COVID-19 Emergency Funding and Resources for Freelance Artists

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

COVID-19 Emergency Funding and Freelance Artists Resources

Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19 and in these times of uncertainty, we have compiled a quick list of emergency funding and resources for freelance artists including filmmakers, musicians, singers, dancers, designers, etc. If you’d like to email us with additional coronavirus related funding and resources please email us at

Emergency Funding

Emergency Relief Fund Opened for SAG-AFTRA Members The SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund “(SAG-AFTRA MPPWF) provides emergency financial assistance and enhances the welfare, training, education and artistic life of the performer. SAG-AFTRA MPPWF emergency financial assistance is available to members in the New York region and the following locals: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Michigan, Missouri Valley, Nashville, New England, New Orleans, New York, Ohio-Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Twin Cities, and Washington-Mid Atlantic.

The foundation is partnering with the Actors Fund to administer emergency relief services for union members on the ground in entertainment epicenters like New York and California.”

Emergency Grants – Rauschenberg Foundation

“The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation have partnered to offer a new medical emergency aid program for artists. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses, including hospital bills, insurance co-pays, prescription drugs, and even some dental work.”

Emergency Relief Programs – Alliance of Artist Communities

“In the event of an emergency, the Alliance can offer support for artists by connecting them with our diverse network of residency programs across the country. By providing the time, space, and support that residencies offer, artists can focus on their work, reflect, and renew their creative practice during an especially challenging time.”

Emergency Grants – Dramatists Guild Foundation

“As you are aware, the news is constantly unfolding regarding new cases of COVID-19, in the US, and around the globe. In the midst of this situation, DGF will be processing Emergency Grants based on the severity of need, especially as it relates to COVID-19. DGF is sensitive to the inherent economic challenges that will arise in relation to CDC recommendations for social distancing. Please be advised, we are receiving a higher than normal volume of requests. We apologize for any delay and are working to process all applications swiftly.”

Emergency Funding – CERF + The Artists Safety Net

“In light of the anticipated volume of requests for assistance, for the time-being, CERF+ ‘s emergency relief grants related to Covid-19 will focus on those infected with the virus that requires intensive medical care.”

Emergency Financial Assistance-Actors Fund (not just for actors)

“A national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. The Actors Fund provides comprehensive social services including counseling, crisis intervention and connections to local resources for personal, family or work-related problems as well as emergency financial assistance for basic living necessities.”

AGMA Relief Fund

“Any AGMA member in good standing is entitled and encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the AGMA Relief Fund. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need.

AGMA is aware of the major effects resonating in the performance sector regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We are deeply saddened that it is resulting in loss of work and money due to theatre closures and travel restrictions. We know that many of our artists, especially soloists, travel extensively and have been affected by this crisis.”

Shade Literary Arts Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund

“Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many countries and cities have canceled major events, and in light of this, many people, presses, journals, etc. have canceled book tours and readings, which directly support writers; honestly, it puts money directly in their pockets, money that is needed for bills, medicine, food, transportation, creation, and more!”

Grammy’s MusiCares

“MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need... treating each case with integrity and confidentiality.”

Musicians Foundation Emergency Fund

“Dear Musician Applicants – In the past 48 hours, we have received an extremely immense volume of applications due to the impact of the coronavirus. At this time, we are placing a hold on all applications so we can best strategize our approach to this situation. Please check back in the coming days and weeks for updates. We sincerely appreciate your patience as we work through this crisis.”

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

“The world has been shocked by the devastating effects of COVID-19. We are aware of the enormous medical and financial burden that COVID-19 is having on the music community and we are actively taking steps to provide assistance where it’s needed most. Due to massive cancellations, artists are struggling to find the means to make ends meet during these unprecedented times.”

Artist Emergency Relief Fund for Irish Artists

“These are troubling and uncertain times. And financially, many artists are already facing immediate hardship. The Civic wants to play its part to help us come together as a community to try and make it just a bit easier to get through this. Although we and many of our venue colleagues have made a commitment to honoring wages and fees on co-productions currently in progress and on hold, this cannot meet the emergency needs of artists.”

Links to Local Grants and Relief Funds

Boston: Theater Community Benevolent Fund

“TCBF provides financial relief in a confidential, respectful manner to individual theater practitioners and non-profit theater organizations of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas, facing occurrences of a catastrophic nature including but not limited to extreme illness, devastating acts of nature, housing emergencies, vandalism, and theft, and who have limited or no resources with which to handle such events.”