COVID-19 and General Resources List for Performing Artists

Friday, Apr 30, 2021
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—which is for information purposes only—was last updated on April 30, 2021, and will continue to be updated as needed.

Performing Arts Grants and Resource Websites 

Actors Fund Emergency Financial Assistance—funds are available for union and nonunion workers in entertainment and the performing arts 

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

Ann Reinking Scholarship—Off the Lane, an arts outreach and mentoring organization, is offering a new annual scholarship to a young dancer moving to NYC to help support them in their artistic endeavors; application opens May 1, 2021

Artist Power Center (at Yerba Buena Center)—digital platform helps artists and cultural workers navigate emergency relief and continue to build long-term careers

Artist Relief—provides $5,000 grants for artists who face dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; applications open through June 23, 2021 

Artist Rescue Trust (ART)—provides support to musicians and artists whose ability to perform, tour, and earn a living has been negatively impacted by COVID-19; provides $1,500 over a three-month period 

ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes Artist Development Grantsprovides up to $500 to artists from Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben counties to support professional opportunities and help alleviate economic insecurity and disparity facing artists

ArtsWestchester—aggregator for COVID-19 resources for artists in Westchester County and for the entire country

Authors League Fundthis emergency fund helps writers living in the U.S. and American writers living abroad in times of urgent need; priority is given to sick and/or older writers 

Behind the Scenes Grantfor entertainment technology professionals in need due to serious illness or injury; three types of grants are available

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

Carnegie Fund for Authorsapplicant must be an American author who has published at least one full-length work by a mainstream publisher and must also demonstrate need; the emergency may be because of illness or some other urgent need or emergency such as fire, flood, hurricane

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

The Dancers’ Resource at the Actors Fund—for professional dancers dealing with a significant injury, this resource provides emotional support and shares resources; financial assistance eligibility requires an application, documentation of your professional earnings and an interview

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

Dramatists Guild Foundation COVID-19 emergency grantsin partnership with Advekit , an online therapist matching service, the Dramatists Guild provides writers with  $1,000 in financial support for mental health and wellness services 

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 (FCA) Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund—one-time $2,000 grants to eligible artists who have lost income from canceled performances or exhibitions due to the pandemic 

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

Gibney Dance Company Community Center—this extensive resource list includes online classes and projects, self-care and general community resources, and events and performances streaming online

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 

Max’s Emergency Relief and Resource Fund—one-time-grant between $500 and $1,000 to assist self-employed artists who have a steady work history but are experiencing a temporary financial setback; applicants must be residents of NY state

Musical Health Alliance (MHAA) COVID-19 Relief Grant—emergency financial assistance for music professionals who are unable to pay their basic living expenses for up to two months 

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 CV-19 Emergency Relief Aid Grant—one-time grants of up to $200 for professional performers, educators; and composers; availability fluctuates

Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF)—sponsors hundreds of thousands of live, freely available, musical programs every year in the U.S. including Puerto Rico and Guam as well as in the Virgin Islands and Canada; it now also covers 100 percent of live performances and qualified livestreams

National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Actos de Confianza Relief Grants—support for Latinx artists and arts organizations who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic; grants from $2,500 for Latinx artists and cultural workers and from $5,000 for Latinx arts organizations facing critical financial emergencies.

National Endowment for the Arts—comprehensive COVID-19 resources list on which organizations provide frequently updated news and resources for artists and arts organizations 

National Endowment for the Arts: Second Grants for Arts Projects—grants support arts projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events; applicants can request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 and submissions have multistep deadlines beginning now 

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

NYFA Emergency Grants—aggregator site for nationwide emergency grants available to those who have had to stop work and are not getting paid, including part-time employees 

SAG-AFTRA Disaster Relief Fund—emergency assistance for eligible SAG-AFTRA members who have been affected by COVID-19 and the 2021 Tennessee and Kentucky floods 

SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund—provides emergency financial assistance and enhances the welfare, training, education, and artistic life of the performer. 

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 Covid-19 Fund—a donor-directed fund with limited resources for musicians and music industry workers affected by COVID-19

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

Vera List Center for Arts and Politics—COVID-19 resource toolkit for visual artists and writers and our extended communities contains an extensive list of programs and events, grants, crowd-funding and community care, and teaching tools

Vilcek Foundation Prizes for Creative Promise in Dance—three prizes of $50,000 each to young, immigrant artistic directors, choreographers, and performers who demonstrate outstanding early achievement in dance; applications are open through June 11, 2021 

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; 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

COVID-19 Pro Bono Financial Planning Program

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

Federal CARES Act Benefit Summary for New Yorkers

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 January 31, 2021; 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

NYC Covid-19 Citywide Information Portal—support resources for food, employment, health insurance, housing, and more

NYC Food Delivery Assistance—New York City will deliver emergency meals to you if you cannot go out to get food, no one can bring you food, and you are not able to use private delivery options

NYC.gov Free Meals

NYC.gov 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 

Dramatists Guild Steven Schwartzberg Grants for Mental Health & Wellness

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

Get Covered NYC—helps New Yorkers enroll in health insurance—including low- and no-cost options—under the Affordable Care Act

MusiCares Financial and Addiction Recovery Assistance—can grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances

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

NYC Well—Outdoor Flu Vaccination Events (NYC)

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

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

Eviction Lab—updates on the Federal Eviction Moratorium, a temporary national moratorium that provides (in most instances) protection from evictions for nonpayment of rent to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19; extended through June 30, 2021

Housing Court Answers—the best place for people without lawyers to go for information about Housing Court, this site educates and empowers NYC tenants and small homeowners and has extensive information about everything related to NYC housing

JustFix NYCtenants’ rights nonprofit app 

Just Shelternational tenant advocacy group resource list 

NYC Human Resources Administration—legal services for tenants

NYC Rent Freeze Program—helps those eligible to stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent; it includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs, and recipients should renew as soon as possible but have an automatic six-month grace period to renew due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Unemployment Assistance/New York State

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programprovides 53 weeks of additional benefits; this went into effect April 5, 2020, and expires in the benefit week ending September 5, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—An additional $300 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is payable to eligible claims made from the weeks ending January 3, 2021, through September 5, 2021; PUA recipients may be eligible for additional benefits under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.

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

Additional Support

COVID-19 Assistance and Guidance for Small Businessesguidelines for reopening your business

>>Students: You can find additional resources at MyJuilliard