Federal Relief Efforts

Americans for the Arts worked with a consortium of funders to announce the creation of the Artist Relief Fund, a $10 million national emergency relief fund for artists and creative workers that will provide $5,000 no-strings-attached grants. It is intended for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and who has also been affected by COVID-19.

Jazz Road Quick Assist Funds are available to freelance jazz musicians who have lost work throughout March, April, and May 2020. A limited number of $1,000 grants will be distributed to jazz musicians across the country to offset significant lost gig revenue.

As part of the $2 trillion federal CARE Act, the National Endowment for the Arts received $75 million, 40 percent of which is allocated to state arts agencies. The Oregon Arts Commission just received word that it will receive $452,000 to redistribute to Oregon arts organizations. Details to come soon.

The New York Foundation for the Arts has partnered with Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program, which provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical/dental/mental health emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who live anywhere in the U.S., its Territories, and the District of Columbia. The program does not cover lost wages/income. The May/June application cycle closes Monday, June 15.

Small Business Administration (See Business Oregon below).

Applications for The Western States Arts Federation’s WESTAF CARES Relief Fund for Organizations opened May 6. The fund is a competitive grant program supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through the CARES Act. Awards of up to $20,000 will be awarded.

 Statewide Relief Efforts and Resources

With direction from Governor Brown and working with other state partners, Business Oregon created a Small Business Navigator resource to consolidate the many programs and policies rolling out every day to help with the health crisis. Included are links to Small Business Administration loans and a paycheck protection program, both open to nonprofits.

Business Oregon also has announced a $10 million grant program to support Oregon’s small businesses. The program is open to nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees who can demonstrate losses due to COVID-19 and have not received other federal relief from programs such as the Payroll Protection Program, the SBA EIDL program or CARES Act funds distributed in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Humanities. Artist sole proprietorships may also eligible to apply. The first round of funding will be made to public entities to make subgrants; the second round will be made to Community Development Financial Institutions.

Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington has assembled a list of relief efforts by statewide funders and foundations. Included is the Oregon Community Recovery Fund set up by the Oregon Community Foundation.

Lane Arts Council created the Lane County Artist Relief Fund to aid individual artists who have lost work during the pandemic. Funding will be distributed to as many qualifying artists as possible, including visual artists, performing artists, literary artists and event production workers. The goal is to stabilize our local artists and ensure they will have the foundation to continue their creative work, now and into the future.

Literary Arts has allocated a significant amount from its Brian Booth Writers’ Fund to create the Booth Emergency Fund for Writers. The emergency fund is designed to provide meaningful financial relief to Oregon’s writers, including cartoonists, spoken word poets and playwrights.

The Nonprofit Association of Oregon has a comprehensive list of resources and answers to frequently asked questions on its COVID-19 Resources page. They are updating the page regularly so check back frequently for the latest COVID-19 resources.

The Oregon Arts and Culture Recovery Program was established in partnership with state and local arts funders, and is administered by the Oregon Community Foundation. The program will support nonprofit arts and culture organizations throughout Oregon with grants for emergency operating support and recovery activities. Funding partners include The Collins Foundation, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Jordan Schnitzer, with support from Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, Reser Family Foundation and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

The Oregon Cultural Trust Board of Directors voted to deploy up to $10 million of its $29 million permanent fund for an Emergency Cultural Relief Fund. They are awaiting needed approval by the legislature but have convened a committee of stakeholders to develop and implement an equitable and easy to use application process so that relief funds can be distributed quickly.

Oregon Humanities will award $450,000 in grants for general operating or project/program support to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 National Emergency and Oregon’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order. Grants will be distributed in sums of $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 based on organizational budget size.Grant funds are to support operations and programming costs associated with an organization’s cultural/humanities programming. The priority review deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. PDT, Sunday, May 10.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reporters gathered a very good list of emergency funds for artists and freelancers.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s  Precipice Fund will convert its grantmaking for Round 8 (2020) to awarding $60,000 in emergency relief grants for independent visual artists based in the Portland Metro Area who are experiencing financial hardship.

The Regional Arts and Culture Council is asking people to donate to the Emergency Artist Relief Fund, which supports creative professionals who have experienced a financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is open to artists at all levels of their careers, in a broad variety of disciplines. Applicants will be asked to submit evidence of their artistic practice, household income and financial loss as part of the application. RACC will make awards of up to $500 in order to support as many individual artists as possible, prioritizing those without access to other COVID-19 relief funds.

Portland Creative Laureate Subashini Ganesan and Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford established the Portland Area Artist Emergency Relief Fund, which has already awarded $95,000 to 245 individual artists.