Artists Can Get Grants for Lost Income During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many artists have lost most or even all of their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you were a performance artist, painter, sculptor, art teacher, musician or any other type of artist, you may have seen your income dry up in a matter of weeks. As an independent or freelance worker, you may not have qualified for the unemployment compensation provided by states and the federal government. Fortunately, you may be able to make up for some of your lost income from the past few months and the uncertain future by applying for one or more of these grants for artists who have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Documentary COVID-19 Artist Emergency Fund

The American Documentary COVID-19 Artist Emergency Fund provides up to $500 for documentary production artists whose income has been obliterated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants can submit their information online. If you have already applied, you should hear back from the American Documentary organization no later than July 26. This grant is for independent documentary makers whose previous projects were halted or canceled. It is a rapid response grant and pilot program of their mental health fund.

Rapid Response: Racism is a Virus Too

The Rapid Response: Racism is a Virus Too grant is for community-based organizations. Its focus is on community organizations that mainly work with Asian Americans. Because COVID-19 originated in China, Asian Americans have experienced an undue amount of hate crimes and other acts of racism. This grant is available through the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. The goals of the grant are to support organizations lead by people of color, support community-school partnerships, give youth a voice, build movements and networks, strengthen state and national coalitions and champion student-centered learning. You must be on the administration of a community-based organization in order to apply for this grant. The awards vary.

Disabled Creator and Activist Pandemic Relief

The Disabled Creator and Activist Pandemic Relief is a grant that is just getting started. If you are a disabled artist or activist, you may have lost access to the resources that usually help you get by. This grant aims to give aid to disabled artists and activist who have lost most or all of their income during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will need to explain what your disability is and show how much your income has dropped as a part of your grant application.

Foundation of Contemporary Arts Artist Relief Fund

Artists who have had a show, festival or performance canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should apply for the Foundation of Contemporary Arts Artist Relief Fund. This grant provides artists with a variable amount of grant money to supplement their lost income. Some of the types of artists who may qualify for this Foundation of Contemporary Arts Artist Relief Fund include choreographers, playwrights, composers, dancers, actors and directors. You need to demonstrate how much income you lost because of canceled performances.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

If you are a musician who has lost at least 50% of your income due to COVID-19 cancellations, you are eligible to apply for a grant through the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. In order to receive a grant, you will need to show that you make your income through performing music. You will also need to show that you have lost at least 50% of your income in March through July as a result of cancelled shows and events. If you have events cancelled in upcoming months, submit that information as well in order to increase the amount of the grant you receive.

Craft Emergency Relief Fund

Craft artists can get emergency relief through the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. You must have proof that you are a craft artist and have earned your income this way for the past three years in order to be eligible for this grant. The organization's definition of craft making includes folk and traditional artists who work in the media of clay, glass, textiles, fiber, synthetic materials, wood and metal. You must be able to demonstrate an emergency, such as a triggering event that has affected your ability to produce and sell your art. An example is if you, your child or your spouse got COVID-19 and you had to isolate and cancel shows or festivals. You must reside in the United States.

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