PLEASE NOTE: WomenArts does not make any emergency cash grants. Unfortunately we do not have the staff to advise you about finding emergency funds. We are providing this list to help you find other organizations where you can apply for funding.
(Page last updated: 3/12/2020)
Emergency Funds for Artists in All Disciplines
Max’s Kansas City Project
Max’s Kansas City Project provides emergency funding and resources to professionals in the creative arts who live in New York state. Individuals who have made their living through their art form, either professionally or personally, and demonstrate a financial need for medical aid, legal aid, or housing. The maximum grant is $1,000.
The Actors Fund
Provides a list of health insurance for artists in all disciplines
Provides a list of emergency resources for artists in all disciplines.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
Offers lists of emergency funds for artists in a variety of disciplines affected by recent natural disasters. https://www.nyfa.org/Content/Show/Emergency%20Grants
NYFA has another page of emergency resources at: https://www.nyfa.org/Content/Show/Emergency%20Resources
NYFA have a list of resources related to the coronavirus outbreak at: https://current.nyfa.org/post/612485365185560576/covid-19-resources-and-updates-from-nyfa
While you’re visiting the NYFA website, please note their Other Online Resources , such as the NYFA Source (a searchable online database of opportunities for artists), the NYFA Current magazine, and the NYFA Classifieds opportunity listings.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants Program
Created in 1993 to further FCA’s mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists who:
- Have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding
- Incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates
Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad.
Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Grants range in amount from $500 to $2,500, and the average grant is now $1,600.
We recommend that artists review all of our eligibility guidelines and FAQs before applying. You may also complete our Eligibility Questionnaire, but please note that the questionnaire is not a substitute for a thorough review of program guidelines.
Emergency Funds for Writers
Carnegie Fund for Authors
The applicant must be an American author who has published at least one full-length work — fiction or nonfiction — that has been published by a mainstream publisher. Applicants cannot have eligibility determined by a work that they paid to have published. A work may have been published in eBook format only, or in hardcover or softcover format, or in more than one format.
An applicant must demonstrate need; the emergency may be because of illness or some other urgent need such as fire, flood, hurricane, etc. Documentation should be included with the application: a doctor’s letter or other proof of the emergency situation.
Authors League Fund
The Fund gives open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income or other misfortune.
The PEN Writers Fund
Emergency fund for professional–published or produced–writers with serious financial difficulties. Depending on the situation, the fund gives grants or loans of up to $2,000.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Offers interest-free loans to members facing unexpected medical expenses.
American Society of Journalists & Authors Writers Emergency Assistance Fund
Helping established freelance writers across the country who, because of advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis, are unable to work. Membership in ASJA not required. No grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects; no grants to fund works-in-progress of any kind. Maximum grant: $3,500.
Emergency Funds for Visual Artists
The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. Primarily serving artists in New York. https://www.artistsfellowship.org/finacial-aid
They provide a list of Emergency Aid granting programs at: https://www.artistsfellowship.org/emergency-aid-resources
CERF + (Formerly the Craft Emergency Relief Fund)
CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+’s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief. CERF+ is currently focusing its relief aid on those infected with Covid-19 who require intensive medical care.
The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation
The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need. To be eligible for this program, an artist must be able to demonstrate a minimum involvement of ten years in a mature phase of his or her work. Artists must work in the disciplines of painting, sculpture or printmaking. Average grant size: $5,000.
Emergency Funds for Musicians
Helps professional musicians who have worked five or more years in the U.S. by providing emergency financial assistance in meeting current living, medical and allied expenses. Applicants must be able to show that their music is or was their primary source of income.
Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund
The JMEF is committed to helping jazz professionals, especially older musicians, overcome their hard times and to help them get back on their feet, making emergency funds available for immediate needs. They have programs for housing and emergency assistance, a network of pro bono medical care providers, and disaster relief.
MusiCares may grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses.
Applicants must be able to show that they have worked in the music industry for at least five years or that they have six commercially released recordings or videos (singles).
Music Maker Relief Foundation
Helps the pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern musical traditions gain recognition and meet their day to day needs. Criteria for recipients is they be rooted in a Southern musical tradition, be 55 years or older and have an annual income less than $18,000. Musician Sustenance – Grants for necessities such as food, medical needs, housing. Emergency Relief – Substantial one-time grants to recipients in crisis (medical, fire, theft, etc.).
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
Provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. The applicant must be a musician who has regular public performances, or performed on at least three widely released recordings (audio or audiovisual), or written music that has been performed on three widely released recordings, or published on three occasions.