Whether you've experienced an emergency and need help paying your bills, or you need a boost, so you can reach that next step in your career, there may be a grant opportunity for you.

We've compiled a list of emergency grants and other financial opportunities for artists—whether you're a visual artist, musician, or performing artist.

We've also compiled a list of grant-writing tips to help you write a compelling grant that will get you that much closer to your goals, and links to databases where you can find funding opportunities.



The Actors Fund fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.

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. 

The Artists' Charitable Fund assists American visual fine artists (painters and sculptors) living anywhere in the United States by paying a portion of their medical / dental / eye-care bills. 

Artist Relief supports artists during the COVID-19 crisis. It is a coalition of national arts grantmakers who have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.

The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Please answer the questions in the online form, and they will contact you if needed.

The Authors League Fund helps professional authors, journalists, poets, and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune.

The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. 

CERF+ emergency funding is available to crafters. Not sure if you fit the description, think about your materials: materials are traditionally considered to be clay, fiber, metal, wood, or glass. However, today’s artist working in a craft discipline may also employ concrete, plastic, synthetic fibers, recycled materials and other non-traditional materials, and may self-identify as a maker, designer, potter, ceramicist, mixed media artist, etc.

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts created a temporary fund to meet the needs of artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions because of COVID-19.

The Jazz Foundation’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, disaster relief and direct financial support in times of crisis. Use their contact page to inform them of your need.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation provides emergency support to US-based visual artists who have suffered significant losses after natural or man-made disasters that have affected their community on a broad scale.

The Musicians Foundation gives grants for medical and allied living expenses in emergencies, and pays these debts on behalf of the musicians they help. They do not write checks directly to musicians. Their grants typically range in amount from approximately $500-$3,000.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer a new emergency grant program called Rauschenberg Emergency Grants. The program will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. Open to visual and media artists and choreographers.

The PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund is a small grants program for professional—published or produced—writers in acute or unexpected financial crisis. Depending on the situation and level of need, grants are in the range of $2,000.



The Aaron Siskind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) set up by preeminent photographer Aaron Siskin’s estate, which he had asked to become a resource for contemporary photographers. The award was established to support and encourage contemporary artists working in the photographic field.

Artist Grant is a new venture that aims to support and fund artists. To that end, this charitable organization funds the efforts of artists to continue their important work and contributions to society, providing a modest competitive grant of $500 to one artist every quarter.


Artistic Assistance is a program of Alternate ROOTS that provides direct support to individual artists and cultural workers in the South to enhance their skills, create unique projects, and build community. The program has two funding areas: Professional Development and Project Development.

Awesome Foundation Grant is a micro-granting organization, funding “awesome” ideas, The Awesome Foundation set up local chapters around the world to provide rolling grants of $1000 to “awesome projects.” Each chapter defines what is “awesome” for their local community, but most include arts initiative and public or social practice art projects.


The Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award is a $10,000 cash grant along with a year of professional mentorship given annually to an emerging female composer.

Creative Capital supports adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, and career development services.

The Gottlieb Foundation wishes to encourage artists who have dedicated their lives to developing their art, regardless of their level of commercial success.


The Haas Institute’s Artist In Residence program supports artists to deepen their practice. The chosen artist’s project and process will illuminate and advance our understanding of belonging in new and complex ways. In particular, we are interested in works that explore practices of dialogue and engage a broad audience through process and/or outcomes. 

The Harpo Foundation seeks to stimulate creative inquiry and to encourage new modes of thinking about art. Applications are evaluated on the basis of the quality of the artist’s work, the potential to expand aesthetic inquiry, and its relationship to the foundation’s priority to provide support to visual artists who are under-recognized by the field.

Integrity: Arts & Culture (IACA) sponsors mini-grants that generally average $250, and are intended to assist with such things as: art supplies, recording studio time, exhibits, performances, project related expenses, etc. This is our way of planting seeds that we believe will continue to grow. 

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.

Contemporary Craft has many opportunities for artists in the craft field including the LEAP Award, which recognizes exceptional emerging talent in the contemporary craft field and provides opportunities for these early career artists to bring their artwork to the consumer market. They also have a yearlong apprenticeship.

The MAP Fund supports original live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry, particularly works created by artists who question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the United States.

OPERA America awards grants to the opera field to support the work of opera creators, companies and administrators.

Network of Ensemble Theaters provides grants that are intended to create new opportunities for reciprocal exchanges with peers and colleagues to share information, techniques, inspiration, expertise, and performances among ensembles to strengthen the work of individual ensembles and the field as a whole.

The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant is awarded annually to under-recognized American painters over the age of 45 who demonstrate financial need. The mission of this grant is to promote public awareness of and a commitment to American art, and to encourage interest in artists who lack adequate recognition.

Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) Childcare Grants grants are available to parent-artists in performing arts who are seeking funding for general artistic and/or general professional childcare support or project-specific childcare support.

The Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant was set up to support and strengthen the creative lives of artists. A competitive grant for artists with extensive exhibition records, this grant has a long list of impressive alumni.

The Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.

The Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art is a $5,000 award for painters living in the United States or U.S. Territories who are working in the New Surrealist style. The New Surrealist style is an extension of the Surrealist movement, where artists combine relatable imagery in uncanny and unexpected situations within their work.

The Bennett Prize awards $50,000 to a woman artist to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings, which will travel the country.

The SFFILM Makers offers a wide range of funding and artist development services for fiction and documentary filmmakers all over the world.

The Shubert Foundation supports not-for-profit, professional theatre and dance companies in the United States. The Shubert Foundation awards unrestricted grants for general operating support, rather than funding for specific projects. 

The Sustainable Arts Foundation is a non-profit foundation supporting artists and writers with families. Their mission is to provide financial awards to parents pursuing creative work.

The Thoma Foundation provides grants for nonprofit organizations and individuals whose innovative projects and original ideas will advance scholarship in the arts. They also run three annual fellowship programs for individuals: the Arts Writing Award in Digital Art (by nomination only), the Marilynn Thoma Fellowship in Art of the Spanish Americas, and the Thoma Foundation Research and Travel Awards in Art of the Spanish Americas.



How to Write Successful Grants

 The Artist Grant Proposal Writing Handbook is a free resource provided by the First People's Cultural Council in Canada. The handbook gives an overview of the process and helps guide artists through understanding how grant processes work and how to write successful grants.

The Artist's Guide to Grant Writing is a book targeted at both professional and aspiring writers, performers, and visual artists who need concrete information about how to write winning grant applications and fundraise creatively so that they can finance their artistic dreams. 

How to Write an Art Proposal in 16 Easy Steps is a free blog with tips and tricks to ensure your proposal stands out from the rest.

Perfecting Your Proposal is a video session based on Gigi Rosenberg's book, The Artist 's Guide to Grant Writing, where she discusses how to enlist colleagues and friends to help write a successful proposal, get organized, persuade the right funders, and emulate the attitudes of successful grant recipients.

Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts is a free video-based 48-minute course for individuals involved in the creative arts looking for funding to complete a project, mount an exhibition, put on a performance, or anything else arts-related. It will show you how to identify funders supporting individual artists, explore the option of fiscal sponsorship, and create a step-by-step plan to find funding for your needs as an individual grantseeker.

Fiscal Sponsorship + Crowdfunding = $$ for Creative Projects is a free recorded session that covers fiscal sponsorships and crowdfunding as ways to fund your projects.

GrantSpace is a great source of information on how to find funding and how to successfully apply for it.

Introduction to Crowdfunding is a blog by WomenArts that covers all the basics information you need to know to decide whether crowdfunding is possibility for you to fund your next project.

How to Find Funding Opportunities

Philanthropy News Digest publishes RFPs and notices of awards as a free service for US-based grant-making organizations and nonprofits.

Grants to Individuals is a subscription-based search service for artists and other people in need of individual grants to find funding opportunities. You can access the database for free by visiting the State Library of Florida in Tallahassee.


Foundation Directory is a is a subscription-based search service for nonprofits in need of grants. You can access the database for free by visiting the State Library of Florida in Tallahassee. 


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