The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation have partnered to offer a new medical emergency aid program for artists. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses, including hospital bills, insurance co-pays, prescription drugs, and even some dental work.
The initiative “directly reflects Bob’s own concern for the well-being of fellow creative practitioners,” said Kathy Halbreich, Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, in a press release.
In 1970, the American artist founded Change, Inc., a nonprofit foundation that provides emergency relief to artists for non-art needs, including but not limited to medical services.
“You could just apply,” Calvin Tomkins, one of Rauschenberg’s biographers, once said of Change, Inc. “And if the funding was approved, it would come right away, the next week. There was no waiting. This was such an interesting idea because when people need things is right away. It was a typically Rauschenbergian idea.”
The launch of the Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will mark the first stage of a program designed in the tradition of Rauschenberg’s philanthropic legacy. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis starting in late May or June of this year. Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents; guidelines and instructions on how to apply can be found here.
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Bravo to the Rauchenberg foundation! So many artists find themselves in sudden need, be it unexpected health issues that might disqualify them from other funding as their issues may not be long term or as crippling, or loss of pay therefore loss of studio etc. A grant of $5000 can get an artist back on their feet. Wish more “noted artists of today” who have been fortunate enough to make a good living with their work would consider setting up non discriminatory foundations for artists of all ages and needs.
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