These COVID Relief Grants for Artists Are Still Accepting Applications

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An illustration of a woman holding an umbrella over another woman who is sad.
Over a year into the pandemic, many artists are still in financially dire situations. (Maria Ponomariova/iStock)

This story was originally published April 22, 2021 and has been updated. 

Even with the economy reopening, artists of all types are still reeling from a year of canceled performances and exhibitions. And though Zoom and Twitch events have allowed them to connect with their communities and attract new, global audiences, presenting online doesn’t feel the same or have the same financial payoff.

For artists struggling to meet basic needs, we’ve rounded up a list of grants that are still taking applications. Some are for hundreds of dollars and meant to cover immediate emergencies, while others offer more substantial support. And for those looking to help, many of these funds are accepting donations.

The Actors Fund
This fund provides emergency financial support for union and non-union entertainers and performing artists. Individuals with less than $15,000 in savings and couples with less than $30,000 can apply, and documentation is required.

American Guild for Musical Artists
Members of AGMA can apply for up to $1,000 in assistance for living expenses and medical emergencies.


The Artists’ Fellowship
Visual artists who can provide documentation that they make a living through their art can apply to Artists’ Fellowship grants for financial emergencies. Applications are reviewed at the beginning of every month except for July and August.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Funds
These are microgrants of $200 for artists and arts administrators who are people of color. Applications reopen in 2022.

Authors League Fund
This fund provides financial support for authors, journalists, critics, poets and other writers who’ve lost income because of the pandemic. Older people and people with medical issues are given priority.

The Blues Foundation HART Fund
The HART Fund offers financial assistance for health-related expenses, and blues musicians can call or email directly to apply.

California Jazz Foundation
California jazz musicians with five or more years in the industry can apply to have specific bills and expenses covered. Financial documentation is required, and applicants must call or email directly to apply.

CERF+ Emergency Assistance
Artists working in glass, clay, metal, wood and other craft mediums can apply for financial aid for COVID-19-related medical expenses.

Dramaturgists Guild Foundation Grant
Playwrights, librettists and other writers in the world of theater can apply for emergency assistance for basic living expenses.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Artists who’ve had exhibitions and performances canceled can apply for $1,500 grants, but a referral from a previous grant recipient is required.

MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Recording Academy’s MusiCares fund assists musicians and industry professionals, and prioritizes those experiencing medical, dental, mental health, insurance, substance abuse or eviction emergencies.

Native Americans in Entertainment COVID Relief Fund
These grants of $2,000 are available to Native American writers, actors, directors and other entertainment industry professionals who’ve lost work during the pandemic. The funds can be used to cover medical care, moving expenses, childcare, groceries, rent, utilities and more.

Sweet Relief Fund
Musicians and music workers can apply for emergency grants for medical and living expenses, and Sweet Relief offers a toolkit to help you fundraise for yourself and your community. Residents of the Bay Area and New Orleans are eligible for grants of up to $1,000 and are encouraged to apply by Oct. 31, 2021.

Zellerbach Family Foundation COVID Response Grant
The Zellerbach Foundation is awarding grants of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 to artists in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties who either need financial aid for pandemic income loss or support around recovery and reopening. The next application cycle is Dec. 6–20, 2021.