VA Comission For The Arts Offers Emergency Relief Grant for Individual Artists

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For FY21, Artist Fellowships are being converted to an Emergency Relief Fund for Individual Artists
Purpose: To support Virginia’s artists/teaching artists who add value to the state’s economy and bolster the creative life of our communities by their artistic excellence
In response to ongoing impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the VCA has determined to forego the traditional Artist Fellowship program for FY21, in order to make available Emergency Relief Grants for Artists.
Description:The Emergency Relief Fund for Individual Artists provides grants of $500 to Virginia artists impacted by the cancellation of a specific scheduled event, gig, or opportunity (e.g., commissions, performances, readings, contracts, teaching classes etc. ) because of COVID-19.
Eligible financial losses include, but are not limited to, those which- due to the COVID-19 pandemic- resulted from an inability to:
  • teach in-person arts classes or workshops
  • participate in paid residencies
  • perform in paid gigs
  • display work in art galleries or museum shows
  • offer services as a teaching artist
NOTE: This Relief funding is intended for urgent needs. Because of limited available funding, if you have alternate sources of income that meet your basic needs, we ask that you refrain from applying.
Eligible Applicants: An individual practicing artist or teaching artist working in dance, music, opera, musical theater, theater, visual arts, media arts, literature, and/or folk and traditional arts who meets the following criteria.
  • Artists who are legal residents of Virginia
  •  Artists who plan to remain a Virginia resident during the grant period
  • A legal resident possesses a valid Virginia driver’s license and/or pays income taxes in Virginia and/or is a registered Virginia voter
  •  Artists who are 18 years of age or older
  • Artists who derive a significant part of their income from their art, be it sales or lectures, etc.
  •  Are experiencing serious financial loss and/or hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Applicant’s record of professional arts activity and achievement as reflected in the resume/curriculum vitae
Ineligible Applicants
  • Artists who received compensation for the cancelled event/gig/opportunity
  • Artists groups, ensembles, curators, organizers, producers, full-time educators, and faculty at colleges or universities are not eligible to apply for this opportunity
  • Students currently enrolled in a degree or certificate-granting educational program at the time of application
  • Applicants who submit incomplete applications
  • Applicants with outstanding final reports from any past Virginia Commission for the Arts Grant.
Deadline: August 3, 2020
Amount of Assistance: Approximately 50 grants of $500 will be awarded.
  • Grant funds are unrestricted and may be used for any kind of relief.
  • This funding opportunity does not require a match.
  • Applicants must complete a Virginia W9 with data reflecting the appropriate individual/entity for tax purposes. Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor to determine if the grant is taxable income in your specific situation.
  •  Funding cannot be administered through a fiscal agent or through a non-profit.
  •  Grantees do not have any formal reporting requirements.
Criteria for Evaluating Applications: The Virginia Commission for the Arts will award 50 grants in the amount of $500. Due to limited funds and an anticipated high volume of applications, grantees will be selected through a computerized, randomized selection process, from the pool of eligible applicants.
Applications are evaluated on the following:
  • Brief description of each cancelled gig/job/contract, i.e., what it was, when it was scheduled to take place, a contact, when it was cancelled, and how much income you lost as a result of the cancelled event, residency, or terminated contract.
  • applicant’s record of professional arts activity and achievement as reflected in the resume;
  • applicant is encouraged to include more evidence of canceled events/contracts, etc., through letter of support from institution/administrator.
Application Review/Payment Procedure: Artists must complete and submit the online application through the Commission’s grant management system August 3, 2020 by 5:00 PM.