With concert halls shuttered and film shoots on hiatus, artists and performers are finding themselves seriously strapped for cash. Thankfully, unemployment insurance has opened up to freelance and gig workers who normally survive from project to project.
In addition to unemployment funds, there are some emergency financial resources all creatives should know about. The Actors Fund has compiled a list of national grants and assistance programs open to performers and artists of all kinds, from bluegrass musicians to playwrights.
For creatives whose financial setbacks include unexpected medical emergencies, the Rauschenberg Emergency Grants provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 to help. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who are US citizens or permanent residents. There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is another resource that’s always worth the creative New Yorker’s attention, but it’s especially helpful right now. Not only does it provide extensive updated lists of jobs and fellowship opportunities, the NYFA has also partnered with The Maurice Sendak Foundation to create an emergency relief grant program specifically for children’s picture book artists and writers who have experienced financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maurice Sendak Emergency Relief Fund will distribute unrestricted grants of up to $2,500 apiece until the fund has run out.