Actors Fund – Entertainment Assistance Program
With a focus on support and education, our Entertainment Assistance Program services include:
- One-on-one counseling and referrals to helpful resources
- Support for issues around sexual harassment
- Assistance in locating legal and health services
- Information on affordable housing and advice in dealing with landlord/tenant issues
- Seminars and groups on topics such as financial wellness and coping with depression
- Emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent or medical expenses
Any performing arts or entertainment professional may call on the Entertainment Assistance Program for support, information or referrals to community agencies.
Eligibility for financial assistance requires an application, documentation of your professional earnings and an interview and in general is based on:
- A minimum of five years of industry paid employment with earnings of at least $6,500 for three out of the last five years, or
- Twenty years of industry paid employment with a minimum of ten years of earnings of at least $5,000 for each of those years, and
- Financial need
We provide assistance nationally. Please contact our regional office closest to you.
New York City
212.221.7300, ext. 119
323.933.9244, ext. 455
CERF+ Emergency Assistance (For Artists)
Have you or an artist you know experienced a recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster?
CERF+ emergency assistance includes grants and/or brokered assistance, such as booth fee waivers and discounts or donations on supplies and equipment.
Artists interested in CERF+ emergency assistance must first complete an inquiry form. If it is determined that you may be eligible for assistance, you will be invited to apply for assistance. Before filling out an emergency assistance inquiry form, carefully read through the eligibility criteria and supporting documentation requirements. Learn more
Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants Program
The New York Foundation for the Arts has partnered with Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program, which provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical/dental/mental health emergencies. Emergencies are defined as taking place within the last six months. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who live anywhere in the U.S., its Territories, and the District of Columbia. Artists of color and those living outside of the East and West coasts are encouraged to apply. The program does not cover lost wages/income. Please check the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program’s page in July, 2021 for program updates.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Created in 1993 to further FCA’s mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists who:
- Have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding
- Incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates
Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad.
Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Grants range in amount from $500 to $2,500, and the average grant is now $1,600.
We recommend that artists review all of our eligibility guidelines and FAQs before applying. You may also complete our Eligibility Questionnaire, but please note that the questionnaire is not a substitute for a thorough review of program guidelines. Learn more
Freedimensional – Artist Resources
These resources are intended for activists and culture workers in situations of distress as a result of their professional work. Distress situations may include verbal threats, imprisonment or legal persecution, violent attack, professional or social exclusion, or harassment. Services include a safe haven program, emergency grants, and referrals to other resources. Learn more
Author League Fund
The Authors League Fund helps authors, dramatists, journalists, and poets. Recipients must be career writers with a substantial body of work in one of more of the following categories:
- Book authors with at least one title published by an established traditional publisher. Authors with multiple titles are given priority.
- Journalists, critics, essayists, short story writers, and poets with a substantial body of work in periodicals with a national or broad circulation. Whether print or online, these periodicals must have strong editorial oversight and a sizable readership. This category does not include copywriting, blogging, public relations, and writing for non-periodical websites and corporate clients.
- If you are a playwright, composer, or lyricist, our friends at the Dramatists Guild Foundation are taking applications for immediate aid: https://dgf.org/programs/grants/grants-for-writers. If you are a dramatist experiencing a medical emergency, please submit an application to both the Authors League Fund and the Dramatists Guild Foundation.
The Fund does not typically assist self-published writers unless they have a record of critical and financial success with their publications.
While it is not necessary that the applicant subsists solely on his or her income from writing, or have published in recent years, the applicant’s status as a professional writer is vital. Please list awards, fellowships, and other forms of recognition in your application.
The Authors League Fund helps writers living in the United States, regardless of citizenship, and American writers living abroad. Learn more
Carnegie Fund for Authors
The applicant must be an American author who has published at least one full-length work — fiction or nonfiction — that has been published by a mainstream publisher. Applicants cannot have eligibility determined by a work that they paid to have published. A work may have been published in eBook format only, or in hardcover or softcover format, or in more than one format.
An applicant must demonstrate need; the emergency may be because of illness or some other urgent need such as fire, flood, hurricane, etc. Documentation should be included with the application: a doctor’s letter or other proof of the emergency situation.
If you believe you qualify for a grant, you should take the next step and register with the site. Decide whether you want to download an application to send in or to apply online. Learn more
PEN America U.S. Writers Aid Initiative
PEN America’s U.S. Writers Aid Initiative offers grants for writers facing acute financial need. It is intended to assist fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists. To be eligible applicants must be:
- based in the United States
- a professional writer
- able to show that this one-time grant will be meaningful in helping them address an emergency situation.
Writers do not have to be Members of PEN America to receive a grant.
The Writers’ Fund uses the following guidelines when evaluating applicants’ professional credentials:
- Publication of one or more books.
- Multiple essays, short stories, or poems in literary anthologies or literary journals (either online or in print) in the last two years.
- A full-length play, performed in a theater of over 250 seats by a professional theater company. Productions in academic settings qualify if not a student at the time of the production.
- Employment as a full-time professional journalist, columnist, or critic or a record of consistent publication on a freelance basis in a range of outlets during the last two years.
- Contracted forthcoming books, essays, short stories, poems, or articles for which the name of the publisher can be provided.
- Other qualifications that support the applicant’s professional identity as a writer.
To qualify for aid from the Musicians Foundation, you must meet the following conditions:
- You (or the person for whom you are applying) must be a musician of any genre in a time of acute need, due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.
- You must have worked in the United States as a professional musician for at least five (5) years.
- You must currently reside in the United States.
- You must be able to provide tax documentation detailing that for five (5) or more years, your principal income has been derived from your work as a musician.
- You must submit an application, which will be reviewed by the Musicians Foundation screening committee.
- We give grants for medical and allied living expenses in emergencies, and pay these debts on behalf of the musicians we help. We do not write checks directly to musicians.
- Our grants typically range in amount from approximately $500-$3000.
- We do not give grants for scholarships, loans, or private unemployment benefits.
- If necessary, applications may be filled out by friends or family of the musician in need. We also aid musicians who need assistance supporting their family members in times of emergency.
American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund (For AGMA Members only)
Eligible members can apply in the following categories:
- Working professionals – unable to earn enough to cover expenses but with no extenuating circumstances. Requesters who did not receive assistance in 2020 can provide up to $750.00 for basic living expenses. Other requestors, AGMA can provide up to $600.00 for basic living expenses.
- Those with extenuating medical circumstances assistance, can be provided up to $1,000.00. AGMA cannot cover hospital or medical bills for the uninsured over this amount.