COVID-19-Related Resources for Artists

Helpful Resources for Artists Amid COVID-19

HB Studio has compiled a list of helpful information, resources, and emergency funding for artists, independent freelancers, nonprofits and small businesses amid the novel coronavirus epidemic. We will continue to update the following resources as more information becomes available (last updated March 31, 2020).

Find out how you can help New Yorkers affected by COVID-19 and how you can receive COVID-19-related assistance:

Special Enrollment for Healthcare

New York State has issued a special enrollment period through April 15th for uninsured individuals in need of health insurance. For more information, visit the New York State of Health.

Fighting Discrimination

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is collecting stories of people have been harassed based on their race or appearance during the recent weeks as the epidemic has escalated. Here is a list of resources specifically for artists and cultural workers who feel they have been targeted, resources for marginalized populations that are feeling strained and under-supported, as well as ways that people with privilege can upstand/bystand/intervene when they see or experience a bias incident.

Artists, Freelancers & Arts Non-Profits

ArtsReady, an online emergency preparedness service by and for artists and arts/cultural nonprofits, provides daily resources that include informational webinars and emergency funding for artists.

This list is designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community, with general resources, advocacy links, and a growing list of funding opportunities.

Artist + Activist Relief Fund – This fund, created by The Soze Foundation, TaskForce and Invisible Hand, will support artists and activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. The New York Foundation for the Arts will be making $250 grants to selected applicants on an on-going basis.

Behind the Scenes Grant – Behind the Scenes will accept applications from anyone who has been hospitalized with Covid-19 and is in financial need. You may be eligible for a grant if you currently reside in the United States or Canada and have earned your living for at least five years in the entertainment technology industry. This means that your major source of income is from your work in this industry, which includes being directly involved with production: behind the scenes in any type of performance venue, or behind the camera, or on the road. It also includes working companies who are directly involved in supplying entertainment technology products and services such as dealers, manufacturers, production companies, consultants, and design firms. Performing artists are not eligible.

The Creator Fund – Providing financial assistance to active creators who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you have medical, childcare, housing, or grocery needs, please apply for assistance.

Americans for the Arts is sharing helpful information on COVID-19, as well as asking arts organizations and creatives to provide data and stories for an impact survey.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund – The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation, along with the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund, have created the COVID-19 Disaster Fund to aid SAG-AFTRA members impacted by COVID-19. SAG-AFTRA members seeking to apply, and interested donors who want to give, please go to our website for more information:

The Actors Fund will be administering resources and services on the ground. Artists can determine their eligibility for the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance through their online request form.

The Indie Theater Fund is launching a fundraising campaign to provide direct support and emergency relief to independent theaters and artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions.

The Rauschenberg Emergency Grant will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.

The Max’s Kansas City Project provides emergency funding & resources to professionals in the creative arts. Individuals who have made their living through their art form either professionally or personally and demonstrate a financial need for medical aid, legal aid or housing.

NYFA has partnered with Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) to launch an emergency relief grant program to support women-identifying visual artists over 40 who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

View HowlRound’s panel discussion with artists, arts administrators, and others who discussed how COVID-19 is impacting freelance artists and where artists can look for support in this complicated moment. The conversation focused on shared resources (legal, advocacy, how to take your work virtual, finding emergency funding, and financial best practices in crisis) and building and grounding our national community.


The National Council of Non-Profits has compiled a helpful guide to loans available as part of the CARES Act.

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. It will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture, because New York is the cultural capital of the nation.

The NYC Small Business Continuity Fund will offer loans up to $75,000 for companies who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more and have less than 100 employees. Complete online form to get notification of when the loan application becomes available.

NYCON has gathered local and national resources that your nonprofit may find helpful in light of the COVID-19/Coronovirus Pandemic. Included are some important links to resources, guides, and policy updates to services and knowledge we think you’ll find helpful.

NYCON members receive exclusive discounted rates for Zoom conferencing, online meetings and webinars. Please contact: Michael Gioeni, (720) 465-2695 or

TCG is closely tracking the coronavirus to ensure the theatre field has access to the resources needed to navigate the immediate and longer-term impacts of an outbreak. Their Coronavirus Preparedness Webinar provides a holistic take on preparedness for theaters.

Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly, and Candid are reputable resources for fundraising information for nonprofits during the pandemic.

Small Businesses

To help small businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19, the City has launched the Employee Retention Grant Program to help retain employees as businesses face decreased revenue. This program is available to New York City businesses with one to four employees that can demonstrate at least a 25% decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40% of their payroll for two months. Businesses can access up to $27,000.

The City’s Dept. of Small Business Services offers guidance for businesses impacted due to the novel coronavirus. More information for all business here.

If you have a space that might be suitable as a community location or health care screening site, the Office of Emergency Management wants to know about it. Send an email to

The U.S. Small Business Administration is working with the Governor’s Office to make loans available for COVID-19 related situations. Nonprofits will be eligible and the interest rate is 2.75%. Read more: SBA Loans

Mutual Aid

AARP has aggregated a list of mutual aid groups across the country.

Food & Meal Pick-ups

School age children—any child 18 years of age or under—can pick up a free breakfast or lunch between 7:30am and 1:30pm at their nearest public school. This is for all children, not just public school students.

Senior centers will operate strictly to offer food, either as take-home meals or meals delivered to homes. Pick up times vary per Manhattan site. Following is a list of Manhattan senior center meal pickup locations (current as of 3:30 pm, Tuesday 3/17/20):

  • Goddard Riverside Senior Center from 12pm-1pm
  • Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center (Goddard) from 12pm-1pm
  • Central Harlem Kennedy Senior Center from 11am-1:30pm
  • Project FIND Hamilton Center from 11-12:30pm (Sunday through Friday)
  • Carter Burden Roosevelt Island from 11:45am-1:30pm (also see
  • Carter Burden Covello breakfast from 8:30am – 9:30am and lunch from 12pm – 1:30pm
  • Carter Burden Lehman from 12pm – 1:30pm
  • Carter Burden CBLC at Epiphany from 12pm – 2pm
  • University Settlement only Mondays and Thursdays 12pm-1pm
  • YM/YWHA Washington Heights from 11:30-1pm
  • Stein Senior Center from 10am-11am
  • Washington Heights Star Neighborhood Senior Center from 11am-12:30pm
  • UJC Lillian Wald Senior Center from 9am-5pm
  • UJC Adult Luncheon Club from 9am-5pm
  • ARC Fort Washington Senior Center from 12-1:30pm
  • ARC XVI A. Philip Randolph Senior Center from 12-1:30
  • ARC XVI Central Harlem Senior Center from 12-1:30pm
  • Chinatown Senior Center (from 150 Elizabeth Street, CPC Central Office) from 10:30-11:30am
  • Open Door Senior Center (168 Grand Street) from 10:30-11:30am

Age-Friendly Supermarket Guide

Staying Informed

You can text “COVID” to 692-692 to stay informed with official health information.

2020 Census

Everyone should have received by snail mail an invitation to fill out the Census form. You can fill it out online here.