Where to Find Financial Help for Artists During COVID-19

As the Los Angeles arts community assesses how to move forward from the COVID-19 crisis, many local artists, filmmakers and musicians continue to need financial help. Organizations offering emergency grants have been overwhelmed with requests for assistance, and some have already closed to new applicants. We’ve compiled a list of funds that are still working to help artists. If you know of additional financial resources for artists in Southern California, please leave a comment.

Tools of an Artist | MTSOfan/Flickr
Tools of an Artist | MTSOfan/Flickr

Grants for Artists

#Above4 Fund – TILA Studios offers a monthly fund to support Black women artists experiencing a loss of income under COVID-19.

Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant – The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers and sculptors with 10+ years of career experience.

Artist Relief Emergency Grants – This coalition of national arts grantmakers distributes $5,000 grants to practicing artists facing dire financial emergencies under COVID-19.

Artist Relief Project – The Artist Relief Project provides COVID-19 emergency relief in the form of $200 emergency cash stipends for any adult individual pursuing the arts (any discipline, any level of experience) as a career if their income has been impacted by COVID19-related event cancellations and venue closures.

Artists’ Benevolence Fund – This fund offers assistance to artists living in Laguna Beach who have suffered a catastrophic event, leaving them unable to work.

Artists’ Fellowship – The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid for professional visual artists and their families.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund – Arts Administrators of Color supports Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) artists and arts administrators through $200 micro-grants.

Craft Emergency Relief Fund – CERF+ supports artists working in craft disciplines who have incurred significant medical expenses related to treatment and recovery from COVID-19. 

Craft Futures Fund – Center for Craft offers one-time grants to support crafters responding to COVID-19. They accept 250 applicants per month through a lottery.

COVID-19 Arts Emergency Fund – This grant opportunity from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs will help residents recoup lost funds from canceled events.

Disabled Creatives and Activists Relief Fund – The Crip Camp partnered with Color of Change to establish this emergency relief fund for disabled creatives and activists impacted by COVID-19. Initial applications closed June 8, but the group is continuing to fundraise to be able to give more awards to artists.

Emergency Financial Assistance for Entertainment and Performing Arts Workers – The Actors Fund is collaborating with other entertainment industry organizations to provide emergency assistance to people in immediate financial need.

FCA Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund – The Foundation for Contemporary Arts launched this temporary fund to provide relief for contemporary experimental artists experiencing loss of income under COVID-19.

Helping Comic Creators in Need – The Hero Initiative provides grants to comic book writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists and letterers with 10+ years of experience.

LA Art Workers Relief Fund – This fund distributes $1,000 grants to arts workers in Los Angeles County. A second round of grants opens July 2020. 

OCTG Theatre Artists Relief Fund – The Orange County Theatre Guild assists individual theater artists who live in the Greater Orange County Area who have lost income under COVID-19.

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants – New York Foundation for the Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation provide one-time grants to visual and media artists and choreographers. 

TILA Studios has a recurring monthly fund beginning at $1,000 to support Black women artists nationwide until August 2020.

Grants for Actors and Filmmakers

Actors Fund - offers emergency financial assistance to those with immediate financial needs

Basic Needs Grant - Behind the Scenes offers financial assistance to people who have worked for 5+ years in the entertainment technology industry and for their immediate families.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund - The Motion Picture and Television Fund connects people in the entertainment industry with temporary financial assistance. 

COVID-19 Emergency Grants - The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation helps people who work in theatrical distribution, exhibition, or for vendors in that sector. 

COVID-19 Relief Fund - SAG-AFTRA is offering assistance to members who are unable to pay their basic living expenses.

Documentary Freelancer Relief Fund - Field of Vision and Topic Studios distribute grants of up to $2,000 to support freelancers working in the documentary field.

Grants for Musicians

California Jazz Foundation Financial Assistance – This nonprofit helps California jazz artists with financial assistance and emergency medical referrals.

COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund – The Jazz Foundation of America gives jazz and blues musicians direct financial support.

COVID-19/Tornado Relief Grant – Music Health Alliance offers emergency assistance to music professionals who are unable to pay their living expenses.

EMA Relief Fund – Early Music America provides mini-grants to performers of historical music.

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund – Equal Sound supports musicians who have lost income due to canceled gigs.

HART Fund – The Blues Foundation offers financial help to Blues musicians and their families.

Music Fund of Los Angeles Emergency Relief Fund – This fund benefits AFM Local 47 members who have lost income due to coronavirus-related cancellations.

MusiCares Foundation - offers financial and addiction assistance

Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund for Musicians and Music Industry Workers – Sweet Relief provides immediate assistance to musicians and music-industry workers affected by COVID-19.

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Grants for Writers and Authors

California Cares Relief and Recovery Grants – California Humanities distributes funds to people who work in the public humanities experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19. 

Carnegie Fund for Authors – The Carnegie Fund provides grants to published American authors who demonstrate need.

COVID-19 Relief Grants for Cultural Critics from Underrepresented Communities – Critical Minded offers $500 grants to critics of color and critics from underrepresented communities experiencing hardship.

Dramatists Guild Foundation Emergency Grants – Dramatists Guild Foundation assists individual playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists in dire need.

Journalism Relief Fund – The International Women’s Media Foundation’s relief fund is open to women-identifying journalists who urgently need assistance.

Maurice Sendak Emergency Relief Fund – The Maurice Sendak Foundation provides grants to children’s picture book artists and writers who have lost income as a direct result of COVID-19.

Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund – This fund offers financial assistance to individual queer writers of color.

Writers Emergency Assistance Fund – The American Society of Journalists and Authors offers funds to freelance writers who cannot work because they are ill or caring for someone who is ill.

Additional Resources

Coronavirus Resource and Response Center – Americans for the Arts created this resource center to offer guidance to individual artists and arts organizations on everything from accessing federal relief to preparing for reopening.

COVID-19 News & Resources – The California Arts Council’s resource page links to online tools and webinars about reopening, recover, event-planning and more.

COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Art Organizations – The National Endowment for the Arts links to COVID-19 news and resources, including a webinar about how to ensure that your virtual events are accessible.

COVID-19 Resources for Artists of Color – Fractured Atlas compiled this list of resources specifically for artists of color, many of whom have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 Resources for Teaching Artists – This guide from the Teaching Artists Guild includes online learning activities, mental health resources, webinars and podcasts.

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Californians – California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance connects undocumented people with state and local assistance programs.

Find Help – Enter your zip code to find local nonprofit organizations and community groups that offer food assistance, financial help and other social services.

Museum Workers Relief Fund – Museum Workers Speak, a collective of activist museum workers, established the fund to give $500 grants thorough a lottery system for 100 applicants who are museum workers in the U.S. who have been laid off, furloughed, or severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources for Artists and Organizations  – The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture regularly updates this list of resources available through local, state, and federal agencies; arts service organizations; and philanthropic foundations. 

This post was last updated June 26, 2020.


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