Serving the Creative Arts Community Since 1974

Emergency resources

On behalf of the arts community, CLA has been tracking the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation daily, and building this list of resources for artists and arts organizations.  We will continue to update this site as more resources become available. If you know of a relief fund, resource or emergency fund not listed, please send it to us at





    • The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund 

    • American Federation of Musicians: The Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians 

    • ASCAP Loans

    • California Jazz Foundation 
    • Jazz Foundation of America COVID-19 Musicians' Fund
    • Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund The JMEF is committed to helping jazz professionals, especially older musicians, overcome their hard times and to help them get back on their feet, making emergency funds available for immediate needs.  They have programs for housing and emergency assistance, a network of pro bono medical care providers, and disaster relief.
    • Local 802 Emergency Relief (musicians)
    • Musicians’ Assistance Program (MAP)
    • Musicians Foundation Helps professional musicians who have worked five or more years in the U.S.  by providing emergency financial assistance in meeting current living, medical and allied expenses.  Applicants must be able to show that their music is or was their primary source of income.
    • MusicCares Foundation Recording Academy MusiCares may grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses.Applicants must be able to show that they have worked in the music industry for at least five years or that they have six commercially released recordings or videos (singles).
    • Music Maker Relief Foundation Helps the pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern musical traditions gain recognition and meet their day to day needs. Criteria for recipients is they be rooted in a Southern musical tradition, be 55 years or older and have an annual income less than $18,000. Musician Sustenance – Grants for necessities such as food, medical needs, housing. Emergency Relief – Substantial one-time grants to recipients in crisis (medical, fire, theft, etc.).

    • Professional Musicians Local 47 
    • SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund - Fund for workers in the queer nightlife scene (dancers, drag queens, DJs, musicians and bartenders) experiencing financial hardship.
    • Sweet Relief Musicians Fund Provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. The applicant must be a musician who has regular public performances, or performed on at least three widely released recordings (audio or audiovisual), or written music that has been performed on three widely released recordings, or published on three occasions.


    • The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need. To be eligible for this program, an artist must be able to demonstrate a minimum involvement of ten years in a mature phase of his or her work. Artists must work in the disciplines of painting, sculpture or printmaking.  Average grant size: $5,000.

    • Alliance of Artists Communities Emergency Relief Programs Supports painters and sculptors in Residency Programs
    • 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.
    • CERF + (Formerly the Craft Emergency Relief Fund) CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+’s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief. CERF+ is currently focusing its relief aid on those infected with Covid-19 who require intensive medical care.
    • Foundation for Contemporary Arts - Relief Fund for artists seeking relief for a canceled performance or exhibition due to COVID-19.
    • The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Painters, artists, sculptors and printmakers with demonstrable financial need.



    • Authors League Fund The Fund gives open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income or other misfortune.
    • 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.
    • Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants Program 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. 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. 

    • Hero Initiative Applicant must have been a working comic book writer, penciler, inker, colorist, or letterer on a work-for-hire basis for no less than 10 years since Jan. 1, 1934. Must demonstrate adequate evidence of financial need via verbal and written documentation. 

    • The PEN Writers Fund Emergency fund for professional–published or produced–writers with serious financial difficulties. Depending on the situation, the fund gives grants or loans of up to $2,000.
    • Poets in Need 
    • Shade Literary Arts Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund (national) 

    • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Offers interest-free loans to members facing unexpected medical expenses.
    • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts CARES Act Webinar On Demand Recording- The Cares Act & Unemployment Assistance: What Artists & Freelancers Need to Know
    • Writers Guild of America, West Good & Welfare Fund 






    California Lawyers for the Arts 

    Employment Development Department General Information 

    Employment Development Department Self Employment Resources 

    Covid-19 Resources for Undocumented Californians


    A Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances: What You Need to Know,

    Free Financial Planning Sessions for Freelancers (Ben Henry-Moreland)

    Freelancers out of work – how to deal with your student loans 

    Small Business Ownership Wisdom, Sapling

    Grantwriting Basics for Individual Artists 

    Square Business Resource Center 

    Resources compiled from a variety of sources including Arts for LA, Actor’s Fund, Covid19freelanceartistsresource, National Endowment for the Arts, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (New York)


    CA Resale Royalties Act Preempted by Copyright Act

    On July 6, 2018, a panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s Resale Royalties Act only applies to art sales conducted prior to 1978.
    ​See this 
    article about the decision from The New York Times: California Tried to Give Artists a Cut. But the Judges Said No
    See below a synopsis of the opinion. BYBEE, Circuit Judge:

    The California Resale Royalties Act ("CRRA") grants artists an unwaivable right to 5% of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork under specified circumstances. To that end, the CRRA requires the seller of the artwork or the seller's agent to withhold 5% of the resale price and pay it to the artist or, if the artist cannot be found, to the California Arts Council. If the seller or the seller's agent fails to pay the 5% resale royalty, the artist may bring an action for damages.

    Plaintiffs are artists and their successors in interest seeking resale royalties under the CRRA from the statute's effective date of January 1, 1977, to the present. The issue in this case is whether plaintiffs' claims are preempted by federal copyright law. The district court held that they are, as a matter of both express and conflict preemption.

    We affirm in part and reverse in part. Plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered by the 1976 Copyright Act—i.e., those concerning sales postdating the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—are expressly preempted by 17 U.S.C. § 301(a). We therefore affirm dismissal of those claims.

    The 1909 Copyright Act, however, has no express preemption provision. As such, plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered only by the 1909 Act—i.e., those concerning sales that occurred between the CRRA's effective date of January 1, 1977, and the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—cannot be expressly preempted. Nor are they preempted by conflict preemption. See Morseburg v. Balyon, 621 F.2d 972, 977-78 (9th Cir. 1980). Accordingly, we reverse dismissal of those claims and remand them to the district court for further proceedings.

    National Resale Royalties for Visual Artists?

    In a law review article published in the Cybaris Intellectual Property Law Review, CLA Executive Director Alma Robinson makes the case for federal legislation, which would allow US artists to receive resale royalties in more than 70 countries around the world.



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