Coalition of Arts Funders Launches Emergency Artist Relief Fund With Seed Funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Coalition of Arts Funders Launches Emergency Artist Relief Fund With Seed Funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

NEW YORK — April 8, 2020 — A coalition of national arts grantmakers, consisting of Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, announces the launch of Artist Relief, which will provide rapid, unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to assist artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19; serve as an informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Research Partner Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward.

Grant applications open today at

An unprecedented national, multidisciplinary partnership between seven arts grantmakers and a consortium of foundations, Artist Relief is an ambitious effort to support the country’s individual artists in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will launch with $10 million, consisting of $5 million in seed funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation matched with $5 million in initial contributions from an array of foundations across the United States. Organizers will continue to fundraise beyond the launch of the grant program to assist with the rapidly escalating needs of the country's artists.

“In hard times like these, we turn to the arts to illuminate and help us make meaning and find connection. Without immediate intervention, individual artists and the arts ecosystem of which they are the foundation could sustain irreparable damage,” noted Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a poet and memoirist. “As artists confront these new fiscal realities, we are proud to support this vital effort to address artists’ urgent needs. We call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to be our lights, chroniclers, and connectors throughout this crisis and beyond.”

According to Artists and Other Cultural Workers: A Statistical Portrait, a study published in 2019 by the Office of Research & Analysis (ORA) at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), there are 2.5 million working artists in the United States. To meet the needs of as many artists as possible, donations to Artist Relief can be made at

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