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Warhol Foundation offers $1.6m in emergency relief grants to artists affected by the coronavirus crisis

Grants will be allocated to artists in 16 US cities through the foundation's regional regranting partners and can be used to cover expenses like food and rent

An installation view of Work/Play's 2019 project funded by regional partner Luminary Futures in St. Louis Courtesy of the artists.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is offering $1.6m in emergency grants to individual artists affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. With the help of its Regional Re-granting Program partners, grants of $100,000 will be allocated to artists in 16 US cities that can be used to help cover basic expenses such as food, rent, medical costs and childcare.

“The Warhol Foundation is committed to working at both the national and regional level to provide support for artists at this critical moment. With the help of our Regional Re-granting network, we are able to directly address the emergency-related needs of artists in cities where the level of on-the-ground, self-organised artistic activity is highest,” says Joel Wachs, the president of the Warhol Foundation.

Typically, the foundation’s annual Regional Re-granting Program offers project-based grants through local granting organisations to help support artists, collectives and independent organisers whose work often falls outside the reach of typical funding sources. Given the current Covid-19 outbreak that has seen many artists lose valuable commissions, shows and other work opportunities, the funds will be awarded without restriction.

"Based on a survey RedLine launched in the second week of March, artists were reporting an average loss of $3500 in the next 30 to 60 days,” says Louise Martorano, the executive director of Denver’s RedLine Contemporary Art Center, one of the Warhol Foundation’s regional partners. The Foundation invited grantees to redirect funds but also gave RedLine the green light to collaborate, pool and streamline with other relief funds, thus reducing the burden on artists having to search and apply for multiple funds and expanding the geographic eligibility of applicants to statewide.

Re-granting programs currently exist in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Baltimore; Chicago; Cleveland; Denver; Houston; Kansas City; Miami; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; Saint Louis; San Francisco and Washington DC. In the thirteen years since it was established, the Foundation reports nearly $10m in grants to its partners who have funded over a thousand projects.

"Our emergency grants will help fragile emerging innovators and cultural thought leaders in our community and with the other funds established nationwide,” says Kelsey Halliday Johnson, the executive director of Space gallery in Portland, Maine. “As an organisation and alongside the leadership of the Warhol Foundation, we look forward to rethinking the infrastructure of this country's cultural sector.”

  • For more coronavirus relief efforts and grants, please see our ongoing and updated list here.