Emergency Funding Support for Individual Artists

If you have links to articles, resources and other materials that you think may be useful to the arts and culture sector in Alaska as we navigate the current circumstances, please contact ASCA Community Arts Program Director Charlie Sears at charles(dot)sears(at)alaska.gov. Stay well, and we are grateful for all that you do! (lastest update: 7/1/2020 – Resources are ordered from newest to oldest)

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Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund (CNRF)

The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) is currently accepting applications for the Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund (CNRF) grant opportunity.

Arts organizations, both small & large, may apply for a CNRF grant of $25,000-$1 million. These grants are funded with CARES Act relief funds, directed through the Alaska Department of Health & Human Services, and administered by the Alaska Community Foundation. Applications with eligible expenses will be considered; eligible expenses must be very clearly tied to responding to COVID and supporting public health. COVID-response projects that serve vulnerable populations, including youth, are a further priority. Examples might include extra cleaning supplies to sanitize buildings and prevent spread, costs to set up staff to work remotely, costs to present programming online for distance learning, or other creative ways organizations are adapting their practices and programs as a direct result of and in order to address the public health crisis

Deadline for applications:

  • Round 1: July 29, 2020, 5:00 PM
  • Round 2: August 26, 2020, 5:00 PM
  • Round 3: October 14, 2020, 5:00 PM
  • Grant Request Amount Range: $25,000 to $1,000,000

Your organization is one of the following:

  • 501(c)3 public charitable organization with 509(a)1, 509(a)2, or 509(a)3 public charitable status as designatedin your IRS Determination letter
  • 501(c)4 and 501(c)6 charitable organizations, but these funds cannot be utilized for lobbying or advocacyactivities.
  • 501(c)19 public charitable organization
  • Faith-based organization providing social services to the broader community
  • Tribal organization including housing authorities
  • Local government

And have experienced one or both of the following:

  • Your organization experienced a loss of income caused by required closures and/or cancellations ofservices/programs associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Your organization has incurred or will incur expenses in direct response to the Coronavirus public healthemergency in one or more of the following six categories:

Apply & review full details of the Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund application guidelines
CNRF One Sheet

Alaska Cares Funding Program – Applications Open June 1

Small businesses based, licensed, and located in Alaska with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) – including C-corps, S-corps, Partnerships, LLCs, Nonprofits (501(c)3 and 501(c)19 organizations) and sole proprietorships – meeting the following criteria:

  • Business was licensed and established when the public health disaster emergency declaration was issued by Governor Dunleavy on March 11, 2020;
  • Business has, on average, 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees; and
  • Business was excluded, did not qualify, or was otherwise unable to obtain funding from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), or other federal funding programs under the CARES Act
  • Credit Union 1 members and non-members are welcome to apply.

What is the minimum and maximum grant amounts?


What are the terms?

As a grant, there is no repayment required except in the case of malfeasance. There will be a grant agreement outlining the conditions of the grant funding.

Can Nonprofits apply for the AK CARES grant program?

Yes, if your nonprofit is a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 and meets the program guidelines in addition to meeting the following requirements:

  • Current or 2018 IRS Form 990 on file with the IRS
  • IRS letter of determination of nonprofit status for more than one year.
  • Directed by a voluntary board of directors or local advisory board whose majority of members are residents of the State of Alaska
  • Have provided in-state aid or service during the calendar year preceding the date of application.

I am a sole-proprietor. Can I apply for this grant?

Yes, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

For more info please visit: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ded/AKCARESGrant.aspx

City of Fairbanks CARES Act Relief Funds


Non-profits and Businesses with a 2020 city business license as of April 30, 2020, with the exception of marijuana-related businesses.

Individuals/Families that reside within city limits that were economically impacted due to loss of income related to COVID19. Proof of loss of income due to COVID19 will be required. Applicant must be the primary lease or mortgage holder and only one application should be submitted per household.

  • Businesses and nonprofits can apply for up to $100,000.
  • Individuals can apply for up to $5,000.

For more info: https://www.fairbanksalaska.us/mayor/page/cares-act-relief-funds

Organization Grants

  • Municipality of Anchorage COVID Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Grant – The Municipality of Anchorage has committed $1 million to support small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Recipients will be awarded $5,000-$10,000 grants to support their operations, including but not limited to payroll, rent, utilities, taxes, and paying vendors. Additional funding for this program may be made available at a later date. https://cookinletlending.com/small-business-relief-grant/
  • WESTAF CARES Relief Fund for Organizations –  The WESTAF CARES Relief Fund provides general operating support to eligible arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be assessed on the following criteria: inclusivity, demonstrated need, artistic and cultural merit, and public and community benefit. Awards of up to $20,000 will be made to organizations across the WESTAF 13-state region with at least one grant awarded per state. Organizations may apply beginning May 6, 2020. https://westafcares.gosmart.org/
  • Alaska Humanities Forum – As Alaska’s state humanities council, the Alaska Humanities Forum is honored to distribute and administer funds allocated to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the CARES Act. Up to $10,000. The total size and number of grants will depend on the pool of requests for funding. https://www.akhf.org/grants


  • Artist Relief – Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists. https://www.artistrelief.org/
  • The Soze Agency – Artist + Activist Relief Fund This fund, created by The Soze Foundation, TaskForce, and Invisible Hand, supports artists + activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. We have received 6,148 applications and have already distributed $90,000 in grants to over 250 artists + activists. We hope to support more applicants, but we need to raise more money. As we continue to raise money, unfortunately, we are not accepting any new applications. If you would like to join the waiting list, please feel to add your information. This fund is also accepting donations.  https://www.wearesoze.com/relief-fund
  • Haven Foundation The mission of The Haven Foundation is to offer interim financial assistance to freelance professionals in the arts who face crises. The Foundation’s reach in the United States and its awards are granted with a view to helping individuals overcome temporary adversity and return to full-time work. Applications for the current round of grants must be received no later than July 17, 2020, for consideration. The Foundation considers the following media categories as part of the entertainment industry: books (including audiobooks), movies, music, theatre, dance, and television. The Haven Foundation is additionally providing cash infusions to other individual arts grant categories; listing found on their website.  http://www.thehavenfdn.org/application/
  • Freelancers Union – Freelancers Relief Fund – As shutdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus takes place across the U.S., independent workers face the greatest threat to their livelihoods in modern history. Freelancers work without traditional protections such as paid sick leave and unemployment insurance and are at a disproportionate risk of financial hardship in the best of times. At the same time, the makeup one-third of the U.S. workforce and contribute more than $1 trillion to the country’s GDP. The Freelancers Union is currently accepting donations to the Freelancers Relief Fund, with an application to open online by April 2, 2020.  https://www.freelancersunion.org/resources/freelancers-relief-fund/
  • Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) has partnered with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) to launch an emergency relief grant program to support artists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The program will distribute $250,000 in unrestricted grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to artists who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. As with AWAW’s annual award, the program is open to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 in the United States and territories, and aims to address the unique challenges faced by artists in middle age or older, particularly at this critical time. Application available online April 6, 2020, closing on April 8, 2020. https://www.nyfa.org/Content/Show/Anonymous-Was-A-Woman-Emergency-Relief-Grant

Performing Arts

  • Musicians Foundation – Emergency funding for Musicians—currently the foundation is experiencing high volumes of requests for funding and is working on a plan to address COVID-19 pandemic-related application volume. Check this site for updates.  http://www.musiciansfoundation.org/apply/
  • Recording Academy MusiCares – MusiCares may grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses. https://www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help

Literary arts

  • Dramatists Guild Foundation – DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness. https://dgf.org/programs/grants/grants-for-writers 
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors – Writers Emergency Assistance Fund – The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers who, because of illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. However, applicants must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years, which means qualifications generally similar to those of ASJA members. WEAF does not award grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects, nor does it fund works-in-progress of any kind. http://asja.org/For-Writers/WEAF
  • Carnegie Fund for AuthorsThe applicant must be an American author who has published at least one full-length work — fiction or nonfiction — that has been published by a mainstream publisher. Applicants cannot have eligibility determined by a work that they paid to have published. A work may have been published in eBook format only, or in hardcover or softcover format, or in more than one format. An applicant must demonstrate need; the emergency may be because of illness or some other urgent need such as fire, flood, hurricane, etc. https://www.carnegiefundforauthors.org/grant-eligibility
  • Authors League Fund – Since 1917, the Authors League Fund has helped professional authors, journalists, poets, and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune. https://authorsleaguefund.org/
  • Writers’ Emergency Fund – The PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund is a small grants program for professional—published or produced—writers in acute or unexpected financial crisis. https://pen.org/writers-emergency-fund/

Media Arts + Craft + Visual Arts

  • Documentary Freelancer Relief Fund – Field of Vision and Topic Studios have created a $250,000 fund to provide grants for freelancers working in the Documentary field. The fund will distribute unrestricted grants of up to $2000 to support personal financial needs during the COVID19 pandemic to freelancers who have experienced hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a result of the pandemic. https://fieldofvision.org/relief-fund 
  • Format – The Photographer Fund – The world is currently unpredictable and full of uncertainty—something the photography community is used to. Thanks to the level of ambiguity they deal with, that same community is resilient and creative in the face of a challenge. Format created the Photographer Fund to honor that hustle and help independent photographers who are facing unprecedented financial hardships in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak stay on their feet. https://www.format.com/photographer-fund
  • Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation – The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. https://www.gottliebfoundation.org/emergency-grant
  • The Artists’ Fellowship  – The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional visual artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. https://www.artistsfellowship.org/finacial-aid