Editor’s Note: This resource originated with a list published by Culture Funding Watch, and we express appreciation to them for the idea.
With public spaces like art galleries and concert halls shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19, affected artists and performers who depend on these venues for their livelihoods are facing serious financial difficulties.
A number of organizations and newly set-up relief programs are trying to help with direct grants and other emergency assistance, although some of the grants are small and almost all of the sponsoring groups are struggling to respond to all the requests they’ve received. Most are soliciting donations so they can continue offering help.
Beyond financial emergencies, artists in some countries also face threats to their personal safety and liberty as leaders use the crisis to crack down on artistic freedom. At least two international organizations are trying to assist threatened artists.
Some global and regional organizations are also trying to help journalists who are seeking to cover local aspects of the novel coronavirus pandemic but lack the financial means.
Below is a sampling of resources that are trying to help artists, performers, journalists and others in the arts and culture sector with opportunities to work or with assistance to help meet urgent needs. Please contact us in the comments section below or at [email protected] if you have a resource that you believe should be added to this list.
Assistance Specific to the Arab Region
Art Jameel Research and Practice Platform. Art Jameel created this new platform in recognition of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on independent artists, writers, curators and researchers. The platform is offering support for new or continuing projects, with allocations of up to $3,000 per artist to be distributed to up to 50 practitioners. Independent artists, writers, curators and researchers who live in the Middle East and North Africa are eligible to apply. The platform is particularly aimed at those who have experienced a significant drop in participation opportunities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The deadline for the first phase of this project has passed. Deadlines for the remaining two phases of the project are April 30 and June 7.
Tunisia Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Culture Recovery Fund (FRC). The ministry has established a Culture Recovery Fund (FRC) to support cultural organizations and professionals in two phases. The first, from now through June, aims to help artists and others through economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 crisis. The second, from July onward, aims to help revive and develop the sector.
Follow Your Art (Tunisia). This nonprofit organization seeks to help artists and artisans who have experienced losses because of canceled events during the Covid-19 crisis. Its first round of distributions will award grants of 500 euros (about $540) to artists in Belgium, Italy and Tunisia. When the first round has closed, a new call will be launched in three different countries.
Algeria National Office of Copyright and Related Rights. The office has announced program of exceptional grants for artists who have been prevented from making a living due to the suspension of cultural activities that constitute their only source of livelihood.
French Institute in Morocco, Covid-19 Exceptional Call for Projects to Support the Moroccan Artistic and Cultural Scene. Urban art is the main focus of this call for projects, which aims to support a sector particularly affected by the crisis and to strengthen social cohesion by supporting artistic projects aimed toward populations whose access to culture is limited. Application deadline: May 20.
Community Relief Fund for Saudi Filmmakers. The fund aims to provide direct financial support to freelance workers in the Saudi film industry who have sustained a financial loss because of canceled activities related to Covid-19. All Saudi freelancers working in the film industry are eligible for a one-time emergency grant of up to 5,000 Saudi riyals (about $1,330). The size of the fund is 200,000 Saudi riyals. Applications will be accepted until the fund is exhausted.