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COVID-19 Relief Fund

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the artist community, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. If you are unsure about whether your work is experimental, you can see other artists we have supported on our Instagram and our website.

For as long as our Board of Directors determines it is necessary and prudent to do so, the Foundation will disburse one-time $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 virus.

Artists wishing to apply please see below for eligibility requirements and the FCA COVID-19 Relief Fund application.

For individuals and foundations considering supporting this effort, please know that your help at any level is appreciated. Please read the FCA COVID-19 Relief Fund Fact Sheet for more information.

If you are looking for project-based support from our Emergency Grants Program you can find more information further down the page.

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund has been generously supported by several individuals, as well as the following foundations:

The Destina Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Glenstone Museum, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation, Teiger Foundation, Cy Twombly Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

COVID-19 Relief Fund Eligibility Requirements

  • In accordance with our mission, FCA will continue to focus its support on artists making work of a contemporary, experimental nature.
  • Relief will be provided to artists who can demonstrate that they have had an engagement canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Applicants must be individual artists, or an individual representing an artist collective, ensemble, or group. Curators, producers, workshop organizers, organizations, or arts presenters are not eligible to apply.
  • Currently, this fund cannot support performers, ensemble members, or designers who were working on a project that was canceled; we recognize the vital contributions that performers, artist assistants, designers, and others make to the field and have listed other resources that offer more targeted support to those artists below.
  • Applicants must be living in the United States or U.S. territories and have a U.S. Tax ID Number (SSN, EIN, ITIN, or other)
  • For the purpose of providing COVID-19 relief, we are temporarily suspending the three year waiting period between grants. If you have received a grant from the Foundation in the past three years you may apply for COVID-19 relief.

FCA anticipates far greater need than this fund will be able to accommodate. Below you will find three additional resource links. The first is a list of national resources for artists and arts organizations from the National Endowment for the Arts. The second is a list of COVID-19 resources for freelance artists that has been assembled by an independent group of artists and administrators. The third is a list of mutual aid resources for artists living in New York in case you or someone you know is immunocompromised or otherwise at-risk and in need of assistance with grocery or supply delivery or other services.

Please note that the resources at the links below have not been independently vetted by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and are provided solely in the hope that they might be a useful starting place for members of our community who are in need of resources and support. FCA encourages you to research all the resources on each list independently. You are also encouraged to follow CDC guidelines to avoid contracting or spreading the virus and, if you are in New York City, text COVID to 692-692 to receive the latest city-wide updates.

How to Apply for the COVID-19 Relief Fund

Apply for the COVID-19 Relief Fund


Emergency Grants

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.

For information on current Emergency Grantees please follow FCA on Instagram and Facebook.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be living in the United States or U.S. territories and have a U.S. Tax ID Number (SSN, EIN, ITIN, or other)
  • Applicants must have committed performance or exhibition opportunities, and be able to provide specific dates at the time of application.
  • Applicants must be individual artists, or an individual representing an artist collective, ensemble, or group. Curators, producers, workshop organizers, organizations, or arts presenters are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants may not reapply for a project for which they have previously been denied funding.
  • If you have received an Emergency Grant or a Grants to Artists award from FCA, you must wait three years from the date of your past award before reapplying.
  • To confirm that your application meets program guidelines, please review our Emergency Grants F.A.Q.s.

Emergency Grants do not support

  • Life-related emergencies such as food, rent, medical bills, childcare, and other basic necessities
  • Reimbursement for expenses that you have already incurred
  • Projects with no scheduled exhibition or performance dates
  • Fees for participation in a residency program, or other educational and artistic development opportunities. Review our Emergency Grants F.A.Q.s for residency-related questions.
  • Deposits and registration fees for participation in an exhibition, fair, or other presentation opportunity
  • Projects taking place in commercial gallery spaces
  • Youth or educational programming
  • Requests to attend, present at, or organize professional training, workshops, lectures, symposiums, conferences, or competitions
  • Students (high school, undergraduate, graduate, Ph.D., doctoral candidates, and other students enrolled in any degree program at the time of application) are not eligible to apply
  • Production of CDs, albums, or music videos

When to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To meet artists' last-minute needs in a timely manner, FCA's Emergency Grants panel meets monthly to review requests.

We recommend applying 6-8 weeks before your presentation date. We review applications received within a shorter timeline, but please keep in mind that you may not hear back from FCA until your project is underway.

You may not apply for a project that is more than eight weeks away, for a project that has already happened, or to request reimbursement for expenses you have already incurred.

Applicants should not request more funding than needed.

How to Apply

Emergency Grants applications are accepted through an online form.

Apply for an Emergency Grant

If you have difficulty with internet access, please call or email the Foundation for a hard-copy application.

Panel Process

FCA's Emergency Grants panel is comprised of established practicing artists. All panelists have an active or former teaching practice and are familiar with emerging work and contemporary practices. Most panelists have also served on other peer review processes.

Panelists consider the urgent nature of each request, the opportunity for which the artist is applying for funding, the impact an Emergency Grant would have on the artist's ability to carry out the project, the clarity of the written request, and the strength of the work samples submitted.

Panelists serve for two-year terms; to prevent lobbying by applicants we do not disclose panelists' identities.

Notification

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged via an automated email. Please be aware that communication from FCA may unintentionally go to your Spam folder.

Please do not contact FCA about the status of your application. All applicants will receive notification of the panel's decision following the monthly panel meeting. Grant checks are mailed to awardees the same week.

FCA has a small Programs team that is responsible for reviewing all Emergency Grants requests. We appreciate applicants refraining from calling with phone inquiries.

Other Important Information

There is no longer a two-time cap on the number of Emergency Grants one may receive in their lifetime.

FCA has a small fund supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding for unexpected or unbudgeted travel-related expenses for cultural exchange between the U.S. and the following countries:

Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

FCA also has a small fund for L.A.-based artists to support grants to artists living in the greater Los Angeles area.

Emergency Grants are generously supported in part by grants from:

Amphion Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, John Baldessari Family Foundation, Lawrence B. Benenson, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, New York City Council District 33/Council Member Stephen Levin, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation, in honor of Stephanie Barron, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Louisa Stude Sarofim/The Brown Foundation of Houston Inc., and Trust for Mutual Understanding. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.