Resources for the Arts during Coronavirus

3/23/20203 years ago

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 3 years ago.

Last updated June 18, 2020.

This list will be updated as new information arrives. If you know of a resource that we should add, please send an email.


• New England Arts Resilience Fund from New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). Organizations can apply for grants from $10,000 to $100,000. Deadline: June 30, 2020.

• The Momentum Fund, managed by United Philanthropy Forum, will provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that manage COVID-19 funds. Priority will be given to organizations managing COVID-19 funds that are helping other nonprofits meet the needs of communities and populations whose health and/or financial situations have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who have been historically under-served and under-resourced in the United States, U.S. Territories or on Native American Reservations. Deadline: June 18, 2020, at 3 p.m.

• Massachusetts unemployment for gig workers & freelancers

• Unemployment assistance from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance:

• State of Massachusetts Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with fewer than 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. “Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first 6 months."

• Gaming Mitigation Program from Mass Cultural Council "provides capital to non-profit and municipal performing arts centers in Massachusetts to preserve their ability to compete in a new, unbalanced marketplace." Apply by April 17:

• Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for nonprofit arts organizations via the National Endowment for the Arts: Details:

• "Economic Relief for the Creative Community in Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill," a guide from MassCreative:

• Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act passed by Congress on June 5, Congress makes it easier for businesses to qualify for loan forgiveness on a larger portion of their loan. Overview from the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston:

• U.S. Small Business Administration: COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance, Debt Relief, Express Bridge Loans and Paycheck Protection Program:

• Webinar on U.S. Paycheck Protection Program from Institute for Nonprofit Practice, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, TSNE MissionWorks and the Boston Foundation:

• Volunteer Lawyers for the Art offers help for those applying for Massachusetts unemployment for gig workers & freelancers or U.S. U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. “Please note our Support Team is available for technical assistance with applying for relief and does not provide legal advice.”

• National artist relief fund from Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation and United States Artists.. Offers "unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to assist artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19":

• Cambridge Artist Relief Fund from Cambridge Community Foundation, City of Cambridge and others (for arts organizations and artists who live, work, create, and/or perform in Cambridge): Update: Demand for support through the Cambridge Artist Relief Fund is exceeding available funds. Therefore, we’ve placed a hold on accepting new applications."

• City of Cambridge Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: Update: "The deadline for applications to the Mayor’s Disaster Relief fund for individuals seeking assistance has passed."

• Mass Cultural Council's COVID-19 Relief Fund: "Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures." Deadline to apply: April 22, 2020.

• Call for Talent: "CSQLive": Central Square Business Improvement District in partnership with Cambridge Community Television is offering stipends for people to share "their expertise and talent" in public broadcast programming:

• Boston Music Makers Relief Fund from The Record Co. (for musicians in Greater Boston): Update: "Applications to the Boston Music Maker COVID-19 Fund are now closed."

• Artist Fund for the Boston music community from Boston Music Awards and Jack Daniel's:

• Boston Dance Alliance Dance Relief Fund for "dancers, dancemaker/choreographers, or dance teachers who have experienced loss of income due to cancelled activities because of the Covid-19 pandemic." The fund "will disburse stipends of $250 to assist with immediate basic needs. The fund will disburse grants on a first-come, first-served basis until April 15, 2020":

• Boston Singers' Relief Fund from Boston Singers Resource (for New England-based classical music singers):,/p>

• Theatre Community Benevolent Fund:

• The Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund for artists who “have played a gig for Passim (or taught in the School of Music) in the last 10 years.” Up to $500. Update: "We will be pausing the PEAR fund on May 18."

• The Dance Complex's Artist Rental Relief Fund to support dance artists "by paying a portion of their rent" of spaces at the Cambridge facility. "Applications for this fund will be made available approximately 2 weeks prior to reopening as permitted by state government."

Organizational Planning:

• "Safe Harbors Program,” planned by the Mass Cultural Council, would be an assistance program offering resources, webinars, and online tools for organizations to understand their financial situation in the context of the pandemic and begin developing plans for future steps, decisions, and outcomes:


• “Massachusetts Health Connector offers extended enrollment for uninsured individuals to ease coronavirus fears”:

Hunger and Food Resources:

• From Project Bread in Boston, hunger and food resources for Massachusetts households, children and families:

Home Heating Assistance:

• Information about the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program as well as assistance from other organizations:

Legal Help:

• Pro Bono/Low Cost Legal Support: Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts based out of Arts & Business Council of Boston has “assembled an emergency response panel of large law firms that are ready and willing to advise artists and arts organizations on contracts, insurance, and labor and employment issues that are particularly relevant and concerning during this unprecedented time.” Contact Director of Legal Services Luke Blackadar for more information:

Directories of Resources:

• From Mass Cultural Council:

• From Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston:

• From Somerville Arts Council:

• From Boston Center for the Arts: h

• From Creative Collective in Salem, Massachusetts: • From the Boston Society of Architecture:

• From New England Foundation for the Arts:

• From Brain Arts Org in Boston:

• From Massachusetts Nonprofit Network:

• From Philanthropy Massachusetts:

• From New Bedford Art Museum:

• From the The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts:

• Resources for Freelance Artists (info by geographic locale):

• From Artwork Archive:

• From Americans for the Arts:

• From Creative Capital in New York:

 Data: Effects Of Coronavirus On Creative Economy

• "MA Cultural Organizations Report More than a Quarter Billion in Revenue Loss and 1000s of Jobs Impacted by COVID-19," report by Mass Cultural Council, April 15, 2020:

• "Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Arts and Cultural Sector" from Americans for the Arts:

• Coronavirus cancellations and shutdowns have cost Massachusetts artists and cultural organizations at least $58.59 million as of March 24, the Massachusetts Cultural Council reported.

• Coronavirus and Massachusetts Nonprofits Flash Poll by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Philanthropy Massachusetts from March 11 to 18.

• Ongoing Impacts of COVID-19 on Nonprofits Survey by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Philanthropy Massachusetts from March 24-26.

Webinars and Other Advice:


• “How to Produce a Livestreamed Event” from HowlRound:

• “Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience for Theater” scientific study from Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater and the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. To be available in the coming weeks:

• “COVID-19 Preparedness for the Cultural Sector” from Mass Culural Council:

• A Guide to Livestreaming: "Ways of Gathering in the Age of COVID-19. From HowlRound:

• "How to Prevent 'Zoombombing,'" advice from the Anti-Defamation League on how to prevent virtual meetings from being disrupted by graphic or threatening messages or actions:

• “Social Justice in a time of Social Distancing” from the Design Studio for Social Intervention in Boston:

• “Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic: For US-Based Freelance Artists and Cultural Workers in all Disciplines” from HowlRound:

• “Emergency Preparedness and Response: COVID-19 and the Arts Ecosystem: A Grantmakers in the Arts Webinar.” Via HowlRound:

• Free "Creative Economy Workshops" from Massachusetts College of Art and Design about entrepreneurial skills, digital marketing, and fund-raising for creative projects:

• How to adapt "arts integration programs to today’s working and learning from home reality." A "Culture Chat" from Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker with Terry Wolkowicz, teaching artist and Education Director of New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.

• "Embracing Distance Learning for Young Musicians." A "Culture Chat" from Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker with Christopher Schroeder, Executive Director of the Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program.

• “What Does ‘Public’ Mean Right Now?" a “N+T Asks” online conversation from Now + There, with artist Silvia Lopez Chavez and New England Foundation for the Arts’ Kim Szeto. April 3 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Register:

• "Digital Storytelling for Nonprofits: DIY Filming and Editing" from Cambridge Community Television (CCTV): Additional workshops:

• "Cambridge Small Business Virtual Town Hall" recorded by Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon on March 26. The virtual event offered emergency information to residents and small businesses. It featured Congresswoman Katherine Clark, SBA Regional Administrator Wendall Davis, SBA Deputy Director Peter Kontakos, Cambridge Assistant City Manager - Finance David Kale, Pardis Saffari from the Cambridge Economic Development Department, and Gail Willett from the Cambridge Assessing Department.

• Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance Virtual Town Halls: