Support for Artists and small arts organizations, a roundup for You

If you are in need of financial assistance due to COVID-19, check out these resources for individual artists and small arts organizations. We will update this list when we hear of more emergency funds. Artblog cares about you and your wellbeing!

City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia City Hall, 28 July 2019, Courtesy Toniklemm. (cropped).

We care deeply about our Philadelphia artists. We know the COVIC-19 pandemic is overwhelming, and that researching opportunities for financial assistance can be tedious and frankly overwhelming. Since we are receiving notices directly from funders that you may not be seeing, and because we want to help, we’ve compiled the list below for you, and will post more opportunities to this post as we hear of them. If you know of an opportunity, and would like to see it on this list, feel free to email it over to!


Last week, The Village of Arts and Humanities launched the Emergency Gap Fund for Philly’s Black Working Artists, a mutual aid fund designed to be highly accessible to working artists at all levels of experience. To qualify for a one-time grant of $500, artists must identify as Black, reside in Philadelphia, earn money from their craft, and have lost money as a result of the pandemic. The application takes 5 minutes to complete, and once approved, artists will receive the money within 5 days for as long as there are funds to accommodate requests. Priority is given to artists from the 19133 zip code, in light of The Village’s long-term service to the neighborhood. APPLY HERE. DONATE TO SUPPORT THE FUND HERE.

Unemployment for Freelancers

The new PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) program covers self-employed individuals! So if you’re a gig worker or freelancer, which many of us artists are, this covers YOU. This also covers folks who lack sufficient work history to qualify for unemployment. Apply here.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants Program

Coming soon, (late May/ early June 2020) the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and NYFA will provide eligible visual artists and choreographers with a one-time medical emergency grant of $5,000. The funds are for “hospital and doctor bills (including insurance co-pays), tests, physical/occupational therapy, prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition, and emergency dental work.” Read more here!

The Velocity Fund

The Velocity Fund is distributing one time unrestricted grants of $1,000. The application is simple and very quick- you only need to provide you live in Philadephia, make art, and have need. The funds will be distributed through a blind lottery system.First deadline: April 27th. Apply here!

Philadelphia Sculptors

[EDIT: APPLICATION NOW CLOSED]- Philadephia Sculptors is giving $1,000 grants to a selection of 10 members. (You can become a member instantly by signing up here and paying a fee of $15. There is no additional application fee.) If awarded the grant, the funds are unrestricted, with the only commitment being an interview with PS for their website and social media.

Joan Mitchell Foundation

Joan Mitchell Foundation (and other arts funders) has formed “Artist Relief.” This is a national initiative to quickly provide individual artists with $5,000 of unrestricted funds. They have $10 million to give, so apply for a Relief grant here!

The West Collection

The West Collection has launched a relief fund called “LIFTS,” an allocation of $100,000 of their annual acquisition budget. The funds will be distributed on an as-needed basis- “Art and curation will not play a role in this initiative…” To apply, you must be able to prove loss of income, or financial need, and demonstration of artistic activity over the past 5 years (in the form of a resume, link to website, or press or grant awards). The application will open on Monday, April 13th at 10 AM. Funds will be for shelter, medical, food, children, and family. More info here.

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has partnered with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy (OACCE) and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF). Their new COVID-19 fund will support individual artists and small arts and culture organizations.

The application isn’t yet open, but you can sign up to be alerted when it is here.

[EDIT: The application is now open- apply here!]