Help Available to Artists During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 4, 2020 | News

For many of us, metal clay is not just an artistic pursuit, it’s a business, and the current COVID-19 pandemic is causing real financial hardship. Thankfully, there IS help available specifically for artists and small businesses.

There are many foundations and organizations which are offering special pandemic relief programs for artists, from information to resources to financial assistance. We’ve researched and listed a number for you below. As we know many of our artists are involved in multiple art forms, we’ve also included resources which aren’t directly related to metal clay. Please note that funding organizations are getting thousands of requests, and their ability to respond frequently changes.

Tips for Successfully Applying

  • Be sure to read all the requirements for the application. If you don’t truly fall within their eligibility requirements, don’t waste your time there – find others you qualify for and focus your time and efforts where you will have much better chances of success.
  • After you’ve identified programs you are eligible for, prioritize them and note any open or close dates. Some have very short windows of time, such as the Women Artists Over 40 which opens on April 6 and closes on April 8.
  • Assemble all the required documents prior to starting the application, as it will make the application process much easier.
  • Some programs require proof of loss of income which could include cancelled contracts, cancelled commissions, and email discussions. Showing your schedule of classes with average monthly income can prove your income loss due to forced closure.
  • Some organizations require proof of work for 3 to 5 years; this can include proof of entering artist shows, solo or group exhibitions, and events. If you’ve won certificates of merit or a prize in an AMCAW challenge, or your work has been included in our calendar or other printed material, don’t forget to include it; it not only shows you’ve been active as an artist but speaks to the quality of your work.
  • Spiff up your website to show your best work, and if you don’t have a page listing your awards, exhibitions, and artist events, add it. A key step in validating entries for most organizations is going to be reviewing your website.
  • Don’t delay. Many funds have a limited amount of dollars available for COVID-19 artist relief.

Local Artist Resources

There are many local resources for small businesses, and in metropolitan areas, there are often foundations which give locally to support art and artists. Do an internet search for your city, region, and country to see what special resources might be available to you.

Know Any Other Artist Resources?

If you know of other artist assistance resources, please note them in a comment at the bottom of this blog post. We’ll keep updating the list below to help our community of artists.

WORLDWIDE Worldwide, grants of $250 per artist

Including American artists working abroad
Actor’s Fund Disability Support
Supportive services for entertainment professionals and their families when they are coping with a short- or long-term illness or disability.

Actor’s Fund Funeral & Burial Assistance
For entertainment professionals

Actorʻs Fund Entertainment Assistance Program
When you’re facing personal or work-related problems.
Americans for the Arts
Up-to-date news and resources for the arts and culture field. Take the impact survey to help create accurate statistics on the impact to artists.

Artists At Risk Connection (ARC)
A global directory of resources to help artists. ARC’s definition of “artist” is inclusive. They serve visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, performance artists, writers, and other individuals who produce significant creative output in any medium.
Artists Fellowship
For artists dealing with immediate medical emergencies and their aftermaths.

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). They will disburse funds in the amount of US $200 per person, on a first-come-first-served basis

Online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits, provides organizations with customized business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability
The Authors League Fund
Helps professional authors, journalists, poets, and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune.
The Blues Foundationʻs HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust)
For Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns
CERF+, the artists safety net .
Their emergency relief fund Is for an artist experiencing a recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster.
Change, Inc.
Emergency grants of up to $1,000 for artists in all disciplines in need of emergency aid. Evidence of established professional status is required. For detail on how to apply, call 212-473-3742 for recorded instructions. Send applications to: PO Box 1818, Sanibel, Florida 33957
An open document of resources for the artist organization field

Creative Capital
List of resources for artists and arts professionals affected by COVID-19
Emergency Relief Programs – Alliance of Artist Communities
Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund
This new grant provides monetary support to musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund
One-time $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 virus
$200-$2500 in funding for artists dealing with hardship or who incur unexpected expenses for projects close to completion date

Freelancers Union’s Guide to Life During COVID-19
Everything you need to know about getting through this frightening time – from tax and health insurance updates to staying sane – updated daily.
To apply for immediate relief: Freelanders Relief Fund 
The Haven Foundation
Assistance for freelance artists.
Joan Mitchell Foundation Emergency Grants for 2020
To help artists get back to work, the Joan Mitchell Foundation provides grants of up to $6,000 to US-based visual artists who have suffered significant physical losses after natural or man-made disasters.

New Music Solidarity Fund
The New Music Solidarity Fund is designed to help new/creative/improvised music freelancers whose livelihood has been threatened as a result of performances which have been canceled during the COVID-19 crisis. Applications accepted March 31-April 30.
Music Covid Relief
Resource to help music professionals access information and applications to receive benefits made available by the CARES Act (Phase III of the Coronavirus Stimulus bill signed into law March 27, 2020)

The Musicians Foundation
Gives grants, up to $3,000, for medical and allied living expenses in emergencies, and pay these debts on behalf of the musicians we help.

National Endowment for the Arts
FAQs and relief resources and opportunities related to COVID-19, continually updated.
The PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund
A small grants program for professionals—published or produced—writers in acute or unexpected financial crisis.
Rauschenberg Emergency Grants
NYFA has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer a new medical emergency grant program called Rauschenberg Emergency Grants. Beginning in late May/early June 2020, the program will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with one-time grants of up to $5,000 for medical emergencies including but not limited to: hospital and doctor bills (including insurance co-pays), tests, physical/occupational therapy, prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition, and emergency dental work.

Sustainable Arts Foundation
Awards supporting artists and writers with families with up to $6,000.

Sweet Relief 
Sweet Relief has a limited amount of funds available to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus.
Small Business Administration
Coronavirus: small business guidance & loan resources
Teaching Artists Guild
COVID-19 Resources for teaching artists
Woman Artists Over 40
Grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Applications open on April 6 and close on April 8, 2020.
Connecticut Greater New Haven, CT
Massachusetts Cambridge, MA
Minnesota  Minnesota
North Carolina Durham, NC North Carolina
Texas Bexar County, TX
Washington WA state Kings County, WA