportunities, wellness support, job opportunities, or information on how to take action to advocate for the arts


Crews Nation Global Relief Fund for Live Music Crews

  • For live music crews who have been directly impacted as shows are put on pause due to COVID-19
  • Accepting applications in phases based on when shows were originally scheduled to play


Freelancers Relief Fund

  • For freelancers who primarily reside in the United States and experiencing a sudden decrease of at least 50% of income as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Assistance of up to $1,000 per household 
  • Applications may be temporarily closed, check the website for updates


Foundation of Contemporary Arts, Artist Relief Fund

  • 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 or incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates
  • Grants range in amount from $500 to $3,000, and the average grant is now $1,700
  • Deadline is ongoing


The Haven Foundation

  • For freelance professional artists who 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
  • All work must be done in the United States


The Jazz Foundation's Musicians' Emergency Fund

  • For musicians who have made a living playing blues, jazz, and roots music
  • Support programs include housing and emergency assistance, pro-bono medical, disaster relief, and COVID-19 emergency funding


PEN America, Writers' Emergency Fund

  • For professional writers
  • Grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need


Relief Fund for Muslim Artists and Activists

  • The application window is temporarily closed, please check their website for updates


Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

  • For musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus
  • A donor-directed fund


Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund

  • For queer writers of color only
  • Grants of $100 to $500 based on need
  • Applications have been paused, please check the website for updates

Programs for Northeastern States

Cambridge Artist Relief Fund

  • For arts organizations and artists who live, work, create, and/or perform in Cambridge
  • This fund has been closed, check the website for other local resources


Erie Arts & Culture's Emergency Financial Assistance Fund

  • For creative or cultural professionals in the Erie region
  • Apply for grants of up to $500


Greater Pittsburgh Emergency Fund for Artists

  • For artists and creative workers living in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Lawrence, Indiana, Greene, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties
  • Check the website for guidelines and additional opportunities


Theatre Community Benevolent Fund

  • For active individual theater practitioners and all operational non-profit organizations of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas
  • Grants between $500 and $2,500
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis


New York, Max's Kansas City Project

  • For professionals in the creative arts living in New York or who have been affiliated with Max's Kansas City
  • Funding is determined according to the individual’s need and is disbursed in the form of a grant not to exceed $1000
  • Deadline not specified


NYC Indie Theater Fund

  • For individuals working in NYC independent theater (Off-Off-Broadway in theater houses of 99 seats or less), operating with budgets under $250,000
  • Grants will be awarded on an ongoing basis until funds run out


Vermont Rapid Response Artist Relief

  • For artists who have lost income due to the loss of a job or cancellation of a specific, scheduled gig or opportunity (e.g., commissions, performances, contracts, workshops, classes, etc.) because of COVID-19
  • Applications are now closed
  • Visit the website to learn more about other opportunities

Programs for Central States

Chicago Dancers' Fund

  • For dance professionals based in Chicago
  • May provide up to $4,000 annually to a dance professional facing a critical health need
  • Applications accepted year-round


Chippewa Valley Artist Relief Fund

  • For artists/creatives, living in the Chippewa Valley, in need of support due to event/gig cancellations, the inability to sell your work/book shows, and/or lost revenue from your day job being eliminated from the coronavirus outbreak
  • Individual distributions are capped at $500
  • Applications are reviewed weekly


Greater Columbus COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants for Artists

  • For professional, working artists (age 18 and older) who live in Franklin County
  • Grants of up to $1,000, with priority being given to those with the direst needs of shelter, food and other essentials
  • Applications are reviewed weekly


Season of Concern Chicago

  • Applicants must be active members of the Chicago Theater Community, having worked vocationally or without salary in the Chicago Theater Community at least once within the period extending from the time of application to one year prior to the diagnosis or injury
  • Deadline not specified

Programs for Southern States

Atlanta Artist Relief Fund

  • For artists in need of wellness support 


Charlottesville Emergency Relief Fund for Artists

  • For artists living in the Charlottesville area including the city of Charlottesville or the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, or Nelson
  • Funds have been exhausted, but applications are still open


Durham Artist Relief Fund

  • For artists and arts presenters in Durham, NC who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19
  • Priority given to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists
  • Grants will be disbursed once per month depending on available funds



  • For visual artists located in North Texas
  • Deadline not specified


Houston Arts Alliance

  • For artists and arts organizations headquartered within Houston city limits
  • Visit the website for information about deadlines and programs


New Orleans Business Alliance Relief Fund for Gig Workers

  • For gig economy workers who have been directly impacted via loss of income
  • Awards of $500 - $1,000 dependent on a determination of need
  • The application window is temporarily suspended, visit the website to learn more


Red Dirt Relief Fund

  • For individuals currently residing in Oklahoma and has been working in the music industry for at least 5 years
  • Each recipient is eligible for up to $3,000 annually, or $10,000 maximum in a lifetime, depending on circumstances
  • Deadline not specified


United Way of Greater Houston

  • For artists based in the Greater Houston area
  • Call 2-1-1 to get a personalized list of help available for you. No obligations or sign-up is required. You can also access their resources online by clicking the link above.

Programs for Western States

4 Culture Cultural Relief Fund

  • For artists and arts groups in King County, Washington
  • Visit the website for information on opportunities and deadlines


COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund

  • For individual artists of all disciplines residing in Washington State
  • Grants range from $500-$5,000 based on artists’ needs
  • Account required


Laguna Beach Artists’ Benevolence Fund

  • For working artists living in Laguna Beach, CA
  • Deadline not specified


The Martha Kate Thomas Fund for Artists

  • For artists located in Boulder County, CO
  • Grants of up to $3,000 on a rolling basis
  • Visit the website for application details

How to File For Unemployment 

We're facing the harsh reality that many in the cultural sector have lost their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19. Along with applying for grant funding opportunities, make sure you also apply for unemployment if you've recently lost your job and are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Learn more

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