Funds and Grants for Creators impacted by COVID-19

Funds for Creatives of All Disciplines

What the Fund by Patreon
Donations that were made during the Weird Stream-a-thon will go directly into the our new grant program, What the Fund. We’re putting together a diverse committee of creators to review applications and pick the recipients of these funds. Stay tuned for more details soon.

The Safety Net Fund
The Safety Net Fund is offering financial support to artists who typically make their living offline, at in-person events and performances. To qualify, you must reside in the Bay Area (or near it, as some San Joaquin and Santa Cruz county zip codes are eligible), must provide proof of an artistic endeavor in the last six months, cannot be eligible for unemployment insurance from the state, and must have earned less than $1,000 of income in the last 30 days.

Freelance Relief Fund
Freelancers Relief Fund will offer financial assistance of up to $1,000 per freelance household to cover lost income and essential expenses not covered by government relief programs, including:

  • Food/food supplies
  • Utility payments
  • Cash assistance to cover income loss

100% of all donations will be distributed directly to freelancers in need. Applications for funding will open on April 2, 2020.

The Creator Fund
The Creator Fund from the email marketing company ConvertKit is offering financial assistance of up to $500 for artists and small business owners—the term “creator” is loosely defined. The mini grants can be used for groceries, childcare, rent, mortgage or medical expenses. On its website, the Creator Fund is realistic about its limitations to meet everyone’s needs, but still encourages people to apply.

Bay Area Emergency Fund: Artists/Event Production
This fund for artists and event producers who make their living from live events is accepting donations, but so far doesn’t have an application process available. When the application goes live, it will require bank statements and proof of an event cancellation that resulted in loss of income. This is a need-based grant; those who need help with rent, medical care, utility bills and childcare will be prioritized.

Funds for Performing Artists, Film and Television

COVID-19 Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund
Theatre Bay Area organized a fund for theater workers facing a sudden loss of income due to coronavirus. While its website doesn’t specify how much aid is available, they encourage those seeking support to email to apply.

The Actors Fund’s Entertainment Assistance Program
Any performing artist or entertainment industry professional is eligible for financial assistance from the Actors Fund as long as they either have a minimum of five years of industry experience (while making over $6,500 a year from their creative pursuit for three of those years), or 20 years of industry employment while earning at least $5,000 from it for 10 of those years. In addition to helping with rent or medical expenses, the Actors Fund offers information on affordable housing, health care services, landlord-tenant issues and more. Those interested must contact the Actors Fund directly to apply.

Funds for Musicians and Nightlife Workers

The 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. The Fund was started by a group of musicians in the new music community who have raised over $130,000 in a week, primarily from fellow musicians, composers, and music professionals. Our hope is that the Solidarity Fund will continue to grow in the coming weeks, so that we can assist and bolster more people in need of emergency relief. For now, at least two hundred and sixty, $500 emergency assistance grants will be made available to applicants who meet the below criteria.

The SF Queer Nightlife Fund
Nightlife is a cornerstone of the LGBTQ+ community, so what happens when the dancers, drag queens, DJs, musicians and bartenders who rely on in-person work can no longer do that labor? Workers in the queer nightlife scene experiencing financial hardship can apply for help with food, rent, PG&E, phone, internet and medical expenses. Applications are due March 31.

Musicians’ Foundation Grant
If you’ve been a working musician in the United States for the last five years, the Musicians’ Foundation Grant offers grants for emergency situations like medical care or personal or family crisis. The foundation will pay recipients’ expenses directly rather than writing them a check, and grants range between $500 and $3,000.

MusiCares Emergency Financial Assistance
Musicians and music industry professionals experiencing unexpected financial hardships can apply to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares program. To be eligible, you must have a documented history as an industry professional for at least five years, or have contributed to six commercially released recordings or videos. MusiCares can fund medical costs, addiction recovery treatment, psychotherapy and basic living expenses such as rent and utilities.

The Blues Foundation HART Fund
This one is specific to blues musicians. The HART Fund offers financial assistance for health-related expenses, and artists need to call or email directly to apply.

Newport Music Relief Fund
Newport Festivals Foundation has established the Newport Festivals Musician Relief Fund to provide financial relief to musicians in our Folk & Jazz communities experiencing a loss of income as a result of COVID-19 through rapid micro and full grants. Our focus and priority will be on artists who have played the Newport Jazz or Folk Festivals and those in our Rhode Island community. All other applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Funds for Visual Artists

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant
If you’re a sculptor, printmaker or painter with over ten years of experience, the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program offers larger grants of up to $15,000 for unforeseen expenses. The application specifies that it’s a one-time grant related to a specific emergency, such as fire, flood or medical needs.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants
Professional visual artists, media artists and choreographers living anywhere in the United States can apply for Rauschenberg Emergency Grants of up to $5,000 to cover unforeseen expenses. Please note that a panel reviewing the applications will begin to meet in May and June, so this program isn’t the one for those with pressing, short-term needs.

CERF+ Artists’ Safety Net
Artists working in craft disciplines—including but not limited to clay, fiber, metal, wood, glass, concrete, plastic, synthetic fibers or recycled materials—can apply for emergency grants of up to $3,000 from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. They must demonstrate that they’ve been making a sizable portion of their living from their craft for three years, or that they’ve been involved in traditional or folk art on an ongoing basis. Artists are asked to submit an inquiry form before they can apply.

Untitled, Art Emergency Fund
Artists who either graduated from a Bay Area institution or have been working in the region for at least two years can apply to the Untitled, Art Emergency Fund, which gives out $250 grants to freelance, hourly and wage-working artists. The mini grants cover basic expenses such as rent, childcare and healthcare costs, and applications are due March 31.

Funds for Writers and Authors

Authors League Fund
Journalists, playwrights, poets and authors facing sudden loss of income or unforeseen medical expenses in the United States can apply for emergency grants from the Authors League Fund. The grants, however, prioritize experienced professionals who’ve either been published by traditional publishing houses or publications with national circulation, or have had their work produced by mid-sized or large theaters. The amount of the grant is not specified, and depends on the severity of the emergency.

PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund
PEN America gives out need-based grants of up to $2,000 for emergency expenses to writers and journalists, and has an additional program for those who are HIV positive. The organization is looking to bolster these programs amid coronavirus, and plans to announce those updates on March 25.

Additional Funds

Sex Worker ER Grant Fund
Sex workers who rely on in-person business can apply for $50–$200 microgrants to cover short-term expenses from Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS), a grassroots advocacy organization. BAWS also uses its social media profiles to amplify sex workers’ GoFundMe and other crowdfunding campaigns, and is accepting donations from allies.

COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks
This fundraiser on GoFundMe has a goal of $250,000, and organizers Amita Swadhin, Treva Ellison, Natalie Havlin, Carrie Hawks, Ren-yo Hwang and Alisa Zipursky are distributing the funds through $100 microgrants to black, indigenous and people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. The fund was created especially to help cover the living expenses of self-employed people and service workers, and isn’t limited by geographic location. Although applications for aid are closed, allies can still donate to provide additional support for grantees who have already been accepted.

Disabled Creator and Activist Pandemic Relief
Volunteers are currently collecting information for this fund aimed at giving aid to disabled creators and artists who’ve lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foundation of Contemporary Arts Artist Relief Fund
This fund is open to U.S.-based artists who’ve fallen on hard times because of the coronavirus outbreak. If you’ve had a performance or show canceled because of COVID-19, apply.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
If you’re a musician or music industry worker who lost 50% of your income, you’re eligible to apply to this fund.

Musicians Foundation Fund
United States-based musicians who’ve been active for the past five years are eligible to apply for a microgrant. Keep in mind, this fund also asks for paperwork proving that most of your income has come from your work as a musician. We’re also not sure how they define a “professional musician” but there is an email on the page where you can inquire for more information.

Craft Emergency Relief Fund
Are you a United States-based craft artist looking for emergency funds? You must have been involved in craft-making (there’s a definition of “craft making” on the site) for at least three years before your emergency and you must be making a majority of your income from your art. Visit the site to learn more about eligibility to apply to this fund.

PEN American Writer’s Emergency Fund
This fund is for professional (published or produced) writers and editors who are in acute financial crisis. PEN America writes on their site that they’ll be updating with more critical information on March 25.

Local Funds

The San Francisco Arts & Artists Relief Fund
The San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts launched a $1.5 million relief fund for individual artists and small arts organizations. It is not limited by artistic discipline, and individuals who are full-time residents of San Francisco and not eligible for unemployment can qualify. San Francisco-based organizations with operating budgets of under $2 million can also apply.

Boston Artist Relief Fund
This relief fund from the City of Boston is offering small grants, from $500 to $1,000, for artists in the area negatively impacted by venue closures and gig cancellations.

Theatre Community Benevolent Fund
All active individual theater practitioners and theater organizations can apply to this fund to offset operating costs and loss of income.

Boston Singers’ Relief Fund
New England-based classical singers who are dealing with canceled performances are invited to apply for grants of up to $500.

Boston Music Maker Relief Fund
Nonprofit organization The Record Co. organized this rapid response fund to help musicians negatively impacted by closures due to COVID-19. Grants go up to $200.

Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund
Musicians who’ve performed or taught at Club Passim in Cambridge are eligible to apply for a grant up to $500.

Cambridge Artist Relief Fund
These grants for artists run between $200 to $1,000. To be eligible, you must either be a Cambridge resident or an artist working predominantly in Cambridge.

Non-Profit and Small Businessness

COVID-19 Preparedness for the Cultural Sector
Mass Cultural Council’s free webinar offers tools and solution for cultural organizing during the coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 Tools and Resources for Nonprofits
The Nonprofit Finance Fund put together this toolkit for nonprofits struggling to stay afloat during this time. Resources include links on how to secure funding, write grants and more.

Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund
To apply to this fund, you must be a Cambridge resident or someone whose main source of income comes from Cambridge. Both Cambridge 501©(3) status organizations and small businesses with demonstrated loss of opportunity or income are invited to apply. Individuals or groups without 501©(3) status can also apply.

Running a Food Business in the Face of COVID-19
This resource list from CommonWealth Kitchen includes information on obtaining loans, work shares, crisis management and other HR-related aspects of business.


Sources: YBCA, KQED, WBUR

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Adobe launched a new $1m fund today!

Each year we get an incredible number of applicants to the Adobe Creative Residency program. This year, in response to the extensive need in the creative community for monetary support and career guidance, we’ve decided to expand the program. In addition to the new Creative Residents this year, we’re excited to announce a $1 million Creative Residency Community Fund. This fund will enable us to support many more creators by funding their projects and hiring them for Adobe-commissioned projects.

The motto of the Creative Residency program is “Create. Share. Activate. Empower.” As always, the creators we select will be passionate about creating personally fulfilling work, sharing their journeys, and activating fellow creatives to craft the careers they want by empowering them with knowledge.

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