The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today its guidelines to swiftly distribute funding to nonprofit arts organizations from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to close operations due to the spread of COVID-19.

The CARES Act designated $75 million to the NEA. 60% of these funds will be distributed directly to nonprofit arts organizations across the country, while 40% will be delivered to the nation’s 56 state and territorial arts agencies.

Separately, a consortium of national funders1 announced today the creation of the Artist Relief Fund, a $10 million national emergency relief fund for artists and creative workers that will provide $5,000 no-strings-attached grants. It is intended for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and who has also been affected by COVID-19.

CARES Act Grants for Nonprofit Arts Organizations

The NEA will make one-time grants to eligible nonprofit organizations. Grants will be made either to organizations for their own operations, or to designated local arts agencies for subgranting programs to eligible nonprofit organizations.

All applicants must be previous National Endowment for the Arts award recipients from the past four years (Fiscal Years 2017-2020).

Support is limited to any or all of the following:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more positions that are critical to an organization’s artistic mission.
  • Fees for artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.
  • Facilities costs such as rent and utilities.

Applications must be submitted by 8:59 pm MST on April 22, 2020, with the earliest notification of application status on June 30, 2020.

Additional information can be found at

CARES Act State Partnership Grants

Additionally, the NEA will deliver relief funding to the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The Arts Commission staff and Governor-appointed board of commissioners are reviewing the guidelines provided today by the NEA to determine how these funds will be deployed.

Artist Relief support for artists affected by COVID-19

Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19.

To be eligible for a relief grant, applicants must be:

  • Practicing artists able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, careers, and a public audience;
  • Experiencing dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • 21 years of age or older;
  • Able to receive taxable income in the U.S. (e.g. citizen, green card holder, and/or permanent resident who can provide a W9 and SSN or ITIN);
  • Residing and working in the U.S. for the last two years;
  • Not a full-time employee, board member, director, officer, or immediate family member of any of the coalition partners;
  • Not previously awarded a relief grant from this fund.

Applications must be submitted by 8:59 pm (MST) on April 23, 2020.

More information can be found at

Alongside the grant opportunity, Artist Relief co-launched 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. The Arts Commission encourages Arizona artists and creative sector workers to participate in this survey.

1. Artist Relief is an initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists. Artist Relief launched with a generous $5 million seed gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to match an initial $5 million in funding generously provided by the following foundations: 7|G Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Amazon Literary Partnership, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Arison Arts Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Ford Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, Jerome Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kraus Family Foundation, LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Metabolic Studio, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Open Society Foundations, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Richard Salomon Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Sue Hostetler and Beau Wrigley Family Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The Willem de Kooning Foundation.↩