Tag Archives: Covid 19

How to build antifragility for cultural projects (Repost).

This is a repost of an article from the very useful resources provided by filmmaker and cultural activist Benoît Labourdette . The article is also available in French on his website.


What methodology should be adopted to build cultural projects that have the capacity to tame uncertainty and thus become more deeply rooted in their objectives? Methodological proposal, based on the thesis of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the philosophy of François Jullien and the psychological studies of Olivier Houdé.

Report on the state of the cultural sector post-Covid-19

It would be salutary, a fortiori after the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020 which led to an extremely destructive containment for the cultural professions (among other sectors of society), to question the methodologies in order to envisage being able to make cultural projects more antifragile in the face of uncertainty.

During this period of confinement, there have been many very inspiring cultural innovations, which are still going on: film festivals that have reinvented themselves online, remote theatre projects, collective dance or music via videophony, calls for graphic, photographic, cinematographic creation, etc.

So, is everything all right? Everybody has resisted ? I’m not sure that this is the opinion of a theatre company whose tours for the next two years are being jeopardized by the cancellation of the Festival d’Avignon, the theatres, concert halls and cinemas empty for long months, the artists leading the very many artistic practice workshops cancelled, the authors, publishers and booksellers… The State and local authorities intervened by extending the unemployment insurance for temporary workers in the entertainment industry for one year, by setting up specific aid for the performing arts, cinema, plastic arts, music, museums, publishing, etc… These were indispensable supports, it is the role of the common good. They were probably not sufficient in France, Germany for example having affirmed the centrality of the cultural sector by supporting it to the tune of 50 billion euros after the confinement (in France it is about 100 times less). But what about the causes of what appeared to be an extreme fragility in the face of health contingencies? And the next crisis, unpredictable, will be of a different nature.

I propose, in 6 steps, definitions of concepts that will serve as solid support, in my opinion, for antifragile methodological paths in the cultural sector, i.e. that allow projects to be able to exist and even strengthen themselves in situations of uncertainty or intense stress.

1. Risk prevention: a limiting belief

The first idea that comes to mind is the risk prevention approach: trying to predict everything that can happen, based on past experiences. For example, foreseeing that a new epidemic could occur, and therefore having already prepared distant alternatives for all cultural projects. Just as in a film shooting plan, the unpredictability of the weather is anticipated by a “Plan B” of shooting indoors nearby in case of rain. Or, for an outdoor event, folded barnums are always ready to be deployed in case of bad weather.

This risk prevention, while necessary and very useful, does not protect against the unpredictable. It only prevents the predictable. It is important, but not sufficient. Risk prevention presents itself as reassuring (“We have foreseen everything”), which is false: it is impossible to foresee everything. And it is infinitely rare for the past to repeat itself identically.

The reality is that we live in an uncertain world, in which what will happen and destabilize us is precisely what could not be foreseen. We saw this at our expense during the Covid-19 crisis, which weakened the whole world, hitting the weakest hardest. What we can only admit after 2020 is that the world is uncertain and certainly promises unpredictable surprises! It would be salutary not to forget this lesson.

Let us therefore assume the obvious: it is absolutely impossible to predict everything. But then, how can we prepare for the unpredictable? This is the difference between the risk prevention attitude, which is limited to what it can imagine, and the antifragile attitude, which prepares for the unimaginable, only to come out of it stronger. This thesis may seem very theoretical, not very “realistic”, because how to tame the unknown, the impossible, the unthinkable? However, intuition makes us feel that this would be the best way. But what is it concretely, and how to make a cultural project antifragile?


2. Definition of antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The concept of antifragility was formulated by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder”, the first edition of which was published in 2013. It was published in French translation in 2018 (Editions Les Belles Lettres).

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a former trader, is today a writer, statistician and essayist specialising in the epistemology of probability (i.e. the critical study of the subject of probability). He is one of the very few people to have anticipated and warned about the extent of the financial crisis of 2008, for example. His atypical thinking and his critical stance seem to me to be a solid support to nourish reflection in the field of culture. Let’s first discover the concept of antifragility, before moving on to implementation paths, adapted for the cultural field.

Just as the human body grows stronger as it is subjected to stress and effort, just as popular movements grow when they are suppressed, so living things in general develop all the better when they are confronted with factors of disorder, volatility or anything that might disturb them. This faculty to not only take advantage of chaos but to need it in order to become better is the “antifragile”, like the ancient Hydra of Lerna, whose heads multiplied as they were cut off.

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (back cover).

Indeed, these words make us dream: who wouldn’t want us to be strengthened by hardship? Who wouldn’t want to be able to put Nietsche’s aphorism “What doesn’t make me die makes me stronger” into practice for their cultural projects? But isn’t that a bit theoretical and utopian? The Hydra is a myth, not reality… On the other hand, concerning the human body, our personal experience validates Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s hypothesis, because we can see that the human body is strengthened when it is subjected to stress, within a certain limit: physical exercise, vaccination, fasting… among other examples.

The point here is not to question the importance of preventing known risks. Of course, we must be prepared for the obvious risks that we know about: supervising children crossing the street, having national stocks of masks, etc. Let’s not confuse antifragility with inconsistency. But we must not give in to the naive belief that risk prevention would protect us from everything. On the contrary, the excess of forecasting and risk prevention, seen as the only horizon in organizational decisions, reassures us, but paradoxically is a factor of great fragility. Why is this? Because we believe we are protected from everything, so we lower our guard on a deeper vigilance, intrinsic to the projects themselves. Thus, in good conscience, excessive prevention can paradoxically weaken projects, perhaps even more than before the widespread practice of risk prevention since the early 2000s. Why is this so? Let Nassim Nicholas Taleb explain it to us very simply:

We have never had as much data as we do today, yet we are more unable than ever to predict. More data — paying attention to the colour of the eyes of the people you meet when you cross the street, for example — can lead to missing the essential — the big truck coming across the street, in this case. When you cross the street, you’re eliminating data, except for data that could be a critical threat. As Paul Valéry wrote: There are many things to ignore in order to act.

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (page 372).

Of course we can only agree. But then, what are the relevant facts to remember, and how do you go about taking a antifragile path? What exactly are we talking about? Here is a first, very simple example of antifragility. It is not a model, it allows us to start grasping the concept in terms of concrete action :

A do-it-yourself system and a test-and-error method would have the attributes of antifragility. If one wishes to become an antifragile, one must put oneself in the “fault-loving” situation — to the right of “fault-hating” — by making faults numerous and not very damaging.

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (page 34).

Here is a table (page 36) that summarizes this example:

Fragile Rough Robust
I hate mistakes Spiteful mistakes are just information Worship of mistakes (since they’re light)

We are beginning to perceive, I think, that antifragility is about a method of designing projects, a certain approach to work, to development, to construction, to the way we relate to the public. But then, should we only do “do-it-yourself” cultural projects, i.e. without any real artistic project, not very fragile because they are not very ambitious? On the contrary, it is thanks to the highest artistic standards that we will be able to build cultural projects that are antifragile, whether they’re “small” or “big”, as we will now discover.


3. Cultural Policy Missions

By the way, what is the framework for the implementation of cultural projects in France? Cultural policies, and therefore funding frameworks, have for mainspring the development of artistic creation, its dissemination and its practices. This is at the heart of the missions of cultural institutions in France, as the french official texts indicate:

Official Missions of the Ministry of Culture :

The mission of the Ministry of Culture is to promote artistic creation in all its components and to enable the democratization and dissemination of cultural works.

The mission of the Ministry of Culture is to make the capital works of France and humanity in the fields of heritage, architecture, plastic arts, performing arts, cinema and communication accessible to the greatest number of people. It promotes the development of artistic works in all their components in the territories and throughout the world. It is the guarantor of artistic education.

Source: website www.gouvernement.fr.

These missions are engaged in two directions: cultural democratization, to make works accessible to the public, and cultural democracy, which consists in fostering artistic practices of audiences. These two facets of cultural policies are complementary, and in my opinion, they always benefit from being combined. There is much debate in the political and financial stakes between these two perspectives, the answer to which lies in what are now called cultural rights. This is a subject in itself, which I do not deal with here, the cultural projects I am talking about are indifferently related to both approaches.

But what exactly is “artistic creation”? The philosopher François Jullien is one of the contemporary thinkers who explore the mysteries and potentialities of artistic creation in the most profound way. Here is an excerpt from his book “Dé-coincidence, où viennent l’art et l’existence” (2017, Editions Grasset):

In what way is art a lesson, no longer just a lesson of life, as so much has been said, to decorate life or because one is sculpting one’s life. Whether one aestheticizes one’s life as much as one wants, the notion of “art of living” is unfortunate: it is compromised with the renunciation of the adventurous inherent in wisdom and withdrawn into convenience. On the other hand, the demand for the dissonance that is proper to art, and which is more radically enlightened by modernity, puts the capacity for ex-existence at work from the outset, inscribing it in the sensible. In the de-coincidence, art and existence discover their common origin, and at first in opposition to “Creation”: discover that the new – the unheard of – is indeed possible, but precisely because it is not naively a beginning. Because it is the result of a disengagement and de-enclosure that keeps us out of the confinement of a world and its adapted adequacy. Or that it is by coming out of the hinges under which the possibilities are sealed, out of joint — possibilities that we did not suspect — that comes an audacity that, in its challenge, can redeploy from the infinite and allows us to finally begin. What each work of art does, in short: that the first morning of the world, then, becomes fleetingly within reach.

Dé-coincidence, où viennent d’art et l’existence ?, François Jullien, 2017 (page 136).

To summarize, François Jullien thus demonstrates that artistic creation is inherently antifragile, because art is by nature always reinventing, reinstating the first time at each of its occurrences. It is a lesson in life. The essence of artistic creation is to be adventurous, unseemly, uncoincidental.

4. Antifragility of a resolutely artistic and innovative approach to culture

Artistic creation is what cultural projects are meant to develop and disseminate, so let’s nourish ourselves on its deep logic of functioning, let’s allow it to express itself fully. Let us not seek to reduce what is the greatest strength of art: the requirement of audacity. Let’s take a risk in the cultural projects themselves, without which we would destroy the meaning of art, which we are here to defend! This audacity is precisely what will help our cultural projects to become antifragile. We can give it its name: innovation.

The approach to building a cultural project must therefore be innovative in order to be antifragile. But how can we identify that we are indeed in an attitude of boldness and innovation, and not in a race to reassure ourselves by trying to anticipate everything? How can we identify criteria to guide us? It is a question of our relationship to “error” and “uncertainty”: Do we seek to avoid uncertainty at all costs, i.e. the risk of error, or do we actively prepare to receive them in order to be enriched by them? Nassim Nicholas Taleb sums it up very well :

Mistakes make some things break, and some things don’t. Some theories fall apart, and some don’t. Innovation is precisely something that benefits from uncertainty; and some people sit back and wait for uncertainty and use it as raw material, just as our hunting ancestors did. …an ethical life is not ethical when it is free of personal risk.

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (page 512).

We could synthesize these ideas into one formula:

Innovation is therefore not an empty word, which would mean following fashions, in a form of demagogic and often technophile headlong rush, such as making absolutely “digital” projects or systematically using “social networks” without even really knowing why.

Innovation is an approach, a method, which integrates into the heart of its process openness to the unexpected, and is enriched by it. It is an attitude of openness to what, a priori, destabilizes us and that we would tend to reject out of fear. But beware, innovation is not a simple messy Spanish inn either. An innovative project can be extremely vast and structured, but it must cultivate its agility, which lies in everyone’s attitude towards the unexpected: “it surprises me, it worries me, it destabilizes me, well I’m going to do my best to deal with it and I’m going to try to find out how I can make the most of it!

5. A method: mourning work

It is counterintuitive to accept the unexpected, because the unexpected represents the loss of what was expected. It is necessarily a disappointment at the outset, which we fight against by reflex: denial, anger, guilt, etc. We would like to be enriched by this new situation, as advocated by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, but we have to admit that our brain does not take us in this direction spontaneously, far from it.

To be able to adopt a antifragile approach, whether at an individual level or collectively (within the framework of a project), we must learn to go through the stages of mourning very often. It is usually a rather slow process, because there is little awareness of it. It is a mourning training that must be practiced in order to become more and more able to go through the stages of mourning in an agile manner. The 5 stages of mourning work are :

  1. Shock and denial.
  2. Anger.
  3. Negotiation.
  4. Depression.
  5. Acceptance (or resilience).

It’s important to know that these stages can be quite disorganized, with jumps and flashbacks, which is particularly destabilizing.

antifragility is therefore above all a real work on oneself, dynamic and difficult, because it is to be produced precisely in those moments when one is in great difficulty, when one has lost what one imagined and is caught up in one’s unpredictable reactions in the face of this loss. So, the method is to practice the work of mourning, at high speed. To go faster in mourning, so that, thanks to the resilience that the work of mourning produces, we can consider the opportunities that lie behind the loss.

In fact, antifragility is at the heart of our learning system from childhood. In his book Learning to Resist (2019), educational psychologist Olivier Houdé explains through neuroscience that from childhood and throughout life, learning and reflection are based on cognitive resistance (another way of naming antifragility):

Cognitive resistance is our brain’s ability to inhibit automatisms of thought to allow us to think But it goes far beyond that: this ability is also essential in many situations of everyday life. Indeed, we must learn to resist automatisms of thought when they are oversimplifying and dangerous.

6. A path strewn with constructive pitfalls

Preparing for the unpredictable in order to take advantage of it, in the cultural sector, means adopting, collectively and in the structure of the systems that we put in place, be it planning, technique, organisation in teams, artistic work, communication, etc., an attitude of taking distance, a less reflexive, counter-intuitive time of thinking, in short, a true algorithmic approach, which involves sharing information, combined with autonomy in decision-making.

The method to adopt this attitude, as we have just seen above, is the work of mourning, which seems to be slower to approach, but which allows us to build in reality, and not in the fantasy of what we have lost and what we would like to find again. The challenge is to get back in touch with reality as quickly as possible, which has just changed in an unpredictable and irreversible way.

This brings us to places we hadn’t anticipated. It is destabilizing at first glance, but the cultural projects will only be better, more anchored in reality, and will respond even better to their initial objectives, because they will have been able to adapt to the changing reality.

To develop antifragility in the construction and exploitation of cultural projects is to choose the path that is the least easy, the riskiest, the most agile, the least reassuring, a path of successive innovations. It is the path that will come up against the most pitfalls, but which guarantees that the project will come out of it grown and perennial.

Choosing this type of approach has profound impacts on the forms of artistic projects, working methods, professional training, management attitudes, etc. If this approach is very difficult, it is above all because it implies accepting the loss of a form of power of domination, of mastery. It implies a change in our relationship to the world, which goes against the majority ideas about effective action and organisation. Thus, it often happens that the people who weaken projects the most are the leaders themselves (artists, elected officials, directors, etc.), because they are too afraid to let go of their power. In my opinion, taking these risks is the best guarantee for building ambitious cultural projects that will fully meet their objectives in our uncertain world.

This text is the introduction to the antifragile method for cultural projects. It will be followed by other texts that will develop proposals for the field.


Thanks to Robinson Labourdette for discovering the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and to Véronique Guiho-Leroux and Isabelle Altounian for their attentive rereading.

Take a break from Corona Madness

Dear friends and mates.

In these difficult times of trouble and confusion, your captain and humble servant would like to help you steer the right course.

First, allow me to forward you a personal greeting to the Coronavirus, from my First Officers.




Please scroll down





Please note: if you see this in your email and the video does not show, please go to the post.



Thanks for watching.


Now, here are some resources for artists and people who work in the creative industries. Many of them were collected by others, which we thankfully credit. Please be in solidarity and pass them on to anybody who might need them.

If you would like to add to this list, please drop me a line (as a comment at the end of this message).

Ahoi Corona Virus and let’s keep going, my friends.


Your Captain.



Inspired by the 1937 Mass Observation project FORMAT is inviting you to join in the @MassIsolation project, a visual record of the Covid 19 Crisis on Instagram.

Share your experience of this global pandemic and send us your photographs, drawings, memes, tips and ideas. Become part of this important visual archive at a most extraordinary moment in our history.

It is free to take part and open to all across the world.

To join in on instagram send your your submissions to @massisolation and be sure to tag your images with #massisolation and #massisolationFORMAT.

Posts will also be shared by guest curators on the @FORMATfestival Instagram stream.

This important international visual archive is being organised in a partnership between FORMAT and The Gallery of Photography Ireland’s own project @mass_isolation_IRL, #massisolationIRL.



Emergency Grants for Artists – by https://www.artworkarchive.com


Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant:

Intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified, mature visual artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. The maximum amount of this grant is $15,000; an award of $5,000 is typical. To quality, you must be a visual artists (music, theater, dance, and writing are not covered by this grant) working professionally in a mature phase of your career for at least ten years.

CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund)

CERF+ provides rapid relief and career recovery loans through their own grants (for artists working in craft disciplines) as well as a list of emergency resources for artists in other disciplines. Additionally, CERF+ just launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to support artists working in craft disciplines. “This fund is essential to our rapid and effective response to those artists who are suffering severe health impacts from the coronavirus, ensuring that CERF+ has the funds necessary to respond to this unprecedented crisis,” said CERF in an email release. If you are able, please donate to the CERF+ COVID-19 Response Fund.

Artists’ Charitable Fund

Colorado-based Artists’ Charitable Fund assists American visual fine artists (painters and sculptors) living anywhere in the United States by paying a portion of their medical/dental/eye-care bills. For example, the Fund has purchased a wheelchair, paid for eye surgery, provided funding for an artificial leg, paid partial medical expenses of several artists who have cancer, as well as other needs for medical assistance. You can find out more about the fund as well as donate here.

Artists’ Fellowship, Inc.

The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship.

The organization defines eligibility to “Professional” is defined as those visual artists who make their livelihood through sales as reported on a Schedule C with a U.S. Federal tax return. An active exhibition history is also an important part of documenting “professional.” You can find the application here.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

Emergency Grants offers immediate assistance to artists that have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding. Artists should be living and working anywhere in the United States, though projects can occur 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.

These grants do not cover life-related emergencies such as food, rent, medical bills, childcare, and other basic necessities, reimbursement for expenses that you have already incurred, or projects with no scheduled exhibition or performance dates, so look closely at the requirements and limitations.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts 

The Foundation will disburse $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 virus.

American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund– (USA)

Any AGMA member in good standing is entitled and encouraged to apply for financial assistance through the AGMA Relief Fund. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need.

Haven Foundation

The Haven Foundation provides financial assistance up to  $10,000 to artists who have a health crisis; grants are one-year, and the financial amount provided is to the discretion of the Foundation. Grants can be renewed up to four more years, with a supplemental application. Read the guidelines for application here.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation partnered to offer a new medical emergency aid program for artists. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses. There is no deadline; applications will be accepted and reviewed by the panel on a monthly basis beginning in late May/early June 2020.

National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER)

NCAPER is a voluntary task force of national, regional, state, and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations, NCAPER helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses have the capacity and ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.

Sustainable Arts Foundation
Awards supporting artists and writers with families with up to $6,000.

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund

If you are a musician who has lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, this new grant provides monetary support to musicians who have lost income due to a canceled gig as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Anonymous Was a Woman Relief Grants

This grant allows women-identifying artists to apply for up to $2,500 for financial hardships from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. The application opens April 6.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

This emergency fund can provide up to $200 for people of color that are either working artist or art administration and are affected by COVID-19.

The Creator Fund

ConvertKit has established a fund to help creators in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have already received more applications than they have funding, but encourage creators to still apply.

Kinkade Family Foundation Emergency Grant for Curators

This emergency grant provides funding for a curatorial project that sheds light on the world during this time of darkness. Priority will be given to curators who have a venue secured for their project and are greatly impacted by the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19.

The Photographer Fund

Format has put together a $25,000 relief fund designed to help photographers facing financial difficulties during the outbreak. The fund offers $500 per person.

Art Interrupted Emergency Arts Fund

Twenty Summer launched an emergency fund for artists and arts organizations suffering from unexpected and unmanageable financial loss as a result of the COVID-19. Artists can receive up to $500, while arts organizations can receive up to $1,000.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council 

The Emergency Fund for Artists will now provide up to $500 in assistance to artists experiencing loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Emergency Fund also remains available for other unforeseen emergencies that may impact your ability to work, such as flood, theft, or fire.



Boston Artist Relief Fund

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus. The application opens Monday, March 16.

Chicago Theater Workers Relief Fund

Chicago area theater professionals may apply for a grant of up to $500 on a first-come-first-served basis.

Biscotto-Miller Theater Workers Fund

This fund provides emergency assistance for any member of the Chicago theater community who is dealing with serious medical issues, including those that may result from COVID-19 infection.

Dallas Low Income Artist Fund

This fund provides support for low-income, BIPOC, trans, gender non-conforming, and queer artists and freelancers whose livelihoods are being affected by the pandemic in Dallas.

Durham Artist Relief Fund

Artists, arts presenters or arts venues in need of funds due to COVID-19 can apply for funding.

Hawaii Artists and Entertainment Fund

Working artists in the Hawaii area in need of assistance due to COVID-19 can apply.

Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

This relief fund was created for individuals working in the Indianapolis arts sector and impacted by the current public health crisis.

Arts Emergency Relief Fund

Emergency relief grants to City of Los Angeles-based dance, music, and theater artists, as well as small ensembles who have had their public performances, shows, or concerts cancelled.

Oolite Arts Relief Fund

This relief fund offers up to $500 to cover lost income due to COVID-19 to Miami-based Artists.

Springboard for the Arts Emergency Relief Fund

This relief fund supports artists in Minnesota who experience career-threatening emergencies, expanded to include emergencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists can request up to $500 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost.

The Mayer Foundation grant 

The Mayer Foundation grant provides economic relief to New York artists who are distressed or suffering from lack of financial resources as a result of natural or civil disasters, or from temporary impoverishment, loss of employment, death or incapacity of a family wage earner or damage to home and property. The grant also provides healthcare to those who cannot afford it or whose health insurance or financial resources are insufficient to cover their medical needs. The grant is up to $2,500 and is reviewed on a quarterly basis.

NYC Community Trust COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus

NYC Dancers Relief Fund

This fund offers urgent relief to freelance dance artists who have suffered financial losses due to the spread of the COVID-19 and the government enforced social restrictions.

North Carolina Artist Relief Fund

This fund has been created to support creative individuals who have been financially impacted by gig cancellations due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Artists and arts presenters in North Carolina can apply for emergency funding.

Philadelphia Performing Artists’ Emergency Fund

This fund was created to assist performing artists whose income has been impacted by show cancellations, slowing ticket sales, or low turnout during this pandemic.

Portland Area Artist Relief Emergency Fund

This fund is currently for freelance and independent artists residing in the Portland tri-county area.

San Francisco Arts and Artists Relief Fund

This emergency relief fund has been set up to help mitigate COVID-19 related financial losses that artists and small to mid-size arts and culture organizations have suffered. Individuals may apply for up to $2,000 and use the award however they see fit. Awards to organizations will range up to $25,000 and will be scaled based on budget size, up to $2 million.

San Francisco Foundation Emergency Response Fund for Nonprofits

SFF will make a limited number of one-time grants between $3,000 and $25,000 to nonprofits that are addressing the following four issue areas, described in greater detail below: racial bias, worker protection, homelessness and renter protection/housing security, and food security.

Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund

This is a resource for performing arts workers in the Bay Area who are facing a loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

UNTITLED, ART Emergency Fund

Artists who live in the Bay Area for the past two years are eligible for $250 in an effort to support the security and protection of artists who, in “normal times,” hold part-time or contract work to prioritize their art practice.

4Culture Relief Fund

This relief fund will distribute $1 million to artists in the Kings County, Washington, area who are affected by closures, cancellations, and loss of work due to COVID-19.

Creative Industry Relief Fund

This creative industry relief fund helps support musicians, artists, performers and filmmakers in the Tarrant County area in Texas who have lost work due to COVID-19.

Artist Trust Relief Fund

This relief fund provides rapid response grants supporting critical needs of artists in Washington state whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.

Washington Theatre Guide Taking Care Fund

Any theater professional currently residing in and who has actively worked in the Washington metropolitan area within the past two years is eligible to apply for emergency relief.

Seattle Artist’s Relief Fund

The Seattle Artist’s Relief Fund is a crowd-sourced financial relief fund that is already distributing financial relief to artists in the Seattle area. The GoFundMe campaign has reached $144,000 in just its first week and has already received 600 applications. This fund is for individual artists only who live in the greater Seattle area, not organizations or nonprofits. Donate if you can and apply if you need assistance.

Max’s Kansas City Project

Max’s Kansas City Project provides emergency funding and resources to professional artists in the creative arts who live in New York state. Grants of up to $1,000 are given to artists that demonstrate a financial need for medical aid, legal aid, or housing.


ArtsGreensboro has launched a relief fund for artists in the Greater Greensboro NC area who have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply or donate to the fund here. One hundred percent of proceeds go directly to benefit local Greensboro artists.

Arrowhead Regional Arts Council

This program provides grants of up to $750 for artists and organizations in Minnesota to do art projects online or in other forms during the current shutdown of arts venues. This grant is for artists and organizations who have had projects cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.

Charlottesville Emergency Relief Fund 

Artists can request up to $300 to compensate for scheduled work that was scheduled and lost. Artists are eligible to apply for loss of income regardless of whether the income was from art or other jobs. Artists must live in the Charlottesville area including the city of Charlottesville or the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, or Nelson.

Denver Arts & Venues: IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund 

This fund was started to support individual artists who are experiencing immediate, unforeseen emergency needs due to COVID-19.

Through the IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund, Denver Arts & Venues has allocated $130,000 towards grants of up to $1,000 to individual artists who live in Denver whose incomes are being adversely affected due to cancellation of events, classes, performances, and other creative work.


Artist + Activist Relief Fund 

This fund, created by The Soze Foundation, TaskForce and Invisible Hand, will support artists and activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. We will be making $250 grants to selected applicants on an on-going basis.



National Arts Center and Facebook Canada

The Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will provide $100,000 in artists fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020, to help ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19.

National Theater School of Canada

The National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is allocating $60,000 in support of emerging artists (as 80 grants of $750). These funds will be granted to theatre artists in training, or artists who have completed a theatre training program within the past five years, to present a piece of art online.

Canada Council Funding and Support for Artists

The Canadian government is offering a variety of support to artists who are affected by Coronavirus. For Canadian artists abroad there is a travel fund for artists to return to Canada. There are also Emergency Care Benefits for artists unable to earn money due to Coronavirus.


The Flanders Agency

The Flanders Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is working to provide monthly stipends for self-employed people who are not able to work during Coronavirus. This monthly benefit is € 1,291.69 without family expenses and € 1,614.10 with family expenses during the months of March and April.

Kone Foundation 

The Kone Foundation is offering an at-home artist in a residency support program to fund artists over a three month period. Monthly funds range by artist experience, €2,400 (early career), €2,800 (mid-career), and €3,500 (experienced artist).

The Swedish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Association in Finland

The Swedish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Association for the Arts have each decided to direct € 200,000 to the new grant form “Culture in the meantime”. In the spring, a total of € 400,000 will be distributed for art practitioners and cultural workers who are hit hard financially by the corona crisis.

The Civic Theater Ireland

The Civic Theater has created a fund to provide financial relief to Irish artists experiencing lost income related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.



Arts Council of England

The Arts Council of England is providing £160 million of emergency funding available for those organizations and individuals who will need it during this crisis. The council is also making £20 million of financial support available to individuals ( artists, creative practitioners, and freelancers), so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months.

South West Creatives – Corona Virus Impact Fund – (Bristol, England) 

Aiming to provide ten £200 hardship funds for any artists, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts.


The Hong Kong Arts Development Council

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council is funding 150 million HK Dollars to subsidize arts organizations, groups, and practitioners having work from February to April impacted by COVID-19. This funding includes performances, exhibitions, rehearsals, preparation and post-event work.

Singapore Unbound Relief Fund (SURF) 

Creative writers, whether they are Singapore citizens living anywhere in the world or Permanent Residents of Singapore, may apply for a USD200/SGD280 grant from SURF with no strings attached. This fund is specifically intended to help those in dire need of immediate help.

Other ressources


The Luminary announces the Futures Fund: Emergency Relief Grant for Artists

The Luminary, in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, is offering immediate artist emergency grants of at least $60,000 for artists and arts organizers in the St. Louis region. Drawing from a total grant of $100,000 to support our Futures Fund regranting initiative and related activities, the Warhol Foundation has authorized diverting funds for 2020 to support the direct needs of those in our community most impacted by COVID-19.

Artist and arts organizers are among those hit the hardest not just by the arrival of the coronavirus, but by the unpredictable effects of the closure of art spaces, suspended teaching engagements, cancelled commissions, exhibitions, and events of all kinds, not to mention the many contract and service jobs lost that sustain many artistic practices. The Futures Fund: Emergency Relief for Artists grant is meant as a small intervention and expression of solidarity and support; we wish to stitch together enough support for now so that there is a horizon for us to live into.

The Futures Fund will offer no fewer than sixty $1,000 grants over two cycles in April and June. Applicants are not required to use funds for a project: these unrestricted $1,000 grants may be used for shelter, food, seeds, childcare, communal care — whatever makes life possible for these uncertain months.
For more information and to apply, please visit http://theluminaryarts.com/programs/futures-fund
If individuals and businesses would like to support this fund to extend its impact, tax-deductible donations may be made online or by cash or check to The Luminary at 2701 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118. All contributions received will be given directly to artists in our region impacted by COVID-19 and its related economic fallout.

The Futures Fund is created and administered by The Luminary as a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Futures Fund is one of 16 Regranting programs, which have funded 1,000 projects around the nation with grants close to $10,000,000. The full list of 16 Regranting cities includes: Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Saint Louis, San Francisco and Washington DC.