The Artist Relief Fund is to help Rhode Island artists who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund has a rolling deadline. The Fund is managed by the Alliance of Artists Communities.

The fund was initially seeded with $150,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Since launching the fund has received over $65,000 in private contributions. Together, we awarded 418 small grants totaling $206,635 in April and May 2020.

In early December, the state Office of Management and Budget allocated an additional $200,000 to the Artist Relief Fund from the Coronavirus Relief Funds. This round of grants will be subject to some additional restrictions, and there will only be one application period. For this December Phase of the Artist Relief Fund, we expect to award approximately 330 grants of $800 to arts and culture workers in the state of Rhode Island. All applications will be screened for eligibility, and then all eligible applications will be selected for funding via a lottery system. We anticipate significantly more applications than we have funds available. The application deadline for the December Phase of the Artist Relief Fund is Tuesday, December 15th at 8pm.

To donate: Please consider supporting the people behind the arts and culture in Rhode Island by donating to the fund: https://www.artistcommunities.org/arf.

To apply: Sign up through the Artist Grant Portal.

Application Support: Mollie will be holding open office hours via Zoom to answer any questions and assist with applications. If none of the times work for you, email her for an appointment or with your question.

To be eligible, you must be able to answer “Yes” to all of these questions.

  • I have been a Rhode Island resident for at least one year and will be a resident upon receipt of any grant funding.
  • I am a practicing artist, culture worker, or arts administrator capable of providing examples of creative work made, curated, or otherwise administered.
  • I am at least 18 years of age.
  • I am not currently enrolled in a degree-granting program (e.g. Bachelor’s or Master’s; if pursuing a Ph.D., coursework must be completed).
  • I am experiencing financial hardship due to a loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do I prove eligibility?

  • Submit a w9 with your Rhode Island mailing address.
  • Provide either an artist résumé, a work sample, or a social media account or website featuring your artistic/cultural work. 
  • Verify that you are at least 18 years of age.
  • Verify that you are not currently enrolled in a degree-granting program.
  • List lost income related to your arts practice.
  • List your immediate anticipated expenses that you cannot afford.

How and where can I apply?

Should I apply more than once if I have not been funded?

  • Yes, you will need to submit a new application if you are notified that your application is ineligible.

How will grantees be selected and how will funds be disbursed?

  • Grants will be made by a lottery system. Your application will be screened for eligibility, and all eligible applications will go into a lottery. Grants will be awarded from this pool until all funds are expended. We expect to award approximately 330 grants in the December phase.
  • Applications will be screened for eligibility as they are submitted, and the deadline for application is  December 15th at 8pm at 8pm.
  • Grant allocations will be determined and applicants notified by the end of the day, Thursday, December 17th.
  • If you receive funding, you will receive an email confirmation. You will need to e-sign your grant agreement form and submit it by 9am on Monday, December 21st.
  • Grant payments will be made the week of December 21, either by mailed check or Paypal.

What can I use the funding for?

  • This is unrestricted funding designed to support immediate basic needs, like rent/mortgage, utilities, food, insurance, and medical care.

Why do you require a W9?

  • A W9 is required by the IRS in order for the Alliance of Artists Communities to distribute these grants. Collecting this information at the application phase will allow us to distribute funds more quickly to selected grantees.
  • RISCA and The Alliance of Artists Communities will not retain sensitive information (e.g. Social Security numbers) beyond the time frame required by its auditors and so that we may produce required 1099 forms for grantees and their tax reporting obligations at the end of the year.

How do I complete the W9 form requirement?

  • The federal W9 can be downloaded from the IRS here.
  • Please print the first page and fill it out completely with your signature. Scan or take a picture of the signed document and submit it through the application portal or email it to Mollie.Flanagan@arts.ri.gov.
  • Applicants can also fill out and sign their W9 digitally using Adobe Acrobat.

What security measures are in place for the information I’m providing in this application?

  • Your W9 will be sent to the Alliance of Artist Communities via a password protected dropbox, not through email or mail. The only people with access to your W9 will be Mollie Flanagan at RISCA and Stephanie Storch at the Alliance of Artist Communities.

If I’m awarded a grant, will my name be made public?

  • While RISCA will not publish a list of recipients in the December phase of this program, since the funding is coming from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, we are required to disclose recipients at their request.

I received an ARF grant in April or May, can I apply for another grant in the December Phase?

  • Yes.

Application Questions (PDF)