Emergency Resources
for Artists & Freelancers

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Listed alphabetically. We are monitoring these links regularly and will delete as opportunities close, and add new opportunities as they become available.

The Actors Fund: Emergency Financial Assistance


For members of the performing arts and entertainment industries--not just actors! Emergency financial assistance is available for people who are unable to pay basic living expenses (food/housing/health care) for the next two months. Eligibility varies by program.

Behind the Scenes Basic Needs Grant

Financial assistance to people who have worked for 5+ years in the entertainment technology industry (and their immediate families) who have been hospitalized with Covid-19.

CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants


Funding amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000.

  • Round 7: Current waitlisted applicants ONLY can apply until September 16.
  • Round 8: New applications from nonprofit cultural institutions ONLY accepted. Deadline extended to September 30.
  • Round 9: New Applicants and Waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds (including artists/independent contractors of all genres, arts related businesses and arts nonprofits) can apply from September 9-30.

  • Californians for the Arts has FAQs, and is offering live and pre-recorded webinars for rounds 8 and 9.
  • CalNonprofits is hosting four webinars in September to answer questions about the program.

COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund

The Jazz Foundation of America gives jazz and blues musicians direct financial support for basic living expenses. 

Dramatists Guild COVID-19 Emergency Grant

For dramatists (playwrights, composers, lyricists, librettists) to apply for emergency financial assistance from the Dramatists Guild Foundation due to Covid-19 related circumstances. 

LA Young Creatives Fund

Financial support to members of the creative economy whose work has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. LA County residents aged 18-30 who work in creative fields may be eligible to receive a $500 grant to help cover any pressing financial needs. 

MPTF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

The Motion Picture and Television Fund connects people in the entertainment industry with temporary financial assistance for needs created or complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including health insurance, mental health assistance, rent, food, and other essentials. 

Native Americans in Entertainment COVID-19 Relief Fund

Grants for eligible Native American writers, directors, actors and all above the line and below the line workers in the entertainment industry who have experienced loss of employment due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of $2,000 will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until the program funds have been depleted. The objective of this program is to provide economic relief for American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians impacted by COVID-19 and to provide support for additional unanticipated expenses resulting from the pandemic. 

Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund


Theatre Bay Area, in partnership with Dancers’ Group and InterMusic SF, launched the COVID-19: Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund as a resource for performing arts workers who are facing a loss of income due to the pandemic. Applications from Bay Area arts workers are temporarily on hiatus as the program is revised.

  • HOWEVER, the City of San Leandro has provided $20,000 in new funding for the city’s performing arts workers. San Leandro residents interested in applying to the PAWRF should contact

San Francisco COVID-19 Emergency Loan for Arts & Culture Nonprofits


This Emergency Loan will support arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in the eleven Bay Area counties. Applications accepted as long as resources are available. 

San Francisco Foundation Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building


Small, one-time grants for nonprofit orgs in the range of $3,000–$15,000 for a grant period of up to six months to build the political power and voice of low-income and people of color by providing resources to respond in a timely manner to unanticipated, but critical opportunities or challenges to advance racial and economic equity in the Bay Area. 

Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund for Musicians

Sweet Relief created this DONOR-DIRECTED FUND with a limited amount of funds available to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus. Funds raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.


Resources for Reopening Safely


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a number of protocols to plan for the safe reopening of our arts, culture, and creative economy sectors. The Department of Arts and Culture collaborated with Public Health to develop new guidance to help the creative community navigate COVID-19 openings safely, and centralize these documents to make them easier to access. 

Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide

The Reopening Guide addresses health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers. Since there is still insufficient testing, no contact tracing, and no vaccine against COVID-19, this guidance is particularly detailed. The first edition is tailored to be especially useful for event professionals reopening the smallest events with the fewest resources available to mitigate their risks, since in every municipal reopening plan these will be allowed to reopen first.

PPP Loan Forgiveness (SBA)

A borrower can apply for forgiveness through their lender once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used.

  • Update 7/29/21: SBA created a streamlined PPP Forgiveness Portal for borrowers with individual PPP loans of $150,000 or less to submit simple forgiveness applications directly to SBA, as long as your specific lender participates in the program. The portal opens on Wednesday, August 4, 2021. 
  • All PPP borrowers are required to submit forgiveness applications within 10 months of the last day of your covered period in order to convert your loan to a grant that does not need to be paid back. For loans above $150,000, you will need to submit your forgiveness application directly to your bank lender.

COVID-19 & Freelance Artists

This excellent community-sourced list is designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. On behalf of the freelance artist community, we thank those who created and contributed to this project!

The Actors Fund COVID-19 Resource Page 

Americans for the Arts Coronavirus Resource & Response Center

Information broken out for Individuals vs. Organizations, and more!’s Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances

Covers topics including Global Economy, Federal Benefits, Economic Impact Payment, Taxes, Unemployment, Health Care, Mortgages and Housing, Small Businesses, Retirement Plans, and Credit and Loans. 

California Arts Council COVID-19 News & Resources

California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

A comprehensive, consumer-friendly website from the Governor’s Office highlighting critical steps to stay healthy and resources available to Californians, including paid sick leave and unemployment assistance.

Healthcare access for Undocumented Folks (by State)

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net Coronavirus Info

Intersection for the Arts Artist Resources

Springboard for the Arts Coronavirus Response Resources

Teaching Artists Guild COVID-19 Resources

Compiled by the Teaching Artists Guild. Resources include: Labor Laws / Sick Leave; Webinars; Self-Care & Mental Health; Online/Distance Learning Activities & Exercises; and more.

VIDEO: Coping with COVID: Financial Implications for Creative Individuals

Courtesy of Creative Capital, a helpful webinar led by Elaine Grogan Luttrull on April 7, 2020. 

VIDEO: Financial Strategies for Freelance Artists in a Time of Crisis (ASL & Captioned)

An empowering and encouraging presentation rooted in social justice, by choreographer and financial expert Amy Smith, courtesy of HowlRound. 

Resources for Remote Work

This crowdsourced document includes resources for finding online jobs. 

Unemployment & Disability

CARES Act Office Hours with Nina Ozlu Tunceli

Fridays from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET, join Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts and Executive Director of the Arts Action Fund, as she takes your questions about accessing the federal relief available to members of the arts community through the CARES Act.


Freelance Mutual Aid Circle


Everything from up-to-date information on the CARES Act to financial relief funds and mutual aid networks, webinars, and mental health directories. Created by Trupo in partnership with Freelancers Union, Study Hall, American Photographic Association, and Graphic Artist Guild.

COVID-19 Mutual Aid & Advocacy Resources

This editable document tree is a US-based resource for people looking out for themselves and their communities through personal preparation, collective care, mutual aid and advocacy. You are welcome to add to, edit and copy/share these resources with the intention of helping communities come together and support each other and with as much attention as possible to all our communities’ specific needs.

Aunt Bertha: The Social Care Network

Search for free or reduced cost services--including food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic--in your zip code.

Circles of Survival

A tool for keeping ourselves, our family, our communities, and our democracy healthy during large scale crises. 

Resource List | Responding Together to COVID-19

Includes meals and housing services focused on LA County, plus health, education, and resources for artists more broadly.   

Mutual Aid and Survival Resources

Various mutual aid resources from across the web aggregated into one place on Google Drive. 


CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program


This statewide program is designed to help low-income Californians through the payment of unpaid rent to landlords. Eligible renters may also receive assistance for unpaid utilities and future payments. Applicants will not be asked about their citizenship, nor will they be required to show proof of citizenship. Those needing application assistance can call the State’s hotline for an appointment at 833-430-2122. 

Eviction Defense Network

A Nonprofit Social Enterprise Defending Tenant’s Rights. If you’re a renter having problems with your landlord, we can help you. In order to meet the daily needs of hundreds of tenants that face housing crises in the County of Los Angeles, the Eviction Defense Network operates by providing FREE consultations on a first-come, first-served walk-in basis.

  • CA Statewide assistance: or
  • LA County Digital Divide/Literacy Issues: 213-537-5473  (9AM to 12PM)
  • LA County IMMEDIATE lock out issues: 213-340-4714 (24 hours)

L.A. Tenants Union

The L.A. Tenants Union is an autonomous, member-funded union which fights for the human right to housing.

Stay Housed LA County

Stay Housed L.A. County has the resources you need to know your rights and the legal support to back them up.

Tenants Together

Tenants Together is dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of California tenants to safe, decent and affordable housing. 

COVID-19 Housing Retention Grants


Berkeley's Housing Retention Program provides grant assistance to Berkeley residents at risk of eviction. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program


Helps families and individuals who have had difficulty paying rent and/or utilities due to COVID-19. 

HIF’s Emergency Housing Fund


Offers a lifeline after unforeseen and temporary financial setbacks, acting as a bridge between crisis and stability. 



Serves community members affected by the COVID-19 virus who are not able to pay for utilities and/or past, present, and/or future rent.


Listed alphabetically.

Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program

Any performing arts or entertainment professional may call on the Entertainment Assistance Program for support, information or referrals to community agencies. Eligibility for financial assistance requires either a minimum of five years of industry paid employment (earnings of at least $6,500 for three out of the last five years), or 20 years of industry paid employment (minimum of ten years of earnings of at least $5,000 for each of those years), and demonstrated financial need. Amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant

Provides 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. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need. 

American Institute for Conservation for Historic and Artistic Works

The Institute’s National Heritage Responders respond to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts with first responders, state agencies, vendors and the public.The group provides assistance by phone and email to collecting institutions affected by everything from leaking pipes to roof damage. NHR has deployed experts to assist with major floods in the Midwest and Hurricane Ike, both in 2008, and to other events. 

American Society of Journalists and Authors 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. Application should demonstrate a record of past professional nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years. Applicants do not have to live in the United States but must submit books or articles written in English. 

Artists At Risk Connection (ARC)

A global directory of resources to help artists. ARC's definition of "artist" is inclusive. They serve visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, performance artists, writers, and other individuals who produce significant creative output in any medium. 

Artists Fellowship Financial Assistance

Provides emergency aid to professional fine (visual) artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. “Professional” is defined as those who make the creative arts as their livelihood as painters, sculptors, or art photographers through sales as reported on a Schedule C with Federal tax returns.

Meeting monthly from September to June, the Board of Trustees reviews all applications to determine if they have been properly submitted and if they are eligible. 

Authors League Fund

Assists book authors, dramatists, poets, and freelance writers and journalists, whose main professional pursuit is writing, in times of emergency. The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers, even their lives, with dignity by providing open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to pay for pressing expenses.Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, as they come in. Loan amounts are determined based on the applicant’s professional credentials, the severity of his or her emergency, and the Fund’s annual budget. 

California Jazz Foundation

Financial assistance and emergency medical referrals are offered to to jazz musicians and others who have made substantial contributions to the art form. 

Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) Emergency Assistance

CERF+ emergency assistance includes grants and/or brokered assistance, such as booth fee waivers and discounts or donations on supplies and equipment. Artists interested in CERF+ emergency assistance must first complete an inquiry form. If it is determined that you may be eligible for assistance, you will be invited to apply for assistance. Before filling out an emergency assistance inquiry form, carefully read through the eligibility criteria and supporting documentation requirements.

CERF+ Artist “Get Ready” Grants

Provides funding for artists working in craft disciplines to conduct activities that will help safeguard their studios, protect their careers and implement other safety measures to help artists build and sustain strong and resilient careers. Applicant must be an artist or a group of artists with an ongoing history of producing a body of work in a craft discipline or disciplines (such as woodworkers, fiber artists, metalsmiths, glass potters, furniture makers, cultural-based craft, or alternative craft),and be a legal U.S. resident. Check website for next deadline. 

Dramatists Guild Emergency Grants

It is vital to support writers in times of need so that they can get back to doing what they do best. DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

If you are a writer in need, we can help. 

The Haven Foundation 
Gives financial assistance to established freelance artists, writers and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe. 

Jazz Foundation of America

Serving jazz and blues musicians requiring emergency assistance and social services.


Provides assistance to musicians including musical instrument replacement for musicians affected by disasters. 

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants

NYFA and the Rasuchenberg Foundation have teamed up to offer visual and media artists and choreographers in the US grants of up to $5,000 for medical related emergencies. They are not intended for lost wages, living expenses or medical care for individuals other than the artist. Cycle 8 will open on Tuesday, June 8, and close on Tuesday, June 29, for emergencies occurring November 1, 2020 and later. 


Americans for the Arts

Links, tips, and tools for artists and arts organizations to be prepared on the front end of an emergency. 

American Red Cross

Becoming “Red Cross Ready” for an emergency means following our simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably. Being prepared may not prevent a disaster, but it will give you confidence to meet the challenge. Get tips here:

Prepare SoCal is an American Red Cross campaign created to address the needs of neighborhoods and encourage community resiliency in the most vulnerable communities in Southern California. The campaign aims to achieve this through working towards four goals: community preparedness, volunteer engagement, response capacity and communications.

The Red Cross also offers free Disaster Training to communities. These training courses, accessible both online and in person, include the Pillowcase Project Presenter Fundamentals, Shelter Fundamentals, Casework and Recovery Planning Fundamentals, Basic InstructorFundamentals and Public Affair Essentials.


An online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits, provides arts organizations with customized business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability. 


Studio Protector

An artists guide to emergencies. A wealth of information on emergency readiness for all artists can be found at

Cultural Placekeeping Guide

How to create a network for local emergency action —for arts agencies, arts and culture organizations, and artists. 

Disaster Resilience for Artists & Non-Profits

A resource for artists and organizations created by Houston Arts Alliance, this site serves as a portal to strategies and resources for preparing for and overcoming damage in the wake of a disaster.

Performing Arts Readiness

The Performing Arts Readiness project was formed in the recognition that performing arts organizations are especially vulnerable to disasters and emergencies which can halt performances, sometimes indefinitely, and can put an organization out of business overnight. The Performing Arts Readiness project offers free webinars, on-site training, and presentations at professional conferences on various topics related to emergency preparedness, as well as online toolkits and more. 

  • (Download their Sample Emergency Plans here.)

Public Safety Power Shutoff

Your local energy company may need to turn off power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. Find preparedness information at

Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon capitalizes on the skills and experience of military veterans by pairing them with medical professionale and first responders. The organization offers incident management, damage assessments, disaster mapping, home repair, and more to affected communities.


(Mostly California, as that is where Center for Cultural Innovation is based.)

California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

California Employment Development Department (EDD)

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of services to individuals and businesses impacted by disasters in California. These range from assistance for those who may have lost a job due to the disaster, to employers who are forced to shut down operations. EDD staff located throughout the state are often called upon to lend a hand at Local Assistance Centers (LACs) established by the California Office of Emergency Services (OES). They provide assistance with filing claims for UI benefits, as well as job search assistance and other more general support and referrals to resources.

  • For statewide wildfire recovery resources, visit the CalOES Wildfire Recovery website.
  • For information about any LACs established in a disaster area and their hours of operation, visit CalOES.
  • For California’s online job exchange system, visit CalJOBS.

For the latest news and announcements, including news releases, visit the EDD News page.


The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is our state's go-to resource for up-to-date wildfire information and resources. or @CAL_FIRE on Twitter.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Individual Disaster Assistance Program

Who it serves: Home/Primary Residence assistance is available for individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of a presidentially-declared disaster. If you are a renter or homeowner you may qualify for assistance. By law, FEMA assistance cannot duplicate the assistance you receive from your insurance company, but you may receive assistance for items not covered by insurance. FEMA does not offer assistance for small businesses impacted by a presidentially-declared disaster, however, they partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers low interest loans for business damages. Additional assistance is available for other disaster-caused expenses including medical and dental, child care, funeral and burial, essential household items, moving and storage, vehicle, and some clean-up items.

When to apply: ongoing

Where to apply:

Apply for disaster assistance and find local resources for your immediate needs.

A newly launched website that combines emergency response, recovery and resilience information into a single place for easy access by users. It is a one-stop portal that includes local and state resources, health services, shelters and housing, preparedness information, and more. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration

Who it serves: The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters.

Where to apply: 


LA County Department of Arts & Culture Digital Resources

As the way we gather and experience the arts have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing, the Department of Arts and Culture has responded by developing digital resources for organizations and artists looking for relief funds; individuals looking to experience arts and culture while remaining safer at home; and students, educators, and parents looking for online arts learning activities. 

211 LA County

211 LA County partners with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management to provide timely and accurate disaster information services before, during and after a disaster hits. 211 LA County is also partnered with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to provide Public Health issued warnings and advisories.

Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA)

The ENLA is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that share their knowledge and needed resources throughout the disaster cycle. With the support and resources of all these organizations, communities and the individuals they home can feel more equipped and confident when a disaster strikes. 

Los Angeles Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team

Community residents are trained to become disaster first responders to ensure neighborhoods survive and thrive after disaster strikes. 

RYLAN (Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood)

RYLAN is a free service offered by the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department meant to encourage, empower, and prepare Los Angeles neighborhoods for the next big disaster. The program increases neighborhood readiness by offering ways for communities to organize, practice, connect, communicate, and train.

Los Angeles County Food Bank/Pantry Locator



Call 2-1-1 to be connected with community services in your area, providing services like food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance and physical and mental health resources. 

California Lawyers for the Arts

Provides free and low-cost legal services to artists including processing claims with FEMA, SBA and other disaster relief agencies.

E-book: The Response: Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters

Published by Shareable.

Preparedness for Civil Unrest for Performing Arts Organizations

Thoughtfully prepared by Performing Arts Readiness & Majestic Collaborations. 

So You Want to Start an Emergency Relief Fund! 

Published by Springboard for the Arts.

Since the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic broke and Springboard launched the Coronavirus Response Personal Emergency Relief Fund, we've been heartened by both the number of people who want to give and the number of emergency funds popping up. We've fielded a lot of inquiries about our program and how we've managed it, and so we've put together a quick overview resource, "So You Want to Start an Emergency Relief Fund." We're sharing our program structure and big picture thoughts about running an emergency relief fund since 2001. We hope it's useful to you as you plan your response for your community. 

Special thanks to The Actors Fund, Arts Council Napa Valley, California Arts Council, CERF+, Creative Sonoma, The Hell Yeah Group, and L.A. 2050 for sharing resources with the public.