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.

View an online ACTA roundtable with speakers from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) answering questions on how traditional arts organizations can apply for federal funds.

Watch the Roundtable

*NEW* Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

>>> Mark your calendars: The state Employment Development Department (EDD) will be accepting online applications for the PUA program beginning on TUESDAY, April 28. <<<

As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. Details on this new program can be found here.

For Individual Artists

Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund for musicians + music industry workers
Funds available to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus, who make at least 50% of their income from working within the music community.
Deadline: rolling

Bay Area Art Workers Relief Fund
The Bay Area Arts Worker Relief Funds are resources for arts workers who are facing a loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This application is specifically for people working within the visual, literary, media, film and video arts.
Deadline: rolling

Artist Relief
A coalition of national arts grantmakers have come together to create an emergency initiative to distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19.  Traditional artists are eligible to apply.
Deadline: Cycle 9 deadline is December 10

Laguna Beach Artists’ Benevolence Fund
The Artists’ Benevolence Fund is a unique source of financial assistance to artists living in Laguna Beach, who have suffered a catastrophic event, leaving them unable to work.
Deadline: rolling, monthly

Artists Now
Helping Bay Area artists in need get an immediate $500.
Deadline: Current round closed, but sign up for email to be notified of next round

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
Deadline: rolling

Emergency funding available to established artists working in a craft discipline.
Deadline: rolling

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
Fund for US-based BIPOC artists and administrators, $200 per person, first-come-first-served
Deadline: rolling

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

COVID-19 Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund (Bay Area)
From Theatre Bay Area. While its website doesn’t specify how much aid is available, they encourage those seeking support to email to apply

The Blues Foundation HART Fund
The HART Fund offers financial assistance to blue musicians for health-related expenses, and artists need to call or email directly to apply

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)

Bay Area Arts Crisis Navigator
The Hewlett Foundation’s Bay Area Arts Crisis Navigator newsletter provides a carefully curated set of resources and advice for artists and small arts organizations to help them find their way through the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artist Relief Fund List
List of resources compiled by the SF Symphony

TRAIN: Teachers of Remote Arts Instruction Network
Our friends at Virginia Folklife Program have offered to open up this resource, TRAIN: Teachers of Remote Arts Instruction Network, to California-based artists. Created in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the livelihoods of artists, TRAIN connects interested students of all skill levels with a diverse range of master musicians, craftspeople, and tradition bearers offering online instructional opportunities. Become a TRAIN instructor today.

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

Arts Loan Fund from Northern California Grantmakers
The Arts Loan Fund announced a COVID-19 Emergency Loan product to support arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in the eleven Bay Area counties. Organizations can apply for these low-interest loans to cover basic expenses such as staff salaries, artist payments, rent and other operating costs during this challenging time. Learn more and apply here.

National Endowment for the Arts’ CARES Act Funds
The NEA announced its guidelines to swiftly distribute funding to nonprofit arts organizations from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to close operations due to the spread of COVID-19. You must have been a NEA award recipient within the past 4 years to be eligible for these funds!
Deadline: April 22 with the earliest announcement of grant award or rejection by June 30.

Flesihhacker Foundation Small Arts Grant
In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the local arts community, the Small Arts Grants program is accepting applications for general operating support during the spring 2021 review cycle from 501(c)(3) nonprofit and fiscally sponsored organizations. Grants in this program range from $1,000 to $10,000 and are usually between $2,000 and $5,000.
Deadline: Proposals for the spring 2021 review cycle is January 15, 2021 for a decision in early May 2021.

Business Continuity for Nonprofits from Nonprofit Risk Management Center

California Small Business Emergency Relief Package
New state assistance is being made available to businesses and organizations within California’s creative field. Governor Newsom announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant, for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions. Grants of up to $25,000 will be made available to underserved micro and small businesses, nonprofits, and cultural institutions throughout the state. The program is currently being developed and will open for applications as soon as possible.

Tax Relief for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The temporary tax relief entails an automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax, extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales, and provides expanded interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions. Applications are open now.

Loss of Income Calculator from Performing Arts Readiness

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

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 Immigrant Resilience Fund
On Wednesday, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) and 12 philanthropic partners launched the California Immigrant Resilience Fund, an effort to provide cash assistance to undocumented Californians and their families who are ineligible for COVID-19 federal relief and state safety-net programs. The Resilience Fund’s initial goal is to raise $50 million.

Office Hours with Nina from Americans for the Arts
Beginning April 10th between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday, over the next two weeks, drop in to Zoom for “Office Hours with Nina” with Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Executive Director of Americans for the Arts. Nina will be available to help you navigate the complex web of funding opportunities, federal regulations, and deadlines related to the $2.3 trillion federal aid package in the CARES Act.

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

Los Angeles COVID/Mutual Aid Facebook Group 

Culture LA Resource List

San Francisco Arts Commission COVID-19 Resource List

National Endowment for the Arts Resource List

Californians for the Arts Resources

Resources for Businesses and Employees Impacted by COVID-19
San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development

List of Grant Funding Opportunities from GrantForward

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative Resource Hub

Women’s Center For Creative Work
List of COVID resources, funds/orgs, and mutual aid initiatives compiled by the Women’s Center for Creative Work

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