Distanced But Not Alone: Resources for Writers Impacted by COVID-19

distanced but not alone: resources for Writers Impacted by covid-19

We recognize that social distancing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a necessary and responsible thing to do, has put a number of artists in a really hard situation. Even if you’re the type of introvert who was made for quarantine, so many working artists rely on public events, school visits, and other freelance work that is now canceled or indefinitely postponed. While we work from home to prioritize public health & minimize the rate of infection, the team at Mass Poetry wanted to share with our poets some helpful resources specific to writers or artists. If you know of others that should be added to this list, please reach out to [email protected]



City of Boston Arts and CultureCity of Boston Arts and Culture

City of Boston Arts and Culture

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 2019 (COVID-19). 

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will open for applications on Thursday March 12 for artists who have lost or anticipate losing income. The Boston Artist Relief Fund will be open on a rolling basis and will replace the Opportunity Fund for the rest of our fiscal year, ending June 30, 2020. The Opportunity Fund will reopen for applications after July 1. Opportunity Fund applications that were already received in this application cycle will be considered for funding. 

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources

This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.

This list is an aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines. This list is not a place to promote individual artist practices; a place to promote fee for service work; or a place to seek direct emergency funding.

PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund

PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have developed a new streamlined process for the duration of this crisis, and expect to be able to review and respond to applications within 10 days. The Writers’ Emergency Fund is intended to assist fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists who can prove their professional credentials.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts

Last Wednesday, Gov. Baker declared a state of emergency resulting in various group events—workshops, classes, performances, sporting events, etc.—cancelling, postponing, or transitioning online. For many working artists, not only do these changes significantly reduce income, but they may also impact legal obligations under contract.

If you’re an artist or with an arts organization affected by the coronavirus outbreak and need legal assistance, please contact the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts at [email protected], and learn more about ABC’s lawyer referral service!

Mass Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief Fund

The purpose of the COVID-19 Relief Fund is to support individuals whose creative practices and incomes are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.

Pending Council approval, expected April 7, 2020, the program guidelines and online application will be available April 8, 2020, at 10 AM EST, with an April 22, 2020 deadline. Grants will be awarded by geographic region proportional to that region’s application demand. The individual grantees in each region will be randomly selected. Grants will be unrestricted.

Coalition of Arts Funders’ Emergency Artist Relief Fund

A coalition of national arts grantmakers, consisting of Academy of American PoetsArtadiaCreative CapitalFoundation for Contemporary ArtsMAP FundNational YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, announces the launch of Artist Relief, which will provide rapid, unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to assist artists and writers facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19; serve as an informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Research Partner Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward.

Grant applications open today at artistrelief.org.

Philanthropy Massachusetts Disaster and Emergency Relief Resources

Philanthropy Massachusetts has assembled a resource page for funders. This continually updates list highlights various ways to respond to natural disasters and other calls for emergency relief. While you may or may not have funds to donate, this list may also be helpful if you are a small business owner or nonprofit looking to find ways to connect with funders.