Updated: Emergency Relief for Arizona Artists Affected by COVID-19

Christopher Jagmin working on a March exhibit that was canceled due to COVID-19.
Christopher Jagmin working on a March exhibit that was canceled due to COVID-19. Lynn Trimble
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect individual artists and arts groups on a local and global scale.

Several factors, from event cancellations to temporary venue closures, are leaving creatives with far fewer opportunities for earning income and sharing their work. Here is an updated list of resources for artists facing financial challenges during this era of social distancing. If you’re not an artist but you’d like to help the community, many of these funds are accepting donations.

Artist Relief

A coalition of national arts grantmakers has created an emergency relief initiative for artists in the U.S. The group will award $5,000 grants to “artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19.” It’s also co-launching the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, which was created by Americans for the Arts. Find details on the Artist Relief website.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

The fund created by the Arts Administrators of Color is accepting donations, which will be used to disperse $200 in assistance per individual who qualifies. The fund is designed to help people of color whose pursuit of a career as an artist or arts administrator has been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is designed to help people who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

CARES Act Emergency Relief Grants

Arizona Humanities is providing emergency relief grants to nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The grants are funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the CARES Act. Grants of up to $10,000 can be used for general operating expenses or current projects affected by the pandemic. Applications were opened on April 24 and will close on June 1. The first round of funds will be announced on or before May 15, and additional rounds will occur based on available funding.

CERF + Emergency Relief Grants

The national CERF + organization is providing emergency relief grants to artists who have contracted the COVID-19 virus and require intensive medical care. Organizers describe it as a grassroots mutual aid effort created by and for artists.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund

The foundation is accepting donations for this national fund, which will provide $1,000 grants to experimental artists in the U.S. facing financial challenges due to performances or exhibits that have been canceled or postponed.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration resumed on April 27. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals can apply for low-interest loans, which may be eligible for forgiveness under certain conditions.

Small Business Relief Grant

Eligible small businesses in low-income areas in Phoenix can apply to receive up to $10,000 if they have experienced “economic distress and sudden loss of revenue” due to COVID-19. Applicants should have 25 or fewer employees and $3 million or less in annual sales. Additional requirements are available on the Arizona Community Foundation website.

The Actors Fund

The Actors Fund is providing emergency financial assistance to union and non-union workers in entertainment and the performing arts with several assistance funds with a unique focus. For example, The Actors Fund helps performers and people working behind the scenes in dance, film, music, television, and theater. Find the eligibility requirements on the Actors Fund website.

The Artists’ Fellowship

The Artists’ Fellowship is providing relief to professional visual artists experiencing immediate medical emergencies (or dealing with their aftermath). Only artists with current, documented needs are eligible to apply. Learn more on The Artists’ Fellowship website.

The Emergency Relief Fund for Arizona Artists & Arts Professionals

Arizona arts funders and service organizations established this fund to assist Arizona artists with emergency relief grants ranging from $500 to $1,500. People can donate to the fund, which is being managed by the Arizona Community Foundation. Funds raised by Artlink will become part of this effort. Arizona Commission on the Arts will manage the submission process. The online application portal opened on April 4, at 10 a.m. and closed later that day due to high demand. Artists can complete an online form if they would like to receive future news about the fund.

Writers’ Emergency Fund

PEN America is awarding $500 to $1,000 grants to professional fiction and nonfiction authors in the U.S. who are experiencing “acute financial need” due to COVID-19. The grants are also open to journalists, playwrights, poets, screenwriters, and translators. Get details on the PEN America website.

Editor’s note: We’ll update this list as we learn of additional relief programs for Arizona artists and arts organizations.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble