Grants and Resources for Artists During COVID-19

Economic recovery tools for artists during the pandemic.

Green cameras on a pink background.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Audrey Shtecinjo / Stocksy.

As the global response to COVID-19 intensifies and our world is turned upside-down, many workers in the creative sector are finding it harder and harder to get by. Budgets are being rolled back, and social distancing policies are taking a toll on everyone depending on face-to-face interactions for income. Many are scrambling to balance their health and safety with paying the bills. Creatives are often hit hardest during uncertain times, and the recent pandemic is no exception. Thankfully, the financial difficulties artists are facing have been recognized. A rapidly growing group of organizations is mobilizing resources for artists affected by COVID-19.

Even under the best circumstances, sifting through the pages and pages of grant applications can be frustrating. At Adobe Stock, we want to do everything we can to support our amazing community of designers, illustrators, and artists. That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of top resources and grants for artists who may be seeking a little help. If you’ve lost work, have been hit with a medical emergency, or are worried about keeping the (virtual) doors of your business open, here are some options to get the financial support you need.

A man paints a canvas.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Mint Images.

Grants for visual artists affected by COVID-19

Artist Relief Project

The Artist Relief Project is an initiative run by Artly World Nonprofit. The fund is open to any artist in any discipline who has been negatively affected by cancellations and closures. The number of individuals they will help is limited only by how much money they can raise. Their usual mission is to make the arts accessible to everyone by providing free programming to families in underserved communities.

Emergency Arts Fund – Art Interrupted

Once the largest art colony in America, today, Twenty Summers is an arts organization dedicated to engaging with and fostering emerging artists and cultural figures. They have recently launched the Emergency Arts Fund for artists and arts organizations facing financial loss due to the Coronavirus. Artists send them videos which Twenty Summers then promotes to solicit donations for their fund. You can nominate an artist, including yourself, for up to $500.

Freelancer’s Relief Fund

The Freelancer’s Union promotes the interests of independent workers through advocacy, education, and services. Their relief fund will provide grants to freelancers experiencing economic hardship or a health crisis due to COVID-19. They begin accepting applications on April 2, 2020, for financial assistance up to $1,000 per household to cover income loss.

The Photographer Fund

By Format, a portfolio service for photographers, this fund aims to assist self-employed photographers with up to $500 per person.

A man looks at his camera.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Blend Images.

The Mayer Foundation

This one is focused on the artist community in New York City. If you are an artist in New York City suffering from a lack of financial resources, the Mayer Foundation gives out grants of around $2,000 per person on a rolling basis. To apply, you submit a proposal letter and financial statements demonstrating your need. Grants are administered quarterly.

The Artist’s Fellowship

This is a charitable foundation that assists professional visual artists and their families. Due to the pandemic, all their resources have been directed toward helping applicants who have been hit with an immediate medical emergency. The application is extensive, but they award an average of $2,500 or more depending on the needs of the applicant.

The Creator Fund

The Creator Fund aims to bolster the creative economy by covering up to $500 of unexpected expenses per creator. They want to help as many as they can and are actively seeking more donations.

Behind the Scenes Grant

Behind the Scenes is a charity that provides financial support to entertainment technology industry professionals who are seriously ill or injured. They are currently accepting applications from anyone directly involved in supplying entertainment technology products and services, including design firms, who has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Art Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

The Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up this emergency aid to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists and administrators who have been financially impacted by the epidemic. The GoFundMe page has a link to a form application for BIPOC creatives in need.

The Soze Agency Artist + Activist Relief Fund

Created by The Soze Foundation, TaskForce, and Invisible Hand, this fund supports both artists and activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. They have already helped over 250 individuals. Add your name to their waiting list so you can apply once they raise more money.

Freelancer Co-Op

Though they are closed for new applications until they can secure additional funding, it is worthwhile to keep an eye on this page if you are a freelancer affected by COVID-19. As part of the application, those who receive funds agree to “pay it forward” once they are doing better. It is a wonderful way to keep the community thriving.

Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is giving away $100M in cash grants to eligible small businesses. If you are wondering how to keep your enterprise alive during these challenging times, Facebook’s program is worth looking into and will begin taking applications soon.

A woman paints on a canvas.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Javier Pardina / Stocksy.

Local resources

In our search for the best financial aid to support digital creatives, we found many region-specific organizations that are issuing emergency funding. So, don’t overlook your local nonprofits, art communities, and even economic development offices. Depending on your area, there may be support just around the corner.

Other resources available

The SBA has made its Economic Injury Disaster Loans available during the COVID-19 crisis. These loans are traditionally meant to provide a safety net for businesses following localized disasters (hurricanes, floods, etc.), but the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act extended the coverage of these loans to businesses nationwide that have been affected by the pandemic.

Additionally, the CARES Act has made Paycheck Protection Program Loan Guarantees available to small businesses of less than 500 employees, including those who are self-employed, sole proprietors, freelancers, and gig economy workers. Some benefits of this loan program include generous loan forgiveness provisions, maximum interest rates of 4%, loan terms up to 10 years, no requirement for personal guarantees or collateral as conditions of approval, and payment deferments of up to 12 months. Furthermore, part of this loan can be forgiven and not counted as income if the money is spent on operations during the first eight weeks. To learn more, contact your local lending institution.

Adobe is not affiliated with the above organizations or funds. We’re providing this information for research and educational purposes to help you get what you need. All information has been verified at the time of this writing.