Arts Funders Band Together, Launch Emergency Nationwide $10 Million Artist Relief Fund

by Christopher Blay April 8, 2020

Artist-Relief-Fund-For-Covid-19-Announced-April-8-2020Grant makers Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, have collaboratively launched The Artist Relief Fund to provide rapid, unrestricted grants in amounts of $5,000 to assist artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The fund will also provide informational resources, and co-launch a survey to determine future needs of artists. The COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers was  designed by Research Partner Americans for the Arts.


Sarah Arison
Sarah Arison, Chair of The National
YoungArts Foundation

The partnership between seven arts grant makers and foundations will launch the Artist Relief Fund with $10 million; $5 million in seed money from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and another $5 million in initial contributions from foundations across the United States, with ongoing fundraising to follow.

States Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: “In hard times like these, we turn to the arts to illuminate and help us make meaning and find connection. Without immediate intervention, individual artists and the arts ecosystem of which they are the foundation could sustain irreparable damage. 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.”


Deana Haggag is the President & CEO of United States Artists.

The Artist Relief Fund also encourages donations to the estimated 2.5 million working artists in the United States (according to Artists and Other Cultural Workers: A Statistical Portrait) through the fund’s website.

“Now 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. We hope this coalition will directly impact artists who have lost income sources and opportunities and are in dire need,” says Sarah Arison, Board Chair of the National YoungArts Foundation.


Stacy Tenenbaum Stark
is the
Executive Director
of the
Foundation for Contemporary
Arts (FCA).

Says Joel Wachs, President of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts: “As a foundation that was established by one of the most recognized artists of the 20th century, the Warhol Foundation is committed to directing its resources towards the many artists, recognized and unrecognized, facing financial hardship at this time. We are proud to be a part of the group of prominent funders and artist-endowed foundations supporting Artist Relief’s efforts to address the needs of the nation’s artists in this moment of crisis.”


Susan (Suzy) Delvalle is the
President & Executive Director of Creative Capital.

The fund, which will operate over the next six months, encourages practicing artists living in all fifty states, territories, and Tribal Nations, working in any discipline, to apply. The application is available to artists 21 or older, able to receive taxable income in the United States regardless of their citizenship status, and who have lived and worked primarily in the United States over the last two years.

Because of the anticipated high demand, the Artist Relief fund cautions that it will not be able to fund every applicant, and priority will be given to those with the greatest needs. The review and selection process will be in collaboration with cultural nonprofits across the country.


Jennifer (Jen)
Benka , President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets.

Says Nick Cave, artist and Artadia Board Member: “As an artist, Artadia Board Member, and grantee of many of the coalition partners, I am relieved that these nonprofits have taken on this ambitious task. The economic security of most artists is already so precarious, and this crisis could have an irrevocable toll on our community. There needs to be immediate intervention and I’m proud that so many nonprofits, philanthropists, and partners are chipping in to do what they can.”


Carolyn Ramo, Executive Director of Artadia.

“Art is an antidote. We need its power of healing in our world right now,” says Meredith Monk, composer, performer, and interdisciplinary artist and 2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award recipient, MAP Fund recipient, and recipient of other coalition awards. “These seem like impossible times, and they would be, if it weren’t for artists and those who support them.”

Moira Brennan, Executive Director of the MAP Fund

Moira Brennan,
Executive Director of the MAP Fund.

“As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, it is becoming increasingly clear that the only way forward is to work together to tackle this massive challenge. We are proud to have organized with our colleagues to launch this effort in service of artists across the country. We hope this initial $10 million investment is just the beginning of a fund that will reach as many artists as possible during this difficult time,” says Ed Henry, Board Chair, United States Artists.

To apply, please do so on through the Artist Relief Fund website here.


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.

Glasstire is committed to providing information to artists and arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. For artists’ resources during this time, please go to our updating news feed, and our classifieds section of Artists’ Resources

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