March 25, 2020

In an effort to support traditional artists and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting loss of bookings, programming, and income, ACTA has compiled a shortlist of funding and readiness resources. This page will be updated as new funding and support resources become available.

If you haven’t already, please make your voice heard by filling out the Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Arts and Cultural Sector survey from Americans for the Arts. It takes five minutes, and the information will directly impact emergency funding advocacy efforts at the national level.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

The CARES Act offers many funding opportunities for small businesses, non-profits, sole proprietorships, freelancers, contract workers, and gig economy workers. Here is a breakdown of key opportunities compiled  by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Applications open FRIDAY APRIL 3 for the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Paycheck Protection Program for nonprofits and small businesses (those organizations with fewer than 499 employees). The program will also be available to sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals starting next Friday, April 10.

The Paycheck Protection Program loans will be completely forgiven (turned into grants) so long as 75% of the borrowed amount is used for payroll, and the recipient does not lower salaries or lay off staff (or rehires staff within a prescribed timeframe if those individuals have already been laid off).

Importantly, the program is first-come, first-served, so it is important to get your application in as soon as possible. The SBA estimates the application, including information gathering, will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The SBA has posted a sample application and instructions on its website.

These loans can be used for payroll costs, costs associated with vacation, sick leave, and healthcare benefits, as well as things like mortgage and utility payments, with at least 75% of the forgiven amount of the loan used for payroll. Loan amounts for each applying organization are based on 250% of average monthly payroll from February to June 2019 and capped at $10 million.

Organizations will apply through existing SBA lenders or participating financial institutions. You should start by consulting with your organization’s current bank to see if it is participating in the program, but you can also apply at any SBA-approved bank even if your organization doesn’t have an account there. Already there is news that today’s rollout of the program has been rocky, so you may need to be both patient and persistent as the bumps get smoothed out.

To apply, organizations should:

  1. Review the additional resources provided below.
  2. Check to see if the bank your organization currently works with is participating in the program, or identify a lending institution on this approved list.
  3. Refer to the sample calculation document to calculate your organization’s payroll costs, which will help you estimate your total loan request.
  4. Gather internal decision makers (executive director, board members, finance team, etc.) to review governance processes and reach consensus on the decision to apply for a loan.
  5. Complete the sample application for submission to lender as soon as possible; ideally today: Friday, April 3.

Check out the Paycheck Protection Program Toolkit by Fiscal Management Associates for more details.

Emergency Economic Injury Grants & Economic Injury Disaster Loan

This program is administered directly by the SBA, offers low-interest (below 4%) loans of up to $2 million, but importantly these loans must be repaid (except for an initial advance of $10,000, payable within three days of the application date, which does not have to be repaid). Applicants to this program may also apply for the Paycheck Protection Program described above. Learn more here.

For Individual Artists

MusiCares Relief Fund
Basic living assistance (rent or mortgage) for music industry professionals. Initial grant requests can be made up to $1000 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost

Emergency funding available to established artists working in a craft discipline

Women’s Center for Creative Work COVID-19 Emergency Health Grant For Artists
$1,000 grants with a weekly rolling deadlin

Bay Area Safety Net Fund
Supports artists in the Bay Area

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
Fund for US-based BIPOC artists and administrators

The Creator Fund
Assistance with medical needs, groceries, childcare, and mortgage/rent for active creators

LA Dance Emergency Fund
Grants of up to $500 for dancers/dance companies (residents of Greater Los Angeles)

New Music Solidarity Fund
Helps new/creative/improvised music freelancers whose livelihood has been threatened as a result of performances which have been canceled

Soze Foundation Artist and Activist Relief Fund
For artists + activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19 (currently on waitlist)

Resources for Teaching Artists
Webinar and resources for teaching artists

Free Online Workshops for Artists: Coping with COVID
Series of free online workshops designed to help artists mitigate the effects of the pandemic and economic situation

For Organizations

Business Continuity for Nonprofits from Nonprofit Risk Management Center

Loss of Income Calculator from Performing Arts Readiness

Preparing for for Potential Impact of Coronavirus
Temporary closure readiness steps from ArtsReady

San Francisco Foundation Emergency Response Fund
Limited number of one-time grants ($3,000 – $25,000) to SF Bay Area nonprofits addressing racial bias, worker protection, homelessness and renter protection/housing security, and food security.

COVID-19 Emergency Loans
Low-interest loans supporting arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in eleven Bay Area counties

Fundraising in Difficult Times handbook from Fractured Atlas

Principles for Ethical Cancellation from Springboard

For Families

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The FFCRA contains several separate Acts, including Acts to expand family and medical leave and guarantee emergency paid sick leave for employees who work for public and private employers. Certain employees are now entitled to paid family and medical leave and emergency paid sick leave.

More Resources

California Coronavirus Response

Freelance Artist Resource List

SF Arts and Artists Relief Fund
For artists and organizations

Los Angeles City Arts Emergency Relief Fund
For artists and organizations

National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Arts Resources List

Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Cultures Resource List

San Francisco Arts Commission COVID-19 Resource List

National Endowment for the Arts Resource List

Californians for the Arts Resources

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