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March 30, 2020 | General, News, Together Apart,

Artist Resources During COVID-19

In the past few weeks, theaters throughout the world have gone dark and have shifted quickly to gathering in digital spaces rather than on our stages in order to flatten the curve and preserve the opportunity to reconnect outside of isolation in the near future.

However, this reality has led to several performance cancellations or postponements, leaving artists without their creative outlet and searching for artistic sustenance elsewhere. Beyond even the ability to create during this time, many artists are feeling the financial burden of the pandemic, not only as productions are halted, but also as we see a general spike in unemployment and other incomes continue to disappear.

At ArtsEmerson, we are fortunate to continue our work during this time, though it may not be in the expected form. Within that fortune, we also recognize that many of our artistic community members are feeling the uncertainty of the future deeply, unsure of when the next project, paycheck, or production will come either as individuals or as art institutions. While it is deeply troubling to understand the full affect this pandemic will have on the arts internationally, we are holding each other and committed to this community knowing that one day, we’re going to gather in our theaters again.

As part of that commitment, we’ve collected several resources for artists during COVID-19 that provides assistance in various forms. Of course, this list is ever growing and incomplete, so we encourage you to share any other resources you come across in the comment section below.

This is just the beginning, but we’re here together by standing apart.

Relief Funds and Financial Assistance

Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program

The Actors Fund provides services and financial support to entertainment professionals facing personal or work-related problems. It is also a conduit for emergency financial assistance in times of pressing need or in response to catastrophic events.

Artists Relief Project

Artly World launched this fund to support artists with $200 grants.


A COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief fund for arts organizations affected by the pandemic.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

This emergency fund can provide up to $200 for people of color that are either working artist or art administration and are affected by COVID-19.

Boston Artist Relief Fund

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus.

CERF+ Emergency Relief Fund 

Artists who have suffered from a recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster, can apply for funding. CERF+ also has a list of resources centered around the pandemic.

Dramatist Guild

A relief fund supporting individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters.

NYFA Emergency Grants List

The New York Foundation for the Arts has a running list of additional emergency grant opportunities for artists, categorized by disciplines.

Art Interrupted Emergency Arts Fund

Twenty Summer has launched an emergency fund for artists and arts organizations suffering from unexpected and unmanageable financial loss as a result of the COVID-19. Artists can receive up to $500, while arts organizations can receive up to $1,000.

Mellon Foundation

As part of the Consortium Supporting Small and Mid-size Arts Organizations, they have created a $75 million NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund.

Further Resources

Artwork Archives

A list of resources for artists, specifically tracking a list of emergency grants.

Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres

This webinar by the Theatre Communications Group provides a holistic take on preparedness for theatres, including, general preparedness strategies, how to forecast budget shifts should productions be cancelled, how to navigate insurance, and more.

Freelance Artist Resources

A list of resources specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community, including actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, and more.

How Self-Employed Artists and Small Businesses Can Apply for Financial Aid

Art Newspaper has gathered information about grants and loans in the US and Europe to help self-employed artists and small businesses in the arts community get through the COVID-19 crisis.

National Endowment of the Arts has assembled a resource page for artists as well with an informative FAQ document.

You can also help support our organization and our artists who are impacted, however big or small, by the unfolding uncertainty of this situation. Good health will return and our theaters will reopen. Until then, we hope you will consider making a gift by visiting.

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