Arts Resilience Initiative

The Arts Resilience Initiative has been created to provide rapid response financial relief for artists and arts organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. LexArts, in partnership with Blue Grass Community Foundation, will address the urgent need of artists and nonprofit arts organizations in the LexArts/BGCF common service area by taking immediate action to deploy financial resources through the Arts Resilience Initiative.


The Arts Resilience Initiative is a resources-in, resources-out fund, and the fund will continue to provide financial relief to artists and arts organizations only as long as donations support it. It is projected that the demand for funds will exceed the available resources.




  • Residency in Fayette, Bourbon, Clark, Jessamine, Madison, Scott or Woodford counties in Kentucky
  • Minimum of 40% of annual income from arts activities
  • Demonstrated loss of income from COVID-19 cancellations
  • Financial need


  • $0 – $500
  • One-time relief


  • Applications will be accepted continuously and reviewed weekly




  • Arts-focused mission
  • 501c(3) or fiscal sponsorship by registered 501c(3) organization
  • Located in Fayette, Bourbon, Clark, Jessamine, Madison, Scott or Woodford counties in Kentucky
  • Employee at least one full-time equivalent staff or contract employee
  • Demonstrated loss of income from COVID-19 cancellations and interruptions
  • Financial need


  • $0 – $2,000
  • One-time relief


  • April 24, 2020, 11:59pm


Click below to complete a profile and begin your application


Online Workshops

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect the world, many artists are left with little options to show their work and generate an income. We have launched a series of free online workshops, Coping with COVID, designed to help artists mitigate the effects of the pandemic and economic situation.

Coping with COVID: Livestreaming for Artists

Yara Travieso and Brighid Greene will assess how livestreaming can serve as a powerful tool for artists that are currently looking for ways to maintain their artistic practice and livelihood.

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Coping with COVID: Financial Implications for Creative Individuals

This virtual gathering provides an overview of the financial implications of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is meant to help creative individuals cope with the unique financial challenges they face and provide tangible strategies for coping with the ongoing uncertainty.

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Coping with COVID: Time Management for Artists during Challenging Times
April 14, 2020

This online workshop will help artists create a better structure, take control of their environment, manage time better, reduce stress, while also feeling productive and creative.

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National Grants


Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program

The Actors Fund provides services and financial support to entertainment professionals facing personal or work-related problems. It is also a conduit for emergency financial assistance in times of pressing need or in response to catastrophic events.

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Anonymous Was A Woman Emergency Relief Grant

This special grant allows women-identifying artists to apply for up to $2,500 for financial hardships from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. *NOTE: The application for this grant is closed.*

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** Artist Fellowship **

This grant provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. Only artists with immediate medical emergencies should apply.


Artist Relief

Creative Capital has joined forces with our community to form Artist Relief, a new coalition of national arts grantmakers. This new initiative includes immediate, unrestricted emergency funding of $5,000 for individual artists of all disciplines to help those in need due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Artist Relief Project

Artists in any discipline who has been impacted by COVID19-related cancellations and closures may apply for assistance from this relief fund.


Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

This emergency fund can provide up to $200 for people of color that are either working artist or art administration and are affected by COVID-19.


Authors League Fund

The Author League Fund helps professional writers in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses.


The Blues Foundation HART Fund

The Blues Foundation Handy Artists Relief Trust Fund is available to Blues musicians and their families who are in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns.


Carnegie Fund for Authors

The Carnegie Fund for Authors awards grants to published authors who are in need of emergency financial assistance as a result of illness or injury to self, spouse, or dependent child, or who has had some other misfortune that has placed the applicant in pressing and substantial pecuniary need.

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CERF+ Emergency Relief Fund 

Artists who have suffered from a recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster, can apply for funding. CERF+ also has a list of resources centered around the pandemic.

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** Creative Change Emergency Assistance Stipends **

The Opportunity Agenda is providing emergency assistance stipends of $1,000 for artists and cultural strategists who meet certain criteria.


The Creator Fund

ConvertKit has established a fund to help creators in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have already received more applications than they have funding, but encourage creators to still apply.

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Dramatists Guild Foundation

This fund provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

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Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers one-time $1,500 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.


Gottlieb Emergency Grant Program

This emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.


Jazz Foundation Musicians Emergency Fund

Musicians who have made a living playing blues, jazz, and roots music can apply for emergency funding from the Jazz Foundation.


Kinkade Family Foundation Emergency Grant for Curators

This emergency grant provides funding for a curatorial project that sheds light on the world during this time of darkness. Priority will be given to curators who have a venue secured for their project and are greatly impacted by the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19.

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Max’s Kansas City Emergency Grants

The Max’s Kansas City project provides emergency funding and resources to professionals in the creative arts.

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Musicians Foundation

The Musicians Foundation provides grants to U.S. musicians in any genre in a time of acute need due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.


National Endowment for the Arts CARES Act Guidelines

Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the National Endowment for the Arts will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19.

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New Music Solidarity Fund for Freelance Performers

Any musician who is in financial need, does not have a salaried position, and has had a project involving a living composer canceled because of the pandemic is invited to apply.


NYFA Emergency Grants List

The New York Foundation for the Arts has a running list of additional emergency grant opportunities for artists, categorized by disciplines.

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PEN American Writers’ Emergency Fund

PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.


The Photographer Fund

Format has put together a $25,000 relief fund designed to help photographers facing financial difficulties during the outbreak. The fund offers $500 per person.


Pillars Rapid Response Fund

This rapid response fund supports the personal expenses of Muslim artists and activists whose livelihoods are being negatively impacted by this current moment. The application is temporarily closed, but they encourage people to check back again soon.


Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund

This fund is for queer writers of color who are in need of financial assistance. The fund will make disbursements once per day.


Rauschenberg Emergency Grant

NYFA and the Rauschenberg Foundation have teamed up to offer visual and media artists and choreographers in the US grants of up to $5,000 for medical related emergencies.


Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

This relief fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet because of COVID-19.

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Art Interrupted Emergency Arts Fund

Twenty Summer has launched an emergency fund for artists and arts organizations suffering from unexpected and unmanageable financial loss as a result of the COVID-19. Artists can receive up to $500, while arts organizations can receive up to $1,000.

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Local and State Grants


The Artist Relief Trust will award $500 microgrants to artists of all disciplines across the state of Kentucky, including the Greater Louisville area as funders allow and as long as funding is available.

Other Resources


Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres

This webinar by the Theatre Communications Group provides a holistic take on preparedness for theatres, including, general preparedness strategies, how to forecast budget shifts should productions be cancelled, how to navigate insurance, and more.

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Disaster Resilience for Northern California Grantmakers

The Northern California Grantmakers has a series of online discussions to work together to form a philanthropic response.

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Financial Justice Calls for Nonprofits

Financial Advisor Tamara Bates is offering free one-on-one phone call sessions to help discuss financial concerns and aspirations for nonprofit arts organizations.

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Freelance Artist Resources

A list of resources specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community, including actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, and more.

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How to Host a Watch Party on Facebook

With Facebook’s Watch Party feature, you can watch tons of videos and shows with members of groups you’re in on Facebook. This could be helpful for filmmakers or other artists whose screenings had to be cancelled.

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How to Plan a Virtual Event on Vimeo

Vimeo’s live production team offers advice on how schools, event coordinators, marketers, and more are evolving their event strategies to optimize engaging live streaming experiences.

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Interdisciplinary Remote & Remote-Friendly Employers

This spreadsheet compiled by Rachel Meade Smith of Words of Mouth includes resources for seeking remote work, starting with a growing list of interdisciplinary remote-friendly employers. Sign up to receive Smith’s weekly newsletter.

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Preparing Your Organization for Coronavirus Outbreak Webinar

This webinar by the Event Safety Alliance provides some helpful information around planning and crisis management.

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Women and Hollywood Amplify Filmmakers Affected by SXSW Cancellation

If your project has been affected by the cancellation of SXSW or another festival or event, and you doing something else to recoup the costs or attend another event down the road, Women and Hollywood wants to help you amplify your campaign.

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** Small Business Grants from Facebook **

Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where Facebook operates will be able to receive $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.

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Useful Information


Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

This is an evolving map that shows where United States officials have passed, or where tenants are working to pass, emergency tenant protections during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Guidelines for the Postponement or Cancellation of Work

WAGE provides some basic guidelines that can be used by artists and nonprofit institutions as we begin to navigate the future of work in the arts field during the pandemic.

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Recommended Best Practice Protocols for Institutions and Funders

WAGE has proposed a set of protocols for institutions and funders for compensation for online content, layoff and furlough transparency, and distribution of emergency funding.

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How Self-Employed Artists and Small Businesses Can Apply for Financial Aid

Art Newspaper has gathered information about grants and loans in the US and Europe to help self-employed artists and small businesses in the arts community get through the COVID-19 crisis.

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