Arts Funders Launch $10 Million COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund

Arts Funders Launch $10 Million COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund

A coalition of national arts organizations has announced the launch of a $10 million relief fund in support of artists facing financial emergencies due to COVID-19.

Organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the MAP Fund, the National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, the Artist Relief Fund will provide unrestricted grants of $5,000 every week to one hundred artists facing financial emergencies through the end of August. The grants may be used flexibly to meet recipients’ most pressing financial needs and enable them to continue their creative practice.

The fund also will administer an Americans for the Arts-designed COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers so as to better understand artists’ needs in both the short and longer terms and will support the efforts of coalition member Creative Capital to update and maintain a publicly available database of resources designed to support the professional, social, and mental well-being of artists.

The commitment includes $5 million in seed funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, matched by a total of $5 million from nearly two dozen funders nationwide, including the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and the Arison Arts, Doris Duke Charitable, Ford, Robert Rauschenberg, and Willem de Kooning foundations.

"In hard times like these, we turn to the arts to illuminate and help us make meaning and find connection. Without immediate intervention, individual artists and the arts ecosystem of which they are the foundation could sustain irreparable damage," said Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander. "As artists confront these new fiscal realities, we are proud to support this vital effort to address artists' urgent needs. We call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to be our lights, chroniclers, and connectors throughout this crisis and beyond."

(Photo credit: MAP Fund)