Emergency Resources

  • 10 Creative Ways Musicians Can Earn Money from Home During COVID-19: tips compiled by Guitar Junky (August 2020).
  • Actors Fund: national human services organization (with a Chicago office) that provides emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care, secondary career development. These services are designed for performing arts and entertainment professionals.
  • Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant: intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. 
  • AGMA Relief Fund: The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund provides support and temporary financial assistance to members who are in need. 
  • Alliance of Artists Communities: offers a list of emergency relief programs.
  • Americans for the Arts (AFTA): is regularly updating this page about national news and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Artist Relief: a coalition of national arts grantmakers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Artists' Fellowship, Inc.: provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship.
  • ARTSEARCH: powered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), ARTSEARCH is a free online platform for job seekers and job postings. 
  • Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund: this fund supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially strained due to COVID-19. 
  • Blues Foundation: special fund provides immediate resources to full-time blues musicians whose revenue streams have been severely diminished by the current coronavirus pandemic. 
  • CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund): provides rapid relief and career recovery loans through their own grants (for artists working in craft disciplines) as well as a list of emergency resources for artists in other disciplines.
  • Chicago Artist Relief Fund: This fund was created by Chicago-area artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They allocate microgrants of up to $300 each in order to support their colleagues in the greater Chicago arts community who are experiencing financial repercussions due to pandemic-related cancellations.
  • CIVL SAVE Emergency Relief Fund: the CIVL SAVE Emergency Relief Fund provides emergency grants to Chicago performance venue staff.
  • Common Field COVID-19 Resources: an open-source list designed for the artist organization field.
  • COVID-19 Arts Preparedness & Response Resource List: compilation of links and articles from the Alliance of Artists Communities.
  • COVID-19 Resource Center for Nonprofits: a compilation of information and links from the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog.
  • Creative Capital: offers a list of resources for artists and arts organizations affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants: in addition to a year-round Emergency Grant program for visual or performing artists, FCA announced a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Freelance Artist Resources: an aggregated list of free resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.
  • Illinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants: offering $2,500 grants for general operating support for Illinois-based humanities and cultural non-profits with annual budgets of $300,000 or less.
  • Jazz Foundation of America: a musician's emergency fund provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, disaster relief, and direct financial support in times of crisis.
  • Musicians Foundation: provides one-time assistance to professional musicians in the US for periods of acute need (e.g. medical crisis, crime victimization, catastrophic events, etc.)
  • National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER): a voluntary task force of national, regional, state, and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations, NCAPER helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses have the capacity and ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.
  • New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA): offers a list of emergency relief resources.  
  • Pandemic of Love: a national, mutual aid organization that connects people in need with people who can offer wide-ranging support. There are Illinois chapters in Chicago and Lisle. Artists in need can fill out the "Get Help" form and those looking to support can click on "Give Help."
  • Season of Concern: Chicagoland theater community’s fundraising effort in providing compassionate care to those in our community who are experiencing the effects of incapacitating illness, injury, or circumstance. 
  • Statera: offers an Emergency Response Directory for artists during COVID-19 that covers topics such as advocacy, social justice action, travel/visa information, funding, best practices for online teaching/learning/gathering, etc.
  • Sustain Chicago Music: this nonprofit is raising funds to provide $1,000 emergency grants to Chicago musicians. Donors of at least $40 may also nominate a specific artist.
  • Sweet Relief: created a donor-directed fund with a limited amount of support to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus.
  • The Dancers Fund: provides financial assistance to dance professionals dealing with critical health issues creating a significant financial, emergency, or catastrophic hardship. 
  • Threewalls Response + Relief Fund: $500 grants to support Chicago arts workers. The first round (opening 2/19/21) will prioritize recently laid off or furloughed arts administrators and curators. 
  • Unlimited: links to disabled artists and freelancers during the pandemic.
  • WomenArts: offers a list of emergency funding for artists working in all art forms.

Funding Search Engines & More

Local Grant Opportunities

National Grant Opportunities

  • A Blade of Grass: an annual fellowship that includes project support for artists who are working in leadership roles and in partnership with communities to enact social change.
  • Aaron Copland Fund for Music: three grant programs in support of contemporary American music, including for recording, performing ensembles, and more.
  • Aaron Siskind Foundation: individual photographer's fellowships to support and encourage contemporary artists working in the photographic field.
  • Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation: individual support grants to painters, sculptors, and printmakers who have been creating mature work for at least 20 years. They also provide Emergency Grants for mature artists (see below).
  • Alexia Foundation: production grants to students and professional photographers.
  • Artadia: grants on a rotating basis to visual artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Barbara Deming Memorial Inc. Fund: provides grants to individual feminists in the arts (writers and visual artists).
  • Bennett Prize: award for women painters who paint in the figurative realist style and have not yet reached full professional recognition.
  • Bloom Fund: provides unrestricted $1,200 grants in visual arts, literature, small business, non-profit, research, and education for individuals who identify as black, indigenous, and/or person of color. 
  • Creative Capital: project grants for artists and arts writers in various disciplines on a rotating basis.
  • Harpo Foundation: grants for visual artists; new work project grants for organizations; Native American fellowships; and Emerging Artist Residency Fellowships.
  • Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists: this new annual $10,000 grant, awarded to draw attention to an existing body of work, sheds light on the under-recognized contributions of Black trans women visual artists and provides critical support for their continuing work.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: annual fellowships are for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.
  • Lewis Prize for Music: annual award to leaders in diverse and vibrant communities who create positive change by investing in young people through music.
  • MAP Fund: supports performance projects by artists that question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the American landscape.
  • Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: supports performances by American artists at important cultural festivals and arts marketplaces around the globe.
  • National Dance Project Production Grant: offered by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), these production grants provide funds for the creation and U.S. touring of new dance works.
  • National Theater Project Grants: New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) offers four different project grants to theater artists.
  • New Music USA: supports individuals and organizations with project-support grants, which cover "any kind of activity that involves new music getting out into the world through a live performance or recording."
  • Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc.: grants for artistic merit and financial need to visual artists who are painters, sculptors or artists who work on paper, including printmakers.
  • Princess Grace Awards: grants for emerging theater, dance, and film artists who are at the outset of their careers or at early stages of professional development.
  • Puffin Foundation: grants to artists working in a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on supporting art that educates the public on topical issues.
  • Relentless Award: annual cash prize awarded to a playwright in recognition of a new play.
  • Sustainable Arts Foundation: grants to individual artists and writers with children.
  • Vilcek Foundation: awards to immigrant artists in theater.

Crowdfunding

There are multiple opportunities available to artists who seek to fund projects through crowd-sourcing initiatives. See the following for a selection of resources.

Tips from 3AP Artists on Crowdfunding
[DOWNLOAD PDF]

Fiscal Sponsorship

Some resources about fiscal sponsorship:

A selection of fiscal sponsorship programs: