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.
  • Chicago Creative Worker Assistance Program: Through this program, the City of Chicago will provide 450 to 500 relief grants to low and moderate income artists and creative workers who are residents of Chicago and have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible applicants include freelance artists, arts administrators, teaching artists, artisans, curators, independent cultural producers, and creative industry technicians such as stage managers, theater and music technicians, art handlers, preparators, cinematographers, and film lighting technicians/gaffers. Grants will range from $2,000 - $5,000.

  • 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.
  • Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists: minimum of $30,000 grants to individual artists who have developed a sustained and intentional practice of working through dance and movement-based modalities to address social change.

  • 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: