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

By Liz Smith for Brain Arts Org

March 29, 2020

Last Updated: May 28th at 2:30pm

First Things First

Official updates about Covid 19 and the city of Boston can be found here including multilingual content. 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. The fund will open May 28th at 5pm.

  • 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 restaurant industry employees: The Greg Hill Foundation has created the Restaurant Strong Fund for relief for those employed full time at restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub located in Massachusetts. No longer accepting applications.

  • 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.

  • 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 First 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.

  • For Cambridge Residents: The Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund is currently accepting applications from Cambridge residents (including tenants and homeowners) who demonstrate loss of income from COVID-19. Application deadline passed.

Artist Grants, Gigs, and Funds

  • Author and activist Fred T. Johnson has started a GoFundMe Fund for rent/bills relief and will Paypal/Cashapp you $200 if you tweet or DM him.

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

  • Kinkade Family Foundation has an emergency grant for curators. Applications are accepted up to 4/12/2020 and grants are up to $5000. Deadline passed.

  • 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 Artists Relief Fund for Boston Area artists whose income has been impacted by COVID-19. $500 grants available. Deadline has passed but check out more opportunities from the city for artists, specifically artists of color here

  • Boston Music Maker Relief Fund Grant of up to $200 per applicant. For performers in the Greater Boston area who have demonstrated lost income due to performance cancellations related to COVID-19. Deadline to apply has passed.

  • 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. Deadline passed.

  • 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.

  • Cambridge Community Fund has a Cambridge Artist Relief Fund for Cambridge-based creatives.

  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts has a $500-$2500 grant for artists making work that is experimental or contemporary in nature. DEADLINE to apply is May 31st

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mass Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals: for Mass based artists and art educators who have lost income due to COVID-19. Check out specific requirements on their website. *Deadline has passed.

  • 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 June 17th

  • Arts Writers Grant Program This program supports both emerging and established writers who are writing about contemporary visual art with grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 in three categories — articles, books, and short-form writing. Application closed.

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Projects for the Humanities grant projects include websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments. Max award: $400,000. DEADLINE to apply is June 10th

  • 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

  • Fairmount Cultural Corridor Initiative Artist Relief Fund Open to artists of color living in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Roxbury, fill out this short Google form to apply. Deadline to apply has passed.

  • 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

  • Education: Artist2Artist is a website created by our friends at Studio 550. It's purpose is to connect artists by providing a platform to list and search for online classes hosted by local creatives for free.

  • Education: HowlRound “is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.” Learn how to livestream on HowlRound HERE. They also have an ASL captioned panel about being an artist during a time of pandemic.

  • Education: Mass College of Art and Design is offering digital marketing and fundraising classes for artists and art organizers.

  • Event Organization: CMX has a list of tips and tools for event organization during the outbreak.

  • Music: WBUR compliled a playlist of mellow music by local artists, check it out here for some chill jams

  • Mask Making: Here are resources for making homemade protective masks: article with free sewing pattern, article with step-by-step pictures, YouTube video.

  • Gardening Info: Soul Fire Farm of Grafton, NY has compiled a list of BIPOC-led how-to videos, gardening projects, and online learning resources all focused on gardening and farming. Check it out HERE.

  • Unemployment: The Dept of Unemployment Assistance has created step by step guides for filing an unemployment claim in MA in Spanish and English


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.

To donate items such as face masks, gloves, and other public health goods to help Massachusetts' response efforts fill out a form here.

Know of any other resources or updates to resources posted? Reach out to



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