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September 25, 2020

After Raising $20 Million, Artist Relief Fund Extended to 2020

NEW YORK—The Artist Relief fund announced today that it will continue to distribute unrestricted $5,000 grants to US artists in straitened financial situations through the end of 2020. The fund, which has raised $20 million since its inception in April, will accept applications through December 10, three months past its initial expected September deadline; it will also continue fundraising efforts during this time.

To date, more than 130,000 artists across all states and territories have applied for the grants, with those demonstrating the greatest financial need in four categories—food, rent, medical, and dependent care—receiving priority. The fund, which 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, has so far distributed $13.5 million to 2,700 individuals across ten disciplines: craft, dance, design, film, media, music, theater and performance, traditional arts, visual art, and writing.

Grant-seekers may apply via the Artist Relief fund website in the following cycles, each of which closes at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time: September 24–October 21; October 22–November 18; November 19–December 10. Those who are denied funding in one cycle may rearticulate their need and circumstances and reapply during the following cycle.

The Artist Relief fund, created by a coalition of leading grant-giving foundations in the United States, launched April 8 with $10 million, half of which came from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the other half from matching contributions from various organizations. The Mellon Foundation recently contributed another $2.5 million with the aim of extending aid; the San Francisco music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass ponied up $1 million toward that end. Additional boosters include the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Covid-19 Relief Effort, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, all of which have offered increased support. Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bonnie Cashin Foundation, Cy Twombly Foundation, Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Poetry Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Walter & Elise Haas Fund are among recent new donors to the fund. An additional $1 million has come from individual donors across the country.

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