COVID-19 Funding Resources

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Funding Resources – Bay Area

Housing and Utilities Resources

Berkeley: COVID-19 Housing Retention Grants – The program guidelines on this page are specific to the COVID-19 emergency. These criteria will remain in effect for 60 days after the shelter-in-place order is lifted, or longer if deemed necessary by the City of Berkeley. Currently accepting waitlist applications.

Contra Costa County: The SHELTER, Inc. COVID Program 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.

East Bay Municipal Utility District offers a Customer Assistance Program (CAP) to help pay a portion of the water bill for qualified low-income residential customers and eligible homeless shelters.

PG&E has multiple one-time and long-term payment assistance programs that provide discounts and credits to low-income-qualified customers including:

  • California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) – A monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and electricity.
  • Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA) – A monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. Must be a household with three or more people.
  • Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) – Provides an energy credit for up to $300 based on the past due bill.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – Provides up to $1,000 in financial assistance to pay your eligible household energy costs including your bill for heating, cooling and home weatherization expenses.

Marin County Emergency Rental Assistance Program helps low-income households. Online application opens March 23, 2021.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is offering multiple Bill Relief Programs that provide discounts to residential, low-income, and non-profit customers needing assistance.

Santa Clara County Emergency Assistance Network – The Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) agencies in Santa Clara County provide a variety of services to prevent homelessness, utility disconnections, and hunger.

Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties: COVID-19 Emergency Assistance – HIF’s Emergency Housing Fund offers a lifeline after unforeseen and temporary financial setbacks, acting as a bridge between crisis and stability.

Bay Area Wide

Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund (Theatre Bay Area, Dancers’ Group, and InterMusicSF partnership) – Ongoing
Any resident of the San Francisco Bay Area who has worked professionally or vocationally in local performing arts, who has been an active participant in the arts community (those whose life’s work is the performing arts, regardless of the income derived from work in the performing arts) and has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.

San Francisco COVID-19 Emergency Loan for Arts & Culture Nonprofits – Ongoing, as long as resources are available
This Emergency Loan will support arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in the eleven Bay Area counties.

Bopsidy Artist Support Page
Directly support SF Bay Area dance instructors and studio operators financially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties

Zellerbach Family Foundation Community Arts COVID Response GrantDue dates: June 21, Sep 20, and Dec 20, 2021
Provides general operating support to arts and culture organizations in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties suffering revenue loss due to the closure of venues and cancellation of events. Response grants will be for organizational stability/general operating support, and will be awarded for $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000.

Napa County

Napa County Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) – Ongoing
In response to a declared emergency in Napa County, they’ve launched a COVID-19 Fund to address the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the community.

Oakland

Akonadi Foundation So Love Can WinRound 1 due date: May 1, 2021;  Round 2 July 1 – Sep 1, 2021
Supporting Oakland-based efforts led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color using organizing, healing, arts and culture, and journalism and narrative strategies to ignite and implement a radical collective vision of freedom and racial justice. Provides general support grants of $10,000.

San Francisco County

SF Relief Grants – Opening in Feb 2021
The Mayor has announced the SF Relief Grant program to provide immediate relief to help stabilize small business operations with grants of $5k to $20k based on the business’ number of employees in Feb of 2020.

Funding Resources – National and Statewide

Save our Stages and PPP2
This simple overview explains the uses of and eligibility for Save our Stages funding, designed to support venues that have been closed due to the pandemic.

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
Apply for funding or donate in support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Emergency Funding Resources
Some of the relief efforts included in this category are managed by nonprofits, foundations, and other organizations with a history of distributing grants to artists. Others are new funds set up specifically to relieve artists in financial crisis as a result of COVID-19. Not being updated currently.

Artist ReliefCycle XI due date: Apr 30, 2021 at 11:59pm ET
Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource. For additional support, visit Artist Relief’s list of resources.

Creative Ecosystems and Funds that Support Black People
This list prioritizes Creative Ecosystems and Funds that support Black queer, trans, and nonbinary folks, and Black women.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund – Due date: Sep 15, 2021
In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the artist community, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists (choreographers, composers, playwrights, directors, visual artists, and poets) who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. FCA also offers a non-COVID Emergency Grant if you are seeking support for an upcoming performance or exhibition opportunity.

NALAC Actos de Confianza Relief GrantsCycle 3 (Western US) is open Apr 28 – May 12, 2021
The 2021 Actos de Confianza relief effort will expand to support Latinx artists and arts organizations who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. NALAC will distribute $2,500 grants to Latinx artists and cultural workers and $5,000 grants to Latinx arts organizations facing critical financial emergencies.

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants – Cycle 7 is open April 6 – May 3, 2021 for emergencies occurring Sep 1, 2020 and later
Cycle 8 will be open June 8-29 for emergencies occurring Nov 1, 2020 and later
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in partnership with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will administer the program, which provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies.

The Actors Fund
The Actors Fund has partnered with other entertainment industry organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to those in immediate financial need. Funds are available to union and non-union workers in entertainment and the performing arts.

For Reference

The following funding opportunities are currently closed.

Artists Now Relief Fund
For artists who live in the Bay Area, who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, who are POC, Women, or identify as LGBTQIA+. The Artists Now Fund is now closed. For additional support, visit YBCA’s Artist Power Center.

The Safety Net Fund
The Safety Net Fund is designed to help support artists in the Bay Area during the COVID-19 crisis. We prioritize artists that typically make their living offline at events & retail establishments that have been cancelled or closed due to coronavirus. This includes performing artists, musicians, visual artists, event producers, and other types of creators. Currently closed

Artist Relief Project
Funds will support artists in any discipline, who have been directly impacted by event cancellations and venue closures due to COVID19-related health concerns. The funds raised will offer relief to artists in the short term in the form of cash mini-grants and in the long term in the form of programs and resources to support their continued pursuit of a career in the arts. Currently closed

Artist Relief Tree
Anyone who is an artist (of any kind) can request funds. They plan to fulfill every request with a flat US$250 on a first-come-first-serve basis. New requests for funding are currently not being accepted. Join the waitlist to be notified if and when they’re able to reopen for Round 2 applications.

California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners
To help artists and cultural practitioners (including fine and performing artists, teaching artists, culture bearers, and maker-based sole or collective creative entrepreneurs) who comprise the various and diverse cultural communities of the state of California. Closed Aug 18, 2020. For additional support, see CCI’s list of Emergency Resources for Artists & Freelancers.

California Black Voices Project Request for Proposal
Minnesota Street Project Foundation: five $10,000 grants to California Black artists or curators to create or curate artwork(s) for an exhibition specifically for this award. Closed Aug 31, 2020

The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation Relief Grants for the Arts
The foundation will prioritize unrestricted support for arts organizations that: Amplify the perspective of marginalized artists and communities; Present challenging, contemporary works of art, including dance, music, performance, and the visual arts; Work in Alameda, Marin, and/or San Francisco counties; Operate with an annual budget of $2.5 million or less; Have not already received funding from the foundation in 2020. Relief funds will be issued as one-time grants ranging from $2,500 – $10,000, with consideration given to organizational budget size. Closed Sep 3, 2020. Check back in March 2021 for further details about future funding opportunities.

Alliance for CA Traditional Arts: Hardly Strictly Music Relief Fund: Bay Area
The Fund is made possible by Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to support the Bay Area roots music community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible applicants can apply for grants up to $2,000. Closed Sep 14, 2020. Visit ACTA’s website for additional opportunities.

City of San José Coronavirus Relief Fund: Artists
The San José Fund, a partnership between the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs and the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), is a response to the financial impact on professional artists caused by the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Closed Sep 29, 2020. For additional support, see CCI’s list of Emergency Resources for Artists & Freelancers.

Oakland CARES Fund
The CARES Arts Fund is a response to the financial impact on professional artists and nonprofit arts organizations in Oakland caused by the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Closed Oct 9, 2020. For additional support, see CCI’s list of Emergency Resources for Artists & Freelancers.

Grants for Arts Equity
Minnesota Street Project Foundation is awarding grants for capacity-building initiatives to Bay Area visual arts organizations serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other underserved audiences as part of its grantmaking programs to address the systemic racism in the art world. Closed Nov 20, 2020

Fleishhacker Foundation Special Arts Grant
The Foundation awards Special Arts Grants to mid-sized arts and culture organizations with annual budgets between $750,000 and $2,500,000 that are located and offer programming in the San Francisco Bay Area. In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the local arts community, grants will be awarded for general operating support during the upcoming spring 2021 review cycle. Call for LOIs closed Nov 20, 2020. Visit Fleishhacker Foundation‘s website for future grant opportunities.

Fleishhacker Foundation Small Arts Grants
Applications are currently being accepted for the spring 2021 review cycle for general operating support for 501(c)3 and fiscally sponsored arts and culture organizations and film projects. Closed Jan 15, 2021. Visit Fleishhacker Foundation‘s website for future grant opportunities.

PUSH For Campaign
The PUSH for Campaign centers movement through Black lives. It welcomes dance organizations and individuals living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area to apply for small relief funds to further their work within the African diaspora. Closed Jan 31, 2021

Headlands Center for the Arts Community Rapid Response Fund
Headlands Center for the Arts seeks to support in-progress, community-based projects led by artists. The organization especially wishes to support work that is developed in partnership between artists and Bay Area businesses, organizations, or others. Closed Feb 8, 2021

California Arts Council: Arts & Cultural Organizations General Operating Relief
Up to $30,000 in operational relief funding for arts and cultural organizations who have experienced economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing small organizations. Visit the California Arts Council website for additional grant opportunities. Closed Feb 17, 2021

California Arts Council: Statewide and Regional Networks
Up to $35,000 in support of arts service organizations providing practical resources for the communities they serve. Visit the California Arts Council website for additional grant opportunities. Closed Feb 24, 2021

California Arts Council: Administering Organization – Relief for Individual Artists and Cultural Practitioners
The CAC is seeking applications for an Administering Organization (AO) to manage a regranting program that provides rapid relief support grants to artists and cultural practitioners of color across the state of California who face dire economic consequences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the California Arts Council website for additional grant opportunities. Closed Feb 25, 2021

Arts Council Santa Cruz County: Community Relief Grant
Bridge the gap with emergency support for unanticipated and emerging needs as a result of COVID-19. Open to all Santa Cruz County artists and arts organizations, grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded until no more funds are available. A portion of these funds will be granted to individual Watsonville-based artists to support increased access to creative and artistic space. See the Arts Council’s list of resources for artists and arts organizations

Creative Sonoma COVID-19 Arts Relief Grants for Organizations
The CARGO program provides relief to Sonoma County creative organizations that have sustained economic losses due to COVID-19 and the resulting business and community health restrictions. These grants will go to Sonoma County-based nonprofit arts organizations for general operating support. Closed Apr 6, 2021

CA$H Dance
NEW — The CA$H Dance grant can be used for a project, to support your artistic process generally, or to support you as an artist/organization. This is often referred to as general operating support. Stay tuned for more information about future rounds of CA$H Dance. Closed April 7, 2021