Resources for Artists and Nonprofit Arts Organizations

Resources to help artists and nonprofit arts organizations impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Date Posted: March 27th, 2020 @ 4:44 PM
Last Updated: August 20th, 2021 @ 10:42 AM

Grants and Financial Assistance

Literary Arts

American Society of Journalists and Authors Emergency Assistance Fund
Who it serves: The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers who, because of illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant.
Where to apply:

Authors League Fund
Who it serves: Assists book authors, dramatists, poets, and freelance writers and journalists, whose main professional pursuit is writing, in times of emergency. The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers, even their lives, with dignity by providing open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to pay for pressing expenses.
Where to apply:

Carnegie Fund for Authors
Who it serves: The grant applicant must be an American author who has published at least one full-length work — fiction or nonfiction — that has been published by a mainstream publisher in any format.
Where to apply:

PEN America Writer’s Emergency Fund
Who it serves: The PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund is an emergency fund for professional—published or produced—writers in acute, emergency financial crisis. The Writers’ Emergency Fund is for writers whose primary professional occupation is writing. Writers do not have to be Members of PEN America to receive a grant.
Where to apply:

Performing Arts

Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program
Who it serves: Any performing arts or entertainment professional may call on the Entertainment Assistance Program for support, information or referrals to community agencies.
Where to apply:

Dramatists Guild Foundation Emergency Grants
Who it serves: Emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and book writers in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.
Where to apply:

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund
Who it serves: Musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the COVID-19
Where to apply:

Jazz Foundation of America
Who it serves: Jazz and blues musicians requiring emergency assistance and social services.
Learn more: or email

MusiCares Emergency Financial Assistance
Who it serves: Provides assistance to musicians including musical instrument replacement for musicians affected by disasters.
Learn more:

Musicians Foundation
Who it serves: Emergency grants (like medical care or personal or family crisis) for working musicians in the United States for the last five years.
Learn more:

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
Who it serves: Performing arts workers who are facing a loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Learn more:

Theatre Bay Area - Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund
Who it serves: Financial assistance to all styles of career musicians who demonstrate need.
Learn more:

The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund
Who it serves: Funds for workers in the queer nightlife scene (such as dancers, drag queens, DJs, musicians, and bartenders) experiencing financial hardship can apply for help with food, rent, PG&E, phone, internet and medical expenses.
Learn more:

Zoo Labs in partnership with the Center for Cultural Innovation
Who it serves:
In 2021, Zoo Labs will make available $225,000 in unrestricted grants. Awards will range from $5,000 to $50,000 and will support Bay Area BIPOC and BIPOC-led artist teams with a music-based project or business.
Where to apply:

Visual/Media Arts

Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant
Who it serves: Artists working in the disciplines of painting, sculpture or printmaking, who can demonstrate a minimum involvement of ten years in a mature phase of his or her work, whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.
Where to apply:

Alliance of Artists Communities Emergency Relief Programs
Who it serves: Their Emergency Funds for Individual Artists Participating in Residencies supports painters and sculptors to participate in artists’ residencies for which they have already been accepted and scheduled, but who would not otherwise be able to participate due to a sudden change in circumstances.
Where to apply:

Artists Fellowship Financial Assistance
Who it serves: Provides emergency aid to professional fine (visual) artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. “Professional” is defined as those who make the creative arts as their livelihood as painters, sculptors, or art photographers through sales as reported on a Schedule C with Federal tax returns.
Where to apply:

Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) - Emergency Assistance
Who it serves: CERF+ emergency assistance includes grants and/or brokered assistance, such as booth fee waivers and discounts or donations on supplies and equipment.
Where to apply:

CERF+ Artist “Get Ready” Grants
Who it serves: Provides funding for artists working in craft disciplines (such as woodworkers, fiber artists, metalsmiths, glass potters, furniture makers, cultural-based craft, or alternative craft) to conduct activities that will help safeguard their studios, protect their careers and implement other safety measures to help artists build and sustain strong and resilient careers. The applicant must be a legal U.S. resident.
Where to apply:

Foundation for Contemporary Art – Emergency Grants
Who it serves: Fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions.
Where to apply:

Joan Mitchell Foundation - Emergency Grant Program
Who it serves: U.S.-based visual artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and/or drawing who have suffered significant losses after natural or man-made disasters that have affected their community.
Where to apply:

Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
Who it serves: Painters, artists and sculptors who work on paper, including printmakers, with demonstrable financial need.
Where to apply:

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants Program
Who it serves: New emergency grant program that will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with one-time grants of up to $5,000 for medical emergencies including but not limited to: hospital and doctor bills (including insurance co-pays), tests, physical/occupational therapy, prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition, and emergency dental work. There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.
Where to apply:

Freelance Artists Resources

Multi-Discipline Resources

Alameda County Arts Relief Grant Program
Who it serves: The County of Alameda announces the Alameda County Arts Relief Program to assist nonprofit arts and cultural organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Where to apply:

Americans for the Arts

Artists Now
Who it serves: Artists Now will deliver financial support to Bay Area artists directly affected by the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. A $500 award will go directly to eligible female, POC, or LGBTQIA+ artists that are nearing a food or housing crisis.
Where to apply:

Artist Relief
Who it serves: A $10 million Artist Relief Fund emergency fund. The $5,000 no-strings-attached grants are intended for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and who has also been affected by COVID-19.
Where to apply:

Artists At Risk Connection (ARC)
Who it serves: A global directory of resources to help artists. ARC's definition of "artist" is inclusive. They serve visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, performance artists, writers, and other individuals who produce significant creative output in any medium.
Where to apply:

California Humanities
Who it serves: CA CARES provides funds to the public humanities sector across California.
Where to apply:

National Coalition for the Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER)

Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits.
Who it serves: Through the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits, $1.425 million of those funds will go to support individual artists and arts nonprofit organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period is open until 1 p.m. on Friday, October 9.
Where to apply:

The East Bay/Oakland Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts
Who it serves: Artists, teaching artists, culture bearers and nonprofit arts workers living in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are eligible for up to $2K in grants.
Where to apply:

The Safety Net Fund
Who it serves: The Safety Net Fund is a non-profit designed to help support artists in the Bay Area during the COVID-19 crisis. The fund is made possible through a fiscal sponsorship from the California Intersection for the Arts (The Intersection).
Where to apply:

UNTITLED, ART Emergency Fund for the Arts
Who it serves: The Safety Net Fund is a non-profit designed to help support artists in the Bay Area during the COVID-19 crisis. The fund is made possible through a fiscal sponsorship from the California Intersection for the Arts (The Intersection).
Where to apply:

Nonprofit Resources

Arts Loan Fund
Who it serves: Emergency Loan will support arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in the eleven Bay Area counties. Organizations can apply for these low-interest loans to cover basic expenses such as staff salaries, artist payments, rent and other operating costs during this challenging time.
Where to apply:

American Institute for Conservation for Historic and Artistic Works
Who it serves: The Institute’s National Heritage Responders respond to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts with first responders, state agencies, vendors and the public.
Where to apply:
Who it serves: Non-profit cultural institutions with any revenue size that meet eligibility criteria found at Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000. Application window: Friday, August 27th through Wednesday, September 8th.
Where to apply:

East Bay Community Foundation - A Just East Bay Respond Fund
Who it serves: Resources to organizations with programming that supports the arts, education, health, housing, civic engagement, youth, economic development, and other vital community services.
Where to apply:

Grantmakers in the Arts

San Francisco Foundation – Emergency Funds for Nonprofits
Who it serves: A limited number of one-time grants ($3,000 – $25,000) to nonprofits addressing the following four issue areas, described in greater detail below: racial bias, worker protection, homelessness and renter protection/housing security, and food security.
Where to apply:

State of California

Who it serves: Non-profit cultural institutions only. Deadline: Tuesday, March 16th through Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021. Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000.

Where to apply:

Teaching Artists Resources

Technical Assistance

Oakland CARES Arts Technical Assistance Fund

From November 9 to December 10, Youth Speaks, in partnership with YR Media and Zoo Labs, two Oakland artists-centered organizations, will offer 14 free, virtual workshops to train participants on available tools for programming and production; producing content utilizing low-cost tools and technology; the aesthetic associated with virtual presentations; social media and marketing strategies; and strategies on how to monetize one’s presence. For details on the workshop offerings and registration, please visit

COVID-19: Re-Opening Live Events

Wednesday, April 21, 4:00 pm; Free Webinar

The City of Oakland's Cultural Affairs Commission, The East Bay Venue Coalition, the Alameda County Healthcare Services Agency, and the AlamedaCounty Public Health Department have come together to present on the latest public health guidelines for in person performances. Our goal for this event is to help artists, performers, and venues begin the re-opening process.

Eileen Ng, Policy Director and COVID Recovery & Workplace Lead for Alameda County Healthcare Services Agency and Ieshia Sheppard, COVID Response: Information and Guidance Branch, Co-Deputy for Alameda County Public HealthDepartment will walk us through the guidelines and respond to the questions submitted in advance as well as questions from the attending community.

Alameda County Update: Beyond the Blueprint for the Visual & Performing Arts

Wednesday, June 16, 1:00 pm; Free Webinar
On June 15th, the State of California plans to fully reopen the economy by lifting capacity and physical distancing restrictions for most businesses and activities. Governor Newsom is expected to release major updates about the guidelines in mid-June. Join the Alameda County Public Health Department for a free online webinar event—on Wednesday, June 16th at 1:00 pm—to learn how these new developments will impact the visual and performing arts.

Government Agencies

National Endowment for the Arts
Who it serves: Funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19
Where to apply:

National Endowment for the Humanities
Who it serves: I. Eligible cultural organizations and humanists affected by the coronavirus seeking funding II. Applicants for regular FY20 NEH funding opportunities III. Current NEH grant and cooperative agreement recipients seeking administrative flexibilities and supplemental funding
Where to apply:

California Arts Council