Art Market

Arts organizations launched a $10-million relief fund for artists affected by COVID-19.

Daria Simone Harper
Apr 8, 2020 3:53PM, via The Art Newspaper

Representatives of participating arts organizations discuss the Artist Relief fund in a Zoom call. Photo courtesy Artist Relief.

Seven U.S. art grantmakers—including the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists—are launching a national emergency relief fund for artists affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Beginning today, the Artist Relief fund will distribute unrestricted grants of $5,000 on a continuing basis over the next six months. With $10 million already raised, the fund will provide support to U.S. artists with financial need during the pandemic.

According to The Art Newspaper, the Artist Relief grants are intended to supplement other forms of funding, including the recently introduced federal stimulus plan and regional emergency relief. The grant is open to professional artists living in the U.S. and is not limited to any one artistic discipline; applicants must be able to indicate their financial need due to COVID-19. Grantees will be decided on each week, and funds will be dispersed within two weeks from the selections. The Artist Relief fund website features a list of resources to provide additional advocacy and financial support for artists.

Stacy Stark from FCA said in a statement quoted by The Art Newspaper: “My hope is that major philanthropies will maybe shift more of their funds toward basic operational costs—as this crisis has proved, [...] nothing is more important than that and, historically, that’s an area of funding less of interest to donors.” FCA, founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns, provides grants to artists working in performance.

The coalition of art organizations raised $5 million in initial funding since they came together three weeks ago to conceive the initiative. The Art Newspaper reports that the original $5 million was matched by seed capital from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Tax-deductible donations can be made on the Artist Relief fund website through September, with all of the donations going directly to the relief fund.

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Further Reading: Ongoing Coverage of COVID-19’s Impact on the Art World

Daria Simone Harper