Grants were distributed to 2,700 artists across the US and its territories (all images courtesy Artist Relief)

Artists who continue to face financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply to the Artist Relief fund, which distributes unrestricted $5,000 grants to artists in the United States and US territories, until the end of the year. After raising $20 million since April, the organization announced today, September 24, that it has extended its initial September deadline to December 10, 2020.

The Artist Relief fund, created by a coalition of leading grant-giving foundations in the United States, is administered by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National Young Arts Foundation, and United States Artists.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which contributed an initial $5 million seed gift for the fund, added $2.5 million to help extend the program. An additional $1 million gift came from the San Francisco music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Other organizations like the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, have also increased their support. The fund also received new contributions from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bonnie Cashin Foundation, Cy Twombly Foundation, and several other foundations.

In addition, Artist Relief has raised almost $1 million from thousands of individual donations from across the country.

A breakdown of the ethnicity and race of the grant recipients

Artists can apply to the grant on Artist Relief’s website during these three cycles (the dates are subject to change; closing time is 11:59 pm ET):

  • September 24 – October 21
  • October 22 – November 18
  • November 19 – December 10

Artists who do not receive the grant in one cycle can re-apply in another after re-articulating their needs and change of circumstances.

Since it was launched on April 8, Artist Relief has received over 130,000 applications from artists across the US. To date, the fund has distributed $13.5 million in funding to 2,700 individuals, at an average rate of 100 unrestricted $5,000 grants per week.

The grant recipients by gender expression

“Over the last six months, we have witnessed artists face extraordinary fiscal challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” 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.”

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant and he holds an MFA in Art Writing from the School of Visual...