BAO Resource List for Artists Impacted by COVID-19- UPDATES ONGOING

By Liz Smith for Brain Arts Org

March 29, 2020

Last Updated: June 30th at 12:45pm

First Things First

Official updates about Covid 19 and the city of Boston can be found here including multilingual content. Details about Massachusetts' Reopening Plan can be found here.

We also recommend Dig Boston for ongoing coronavirus coverage as well as other BINJ reporting partners. If you need support with basic needs such as getting groceries, supplies or other support we recommend connecting with your local mutual aid chapter. Here are the links to some of the different areas Allston/Brighton, Somerville/Medford, Jamaica Plain/Roxbury, South Boston, and Dorchester.

A master list with links to other Mass Mutual Aid network areas can be found HERE

Autumn Ahn and the CreateWell Fund have partnered to create an informational resource, "for anyone who has been misinformed by or intimidated by the process of applying for Federal Aid. This tool unpacks complicated language and action steps for the self-employed, freelancer, independent contractor, gig-worker, artist community."

This informational guide is available in slide form and document form.

Information and Lists of Artist Resources

Non-Artist Specific Grants, Funds, and Resources

  • For Small Businesses: The City of Boston has launched the Reopen Boston Fund for supporting small businesses as they reopen.
  • Small Business/Nonprofit Relief: Disaster Loan for Small Businesses/ Nonprofits impacted by COVID-19
  • For Organizations Providing Critical Care: the Boston Resiliency Fund is looking to support those distributing food, technology for remote learning, as well as healthcare providers and first responders. Fill out an interest form here.
  • For Dorchester residents: Dorchester Community Care is a collection of Dorchester residents seeking to aid those in need of assistance in any capacity. If you live in Dorchester and need help with housing, groceries, child care, etc, fill out the form on their website, multiple languages available.
  • FREE WIFI: Xfinity is offering free Wifi via out-of-home hotspots.
  • For environmental grassroots orgs: NE Grassroots Seed Grants is offering funding for environmental/sustaibility-focused community organizations
  • Also for grassroots orgs: the De Colores Rapid Response Fund is awarding grants for grassroots organizations working on new, strategic community intervention. For orgs combating racism resulting from COVID-19: "The Nellie Mae Education Foundation created this rapid response fund to respond to the hate crimes and bias against Asian American communities resulting from COVID-19." No longer accepting applications. Sign up for their email list for information on upcoming opportunities.
  • For general community care resources: check out this community-compiled list of Boston-area resources focused on community care such as housing, childcare, entertainment, education, and advocacy.
  • For renters: City of Boston Rental Relief Fund, opening April 6th, this fund is for Boston residents at risk of losing their rental housing due to COVID-19 Second round of applications is closed but there is a contact form for hearing about the next round of applications.
  • Our friends at BAGLY have a fund or Emergency Direct Aid for LGBTQ+ Youth.

Artist Grants, Gigs, and Funds

  • Spaceus is offering a paid collaboration opportunity for artists of all kinds!

  • Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund Grant of up to $200 per applicant. For BIPOC artists and art educators who demonstrate financial need as a result of Covid 19. View and fill out application HERE.

  • Boston Arts and Culture Grants opportunities from the city for artists, specifically for artists of color and racial justice initiatives here

  • Boston Singers’ Relief Fund Grant of up to $500 per applicant. For singers who are residents of New England and who earn at least 15% of their income from singing.

  • Theatre Community Benevolent Fund Grants for individual theater performers and non-profit theater organizations of the Greater Boston area who have suffered financial loss due to COVID-19 or related events of a severe nature.

  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts has a $500-$2500 grant for artists making work that is experimental or contemporary in nature. DEADLINE to apply is September 1st

  • Club Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund For artists who have performed at Club Passim within the last 10 years. Grants offered are up to $500.

  • Central Square BID has a stipend program for artists to lead a virtual workshop or activity.

  • Moving Image Fund is a funding opportunity for film and video projects, check out their website to apply and for eligibility details. DEADLINE to apply is June 5th, 2020
  • The Actors Fund for Emergency Financial Assistance is providing funding to professional actors and dancers that can demonstrate severe financial need
  • MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund is providing assistance for music industry professionals to cover rent/mortgage payments. No longer accepting applications. Still listing resources on their website.
  • Dramatists Guild Foundation is providing "emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness"

  • Pen America's Writers Emergency Fund is awarding one-time grants for professional writers. Fund temporarily depleted, posting update mid-September.

  • CERF+ is providing emergency relief for those in the craft discipine (formally outlined on their website)
  • Leveler is a tool for people with job security to support people whose work status has been impacted by COVID-19, including freelancers, service industry, and gig economy workers. Meant to be accessed from a mobile device instead of a computer, check out to donate or receive funds.

  • Powerful Pathways Artist Emergency Relief Fund: providing monetary relief for creatives and members of the gig economy, prioritizing POCs who meet the criteria, distributing money on a first come first served basis Application currently closed.

    • WBUR has copied a list of further grants and resources for artists and nonprofits, check it out HERE.
  • Artist Relief, a coalition of national arts grant makers, is awarding $5,000 grants for practicing artists. Apply HERE Current Application Cycle DEADLINE is July 22nd

  • Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters The prize competition is open to a person who is a woman and fine art painter who is pursuing a career as a full-time professional and has not yet received significant professional recognition. DEADLINE to apply is Oct 16th

  • The Theater Offensive's COVID-19 Relief Fund for QTPOC Artists and Youth Grants for Queer/Trans Artists of Color who have lost income from a performance cancellation related to COVID-19. A limited amount of $200 grants will be made available on a weekly basis.

Education, information about how to adapt, and de-stressing resources


We encourage you to follow our community partners Asian American Resource Workshop, Dot Not For Sale, City Life Vida Urbana, and MASSCreative for info about collective advocacy actions.

Additionally, Americans for the Arts and the Arts in Action Fund are providing updates on how to contact your members of Congress about supporting artists during this time.