COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Arts Funding: Update and action items

Grantmakers in the Arts is sharing resources and guidance on Covid-19 virus and encouraging grantmakers to support their grantees in treating their funding flexibly in these difficult and rapidly shifting circumstances.

The arts and culture sectors are seeing the negative impacts from strategies of social distancing and limiting travel. Organizations are seeing declines in ticket revenue, or being pushed to cancel performances or postpone events. Artists may have their gigs and performances cancelled, or need to turn down opportunities that require travel and large crowds. Artists and organizations are also feeling the impact of and working to address increases of racism and prejudice toward Asian communities.

Grantmakers throughout the field are strategizing how best to support their cultural communities. Grantmakers cannot know how this crisis will impact their resources in the future. But we do know what grants we have in the field now. Our central advice is to support grantees’ treating those resources flexibly. This recommendation is also a central piece of our ongoing Capitalization work as well as Rebecca Thomas’ article in the winter 2020 GIA Reader, Are Cultural Organizations Recession-Ready?

GIA would like to share a link to our colleagues CERF+, and to NCAPER: National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response and its resources as well as to NCAPER Director Jan Newcomb at

While the spread and impact of the virus here in the U.S. is not yet known, you should have a plan in the event that, in the interest of public health, your organization needs to delay or cancel events or temporarily close. As The New York Times reported, World Health Organization officials said on March 11, 2020, “the spread of the coronavirus across more than 100 countries now qualifies as a global pandemic.”

We cannot prevent or respond to crises without the embrace of the full humanity of all peoples. GIA believes that the valuing of our full humanity is the power of arts and culture. Grantmakers in the Arts knows you are working to support your cultural communities and look forward to sharing your work with your peers across the nation.

Eddie Torres
GIA President & CEO

List of resources regarding artist support and Covid-19


Center for Disaster Philanthropy

National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER) - Coronavirus/Covid 19 Preparedness for Arts Sector

Disaster Resilience at Northern California Grantmakers

Philanthropy California webinar - How philanthropy can support and enhance the government response to COVID-19

Theater Communications Group (TCG) webinar - Coronavirus Preparedness for Theaters

CDC - Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture COVID-19 Webinar

American Alliance of Museums - Resources & Information for the Museum Field

Event Safety Alliance's webinar Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak

League of American Orchestras

New England Foundation For the Arts (NEFA)

Council of Nonprofits

City of Boston Arts and Culture Update

Americans for the Arts (AFTA)


ArtsReady alert: Preparing for Potential Impact of the Coronavirus

World Health Organization - Mass gatherings

Guidance for Philanthropic Communications from Northern California Grantmakers

Council on Foundations

Philanthropy New York

FSG - COVID-19⁠: Seven Things Philanthropy Can Do

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)

Seattle Office of Arts and Culture

Ways of Gathering in the Age of COVID-19: A guide to livestreaming on HowlRound TV

WEBINAR: Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak

Letter to mayors of San Francisco and Oakland regarding Wage Workers and CoVID19

United Philanthropy Forum’s Coronavirus Resource Page for PSOs ***For United Philanthropy Forum members

Emergency Grants – Foundation for Contemporary Arts

Emergency Grants – New York Foundation for the Arts

Emergency Grants – Women Arts

Emergency Relief Programs – Alliance of Artists Communities

AGMA Relief Fund

Actors Fund Emergency Financial Assistance (not just for actors)

Shade Literary Arts Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund (national)

Local 802 Emergency Relief (musicians)

CDC - Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019

National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC)

Reading List

This list of resources will be regularly updated.