A $5,000 Relief Grant Launched for US Artists

Art News

April 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the entire world to go in lockdown. The world of art is no exception, with art museums and galleries being closed and biennials and fairs being canceled or postponed. Like in many sectors, the job losses were brutal and artists are facing dire financial emergencies.

To address this major issue, United States Artists has announced a $10 million collaborative grant program called Artist Relief, created in coalition with six other major arts non-profits - Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund and the National YoungArts Foundation.

The program will provide rapid, unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to assist artists affected by the pandemics; serve as an informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Research Partner Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward. Additionally, coalition member Creative Capital will maintain a publicly available database of resources to support the professional, social, and mental wellbeing of artists.

The Artist Relief Program

An unprecedented national, multidisciplinary partnership between seven arts grant-makers and a consortium of foundations, Artist Relief launched with $5 million in seed funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation matched with $5 million in initial contributions from an array of foundations across the United States.

As Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a poet and memoirist, explained, individual artists and the arts ecosystem of which they are the foundation could sustain irreparable damage without immediate intervention.

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.

Sarah Arison, Board Chair, National YoungArts Foundation, explains that this is "the time for institutions to come together, each bringing its own strengths, to support the country’s artistic communities in the challenging months that lie ahead",  while Joel Wachs, President of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, says they are proud to be part of this group "supporting Artist Relief’s efforts to address the needs of the nation’s artists in this moment of crisis".

As the needs of the country’s artists shift over the coming months, this emergency initiative will continue to evolve with the help of a growing number of foundations and individual donors.

Applying For the Program

Artist Relief launches with a generous $5 million seed gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to match an initial $5 million in funding generously provided by the following foundations: 7|G Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Amazon Literary Partnership, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Arison Arts Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Ford Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, Jerome Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Kraus Family Foundation, LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Metabolic Studio, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Richard Salomon Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Sue Hostetler and Beau Wrigley Family Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The Willem de Kooning Foundation.

Practicing artists working in any discipline, from poets to architects to weavers, are eligible to apply for the $5,000 grant. They must be 21 or older, able to receive taxable income in the United States regardless of their citizenship status, and have lived and worked primarily in the United States over the last two years. Since the program will not be able to fund every applicant, artists demonstrating the most severe financial needs will be prioritized.

Grant applications are now open at artistrelief.org.

Featured image: Artist Relief grant banner, via artistrelief.org.