COVID-19 and General Resources List for Performing Artists

Monday, Jul 27, 2020
Cecelia Hobbs Gardner
Juilliard Journal
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Violinist, alumna, and attorney Cecelia Hobbs Gardner compiled this wide-ranging list of federal, state, local, and nonprofit resources for the entire performing arts community. You can read about her own experiences in these difficult times here. This list was last updated on September 18, 2020, and will continue to be updated as needed.

Performing Arts Grants and Resource Websites 

#Above 4 Fundrecurring monthly fund supports contributions to the arts field by black women during COVID-19

Abrons Arts Center (Henry Street Settlement) COVID-19 Relief Resourcesresources range from mutual aid funds for individuals to grants for small arts organizations

Actors Fund Emergency Financial Assistance—for union and nonunion workers in entertainment and the performing arts in immediate need

Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Programservices and financial support for entertainment professionals facing personal or work-related problems

The Blues Foundation COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund—resources for full-time blues musicians whose revenue streams have been severely diminished

COVID-19 and Freelance Artists Emergency Funding 

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resource

CUE COVID-19 Artist Resources—extensive list of resources for artists

DANCE NOW COVID-19 Resources—recommendations and resources for dancers and freelance artists

Dancers Group COVID-19 Information and Resources—extensive list of national resources

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation—COVID-19 resources and relief grants for performing artists and arts organizations 

Dramatists Guild Foundation COVID-19 emergency grants—financial assistance to dramatists (composers, lyricists, individual playwrights and librettists) due to COVID-19–related circumstances

Episcopal Actors’ Guild—for professional performing artists pursuing an established and ongoing career in the performing arts (theater performers are the primary focus)

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund—for experimental artists who have suffered financial loss due to postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions; ends December 1, 2020

Freelance Co-Op Guide to the CARES Act—lists new funds and benefits

Jazz Foundation of America COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund—helps with basic living expenses

Local 802, American Federation of Musicians Emergency Relief Funds and COVID-19 Resources 

MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund—resources and grants, including mental health and coping resources

Musician Financial Aid List in the Coronavirus Crisis—comprehensive resource guide

Musicians’ Assistance Program—for Local 802 Members and their families; administered by the Actors Fund.

Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (ERF), Local 802, American Federation of Musicians—annually provides critical assistance to hundreds of musicians 

Musicians’ Foundation Aid Grant—provides financial assistance (grants of $500 to $3,000) to musicians in times of need, crisis, or transition; there is also a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Aid Grant ($200), for which applications reopened in late May and will close after receiving 100 new submissions 

NeON Arts—this program of the New York City Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute funds and supports local artists and organizations that work with neighborhoods to create deliver arts projects that help young people develop creative, social, and emotional skills. There are four grant rounds; the current one closes on September 13 at 11:59pm.

New Jersey State COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations

SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Relief Fund—emergency financial assistance for eligible SAG-AFTRA members who are unable to pay their basic living expenses 

Statera Arts Artists Resources Directory—Statera's mission is to give women full and equal participation in the arts; Statera also has an Emergency Response Directory

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund—financial assistance for all types of career musicians and music industry workers struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems

Federal Assistance

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)—provides low-interest loans to small business owners, independent contractors, and nonprofit organizations experiencing a temporary loss of revenue; proceeds can be used to cover expenses including health-care benefits, utilities, rent, and fixed-debt payments. Applications resumed as of June 15, 2020; funds for the $1,000 EIDL Advance program have been allocated and are no longer available.

Independent Contractor’s Guide To CARES Act Relief—guide for independent contractors or self-employed individuals

Financial Relief

Credit Card Payment and Debt Relief—assistance efforts and eligibility requirements 

Federal CARES Act Benefit Summary for New Yorkers

Financial Planners Offering Free Advice

Mortgage Relief and Mortgage Forbearance Plans—information about temporary suspensions of payments and loan modifications if mortgage is backed by the federal government 

New York Times resource list “Your Money: Hub for Help” 

Student Loan Relief—all federally held student loan payments have been placed in administrative forbearance with no accrual of interest until September 30, 2020; payments can still be made if you choose

Food/General Assistance

ACCESS HRA—New York City’s Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services clearinghouse for emergency help and government assistance programs including SNAP, Medicaid, and Fair Fare NYC

City Harvest

Food Bank for NYC

Foodhelp NYC

Get Food NYC

HelpNow NYC—General Assistance for Individuals

Hunger Free America Free Meals for Seniors—in-home services

Nutrition Kitchen

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)—helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled, and others feed their families via electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food 

Health Care

Artists Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC) at the Actors Fundhelps visual and performing artists identify and enroll in coverage options and offers services including consultations by phone or via email

COVID-19 Testing—lists free New York State sites 

Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts—medical care provider for New York City’s entertainment and performing arts community

National Alliance on Mental Illness—answers to questions ranging from how to manage anxiety during the pandemic to how to access medication while in quarantine and how to deal with the loss of a loved one

New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub

NYC Well–COVID-19 Digital Mental Health Resources—free digital mental health resources for the duration of the pandemic

New York State COVID-19 hotline (888) 364-3065 

NYS Department of Health

New York’s Health Plan Marketplace—compares health care options and options for assistance that may lower the cost of coverage

Special Enrollment for Uninsured New Yorkershas been extended through December 31, 2020; New Yorkers can apply for coverage through the New York State Department of Health or directly through insurers (855) 355-5777

Legal Services

Lawyers for Good Government

Legal Aid (national)

Legal Services NYC

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Northeast New Jersey Legal Services

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts—legal services for low-income artists and nonprofit organizations in every artistic discipline; the group also has a list of COVID-19 resources

Renters’/Tenants’ Rights and Relief

JustFix NYCtenants’ rights nonprofit app 

Just Shelternational tenant advocacy group resource list 

NYC Human Resources Administration—legal services for tenants

Unemployment Assistance/New York State

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program—two extension programs of unemployment benefits for “qualified individuals” who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and meet the criteria

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)temporary income if you are unable to work as a result of the pandemic but do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance (UI); must meet qualifying criteria 

Unemployment Insurance (UI) informationstate benefits for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own 

Students: You can find additional resources at MyJuilliard