National Artist Relief Fund will be extending $5,000 grants for artists

By CLTure News

September 24, 2020

Back in April, a coalition of national arts organizations including Creative Capital, Academy of American Poets, Artadia, United States Artists, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, and National YoungArts Foundation, announced a Covid-19 relief fund for artists. Providing rapid $5000 grants for artists negatively impacted by the pandemic, the coalition will now continue grantmaking through December. 

Since the fund opened on April 8, Artist Relief has received over 130,000 applications across ten disciplines: Craft, Dance, Design, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing. Distributing $13.5 million in funding to 2,700 individuals, there were 55 grantees in North and South Carolina accounting for $275,000 in relief efforts. 


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has contributed an additional $2.5 million to extend the program through December, adding to the initial $5 million seed gift. Additional funding also includes a $1 million gift from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and several arts organizations across the country. 

“Over the last six months, we have witnessed artists face extraordinary fiscal challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. At Mellon, we have continued to work closely with Artist Relief and many other partners across the country to support artists as they navigate this difficult time,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “We need artists as we work to heal and recover, and we continue to call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to illuminate our path forward from this prolonged pandemic.”

Due to the high demand, applicants expressing the biggest needs in four categories– rent, food, medical, and dependent care– have been prioritized. Of the 2,700 grantees, artists have ranged from those early in their careers to others who are more established in their communities. 

If you an artist needing support, you can apply online here. Tax-deductible donations to the fund can also be made at

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