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Boston establishes Artist Relief Fund in response to Coronavirus

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Arts and Culture

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is receiving many questions from arts and culture organizations seeking guidance on responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and things are changing daily. We will continue to update the City of Boston website as more information becomes available.

We modified the Opportunity Fund to best address the current needs of artists whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by COVID-19. On Thursday, March 12, the Opportunity Fund application reopened as the Boston Artist Relief Fund.

Through a partnership with Boston Center for the Arts, individuals can donate to the Artist Relief Fund.

Applications for the Boston Artist Relief Fund are now closed. The deadline to donate is May 31, 2020.

Boston Artist Relief Fund

About the Fund

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

With events of all types being canceled to reduce the spread of COVID-19, people who make income partially or fully through gigs and freelance work are losing critical opportunities to support their well-being in our city.

The Boston Artist Relief Fund application is now closed. The Opportunity Fund will reopen for applications after July 1. Opportunity Fund applications that were already received in this application cycle will still be considered for funding. 

Eligibility

We welcomed applications from all artists living in Boston, but will prioritize lower income artists and artists who have not been funded through City-led grants during this fiscal year (July 1, 2019-present). The fund will be open for, but not limited to, the following uses:

Recouping financial losses due to cancelled events, including performances in all performing arts disciplines, readings, and speaking opportunities

Reimbursement for travel expenses related to your artistic discipline that you paid for yourself. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Residencies
  • Conferences that have been canceled
  • Touring

Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of canceled classes and school closures.

Support for artists working full or part-time in the service industry who have lost supplemental income used to support their artistic practices.

The Record Co. has also established a Boston Music Maker Relief Fund to provide financial relief to Boston-area music makers experiencing lost income as the result of performance cancellations related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to $200 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.

If you were an awardee of the Opportunity Fund this year and you have had to delay or reschedule your experience or event, please let us know at arts@boston.gov