Resources for Artists! Study our list of COVID-19 grants & relief funds

Image of Director Rochelle Riley
We hear you.

We hear you. We see you. And we're trying to help.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has hit the American economy hard. But a large part of that economy is one that some people don't think about: artists. These are professionals who make a living creating, entertaining, investing, designing, molding and teaching–as well as those running programs for children.

The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship is hard at work trying to find emergency relief for this  group of workers who may not be covered by small business relief. Please come back to this site for updates, and send any information you might have about support to [email protected]. We are working on what we hope will be real ways to have your backs.

New Resources


Artists' Fellowship
If you are an artist dealing with an immediate medical emergency and need funding to help cover medical expenses, funeral costs or disaster repairs, you may qualify for financial assistance from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. Apply here.

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those who self-identify as black, indigenous, or person of color pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators. Applicants should be able to demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has directly impacted their income or earning ability. The fund is awarding one-time, $200 grants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Apply here.

Resources for Artists

Updated 04/08 DETROIT – The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship is searching for foundations and organizations offering emergency grants for artists and entertainers during the Covid-19 outbreak. The following is a partial compilation of possible resources for artists and entertainers. Please do not use these sites to promote your talents or products. It is a list of places where you might get help during this difficult time. If you learn of others, please send them [email protected]. We will update this list and continue to search for local funding every day. -RR

  • First, take a look at the COVID freelancers resources
  • Emergency Artist Relief Fund
    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Arison Arts Foundation have joined together with 23 additional arts groups to give $5,000 to 100 artists every week until September. These funds can be used flexibly by the artists who receive them to meet their most pressing financial needs and to enable their continued creative practice. Apply online here. Find out more about the program and its sponsors here.
  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants Program
    Created in 1993 to further FCA’s mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad. Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes 12-15 grants ranging from $500 to $2,500. The FCA recommends that artists review all eligibility guidelines and FAQs before applying. Then complete our Eligibility Questionnaire, but please know that the questionnaire does not replace a thorough review of program guidelines.
  • Rauschenberg Emergency Grants
    The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to offer new emergency one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. Applicants must demonstrate current and ongoing activity in artistic disciplines and cannot be enrolled in any degree-seeking program. Grants cannot be used to cover expenses for non-emergency medical conditions. To get more information and find out if you qualify, contact the grants administrator at [email protected]. There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.
  • Carnegie Fund for Authors
    The applicant must be an American author who has had at least one full-length work — fiction or nonfiction — published by a mainstream publisher. Works that applicants paid to have published are not eligible. Applicants must demonstrate need; the emergency may be because of illness or some other urgent need such as fire, flood, hurricane, etc. Documentation should be included with the application and can mean a doctor’s letter or other proof of the emergency situation. Get more information here.
  • American Society of Journalists & Authors Writers Emergency Assistance Fund. This fund helps established freelance writers across the country who, because of advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis, are unable to work. Membership in ASJA not required. No grants will be awarded to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects or for works-in-progress of any kind. Maximum grant $3,500. More information.
  • Authors League Fund
    The Fund gives open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income or other misfortune.
  • CERF + (Formerly the Craft Emergency Relief Fund)
    CERF+ provides a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+’s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief. CERF+ is currently focusing its relief aid on those infected with COVID-19 who require intensive medical care. More information.
  • The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation
    The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need. To be eligible for this program, an artist must be able to demonstrate a minimum involvement of 10 years in a mature phase of his or her work. Artists must work in the disciplines of painting, sculpture or printmaking. More information.
  • MusicCares Foundation
    MusiCares may grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses. Applicants must be able to show that they have worked in the music industry for at least five years or that they have six commercially released recordings or videos (singles).
  • Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
    SRMF provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. The applicant must be a musician who has regular public performances or performed on at least three widely released recordings (audio or audiovisual), or written music that has been performed on three widely released recordings or published on three occasions.
  • The Actors Fund
    The fund provides a list of health insurance for artists in all disciplines.
  • The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
    NYFA offers lists of emergency funds for artists nationwide in a variety of disciplines affected by recent natural disasters.
  • I Care If You Listen
    ICIYL, an artists and musician advocacy group, has compiled 20+ new resources and grants for artists! Apply for grants here.
  • Resources for Freelancers
    Freelancers and gig-economy workers impacted by COVID-19 can find information here on navigating the CARES Act and applying for grants.
  • As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress, the Small Business Administration has created a Paycheck Protection Program. Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program can be found here.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation Program
    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that the state, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Labor to allow a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation program to grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Those workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig employees and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. Find more information here.
Past Deadlines

Please note that some of these applications may re-open as more funds become available. Check periodically for updates.

Visual Arts Grants
The Chicago-based Harpo Foundation invites applications for its Visual Artists Grants program. It offers grants up to $10,000 to provide direct support to visual artists age 21 or older. The maximum grant amount is $10,000. Application deadline is April 18. Apply here.

Envision: The Michigan Artists Initiative
Organized by the staff of Stamps Gallery, this new awards program is designed to support the development of contemporary artists living and working in Michigan. Three to five artists will be selected by a panel of prominent national jurors for a group exhibition at Stamps Gallery. One artist in the exhibition will be awarded a $5,000 prize at the exhibition opening and award ceremony. Application deadline is Thursday, April 30. Apply here.

Michigan Economic Growth Corporation Grants
The MEGC is offering $5000 grants to cultural and arts organizations impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. Applicants must have Section 501(c) (3) status and be headquartered in Michigan. Deadline is May 1st. Apply here.

ConvertKit: COVID-19 Grant
Marketing software company, ConvertKit, is offering grants of up to $500 to individual creative artists experiencing financial difficulty due to Coronavirus/COVID-19. Funding is intended to provide financial assistance to active creators who are undergoing economic hardship due to the Corona pandemic. Grants may be used by creators who have emergency requests related to medical, childcare, housing (rent or mortgage), or grocery needs. Apply here.

Musicians Foundation
This foundation helps professional musicians who have worked five or more years in the U.S. by providing emergency financial assistance in meeting current living, medical and allied expenses.  Applicants must be able to show that their music is or was their primary source of income. More information.

Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund
The JMEF is committed to helping jazz professionals, especially older musicians, overcome hard times and get back on their feet, making emergency funds available for immediate needs. They have programs for housing and emergency assistance, a network of pro bono medical care providers, and disaster relief.

Artist Relief Project
The Artist Relief Project is a community-driven fundraiser to support artists, musicians, and performers whose anticipated income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you are in need of short-term financial assistance, ARP is awarding one-time emergency relief stipends in the amount of $200. Funds raised will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, dependent on available funding. Apply here.

The PEN Writers Fund
This fund offers financial to professional–published or produced–writers with serious financial difficulties. Depending on the situation, the fund gives grants or loans of up to $2,000.