Actionable Items: Arts-Related Resources in the Age of COVID-19

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BmoreArt’s Picks: April 7-13

The stay-at-home order in Maryland might be making some a bit stir crazy, but there are many opportunities to help out, apply for much-needed support, and make plans for the future. We compiled a list of surveys, calls for submissions, and options for artists and creatives in the region and we will continue to post local and national calls for entries via @bmoreart1 on Twitter.

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If your organization has a COVID-19-related opportunity or call for submission that you would like help publicizing, please email us at [email protected]!



Baltimore Artist Emergency Relief Fund
via BOPA

Baltimore’s artistic community keeps our city vibrant and creative with art and performances that can inspire, uplift and spark community change. Like many others at this time, our artistic community is experiencing a devastating economic impact due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) crisis. As Baltimore’s Arts Council, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is committed to providing necessary economic support and guidance to artists, especially in times like these. As we look toward recovery, we will need our artists’ creativity and commitment to keep us moving forward.

The Baltimore Artist Emergency Relief Fund is a coalition-led initiative designed to provide direct assistance to Baltimore-based artists and creative entrepreneurs who have lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The application and detailed criteria are available HERE

Inspired by the generosity of artist-led relief efforts in Baltimore and across the country, this fund was developed through a partnership between 20 artists and arts organizers committed to working together for the collective good of the Baltimore creative community, and is made possible by administrative and funding support from T. Rowe Price Foundation, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Grit Fund, and Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network.

As the Fund’s fiduciary agent, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts will distribute one-time $500 grants to individual artists who demonstrate an emergency financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Artists of any discipline and creative entrepreneurs over the age of 18 who reside in the City of Baltimore are eligible to apply. Only one grant application per person will be accepted. Grant funds are solely intended for use by the grantee and may not be transferred or re-granted.  Although applicants can apply on a rolling basis, the funds are limited, and grants are made based on the availability of funding.

Applicants who do not have access to the internet can also mail in applications to:

The Cloisters/Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts
Attention: Jocquelyn Downs
10440 Falls Rd.
Lutherville, MD 21093

Please call 410-752-8632 with any questions about the application.

For individuals and organizations considering supporting this effort, help at any level is greatly appreciated and donations are accepted below. The coalition has a fundraising goal of $125,000. Supporting the Baltimore Artist Emergency Relief Fund helps ensure the livelihood and well-being of the artists whose work and creativity strengthen Baltimore City.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the Baltimore City Health Department website:



MSAC Opens Emergency Grants for Arts Organizations and Independent Artists
via Maryland State Arts Council

In response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists in Maryland as they adjust to losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or cancelled. Full guidelines and rubrics are available here.

Please note:
For Organizations: To be eligible for MSAC Emergency Grants, the organization must submit proof of ineligibility or proof that an application has been approved or declined for one of the following:

US Small Business Association Disaster Relief Loan
Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund
Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund

For Independent Artists: To be eligible for MSAC Emergency Grants, the artist must submit proof of ineligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) or proof that they have either exhausted UI benefits, (including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) or that UI benefits do not fully cover losses sustained as a result of the Governor’s declared State of Emergency in relationship to COVID-19.

Due to limited funding, grant requests will be prioritized to assist artists and organizations whose needs cannot be met through funding from other relief sources. To help with this process, applicants will be asked to upload evidence that their funding requests from the State and Federal relief sources above have been accepted, denied, or deemed ineligible.

For updated information about MSAC’s response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency and resources for organizations and artists, please visit our website. For specific questions about your artistic practice or organizations, please contact the relevant MSAC program director via our staff page.

Applying for a Grant
Grant applications are available to arts organizations and independent artists through Smart Simple. Applications will be reviewed upon submission, and Emergency Grants will be awarded throughout the fiscal year until allocated funding is depleted. Note that the timeline between approval and payment may be 90 days.


Wherewithal Recovery Grants
via Washington Project for the Arts

WPA recognizes the profound economic and artistic toll that the COVID-19 virus is taking on visual artists in our region. We want our supporters and our artist friends to know: we are here for you!

WPA has launched a recovery fund for artists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with $60,000 in seed funding from a $100,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Wherewithal Recovery Grants are available to professional visual artists, as well as moving-image/performance/sound artists with a history of presenting or performing in visual arts contexts (galleries, museums, etc.), living inside the DC-area Beltway. The $1,000 grants are intended to help offset lost income from cancelled exhibitions, performances, or lectures, and from canceled or furloughed employment.

The application portal will open on Tuesday, April 7. Please see for more information.

For questions about Wherewithal Recovery Grants, please contact Nathalie von Veh at [email protected]





Dear Baltimore Art Community,

The Reinstitute has been collaborating with BALTIMORE ARTIST-RUN to further leverage a support system for artists and their communities.

While most of us are dealing with the reality of uncertainty, it is essential now more than ever to organize around solidarity economies. We commend those who have been able to navigate care through social distancing, providing services and/or resources during this time. Many of us throughout the arts community are familiar with economic and emotional strain within our profession. While our paths might feel uncertain, it is clear the strength of what we have already endured/established in the past has already changed the trajectory of our future. Through our collective efforts, the Artist-Run/Self-Organized initiatives, we have laid a foundation that has cultivated and explored the tools, resources, and challenges needed to build and execute projects in the solidarity economy.

We need your help to organize art solidarity practices. Let’s use this opportunity to use our resources to strengthen local networks around skills and services. BALTIMORE ARTIST-RUN has begun working on WHO DONE IT LIST 2020, a resource list where people can seek and share each other’s skills and experiences around project and freelance economies—opening up options for barter, knowledge-shares, and skill-shares.

We need your help building and circulating this list of individuals throughout our extended communities. Please share this list with people so they can submit their information. Let’s build and connect resources, especially now where there is a great need to care for and support each other.

This is the time for radical empathy, connectedness, radical generosity, and change!!!




2020 Maryland AIA Component Design Awards Questionnaire
via AIA Baltimore

Hello Maryland AIA members. Your State and Local AIA Component leaders hope that you, your family and your firms are healthy and managing during this challenging time.

As you know, April is traditionally the opening of design awards season in Maryland. The Maryland Component Executives are working together to see what adjustments may be needed to our programs this year and we would like your input. Please take a few minutes to respond to this survey. Your responses will help us to determine how best to proceed, or not to proceed, with a design awards programming for 2020.



COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment for Baltimore Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
via Impact Hub + partners

How is COVID-19 impacting you as a small business, entrepreneur, creative, freelancer, or grassroots organization? Impact Hub Baltimore, Made in Baltimore, Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN), Innovation Works, Open Works, and other small business support partners developed this survey to assess the immediate economic impact of COVID-19 on our community of small businesses, social enterprises, and creative industries.

This is a supplemental assessment to the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) survey found here:

Data collected from this survey will inform our response efforts as organizations and will improve our capacity to advocate for your needs during these uncertain and disruptive times. Results will only be shared at the aggregated level, unless we have your written permission.

For any questions on the survey or resources to share, please contact: [email protected]


WPA COVID-19 Visual Artist Impact Survey
via Washington Project for the Arts

Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), a platform for collaborative and experimental artist-driven projects in DC, is conducting a survey to collect data and anecdotes on the impact of COVID-19 on visual artists and artists who work in the visual arts realm. There are four goals for COVID-19 VISUAL ARTISTS SURVEY:

  • Identify Needs: The survey will help determine how organizations can best support artists during this unprecedented time;
  • Inform Funders: WPA will produce a report demonstrating the need for emergency funding for artists affected by COVID-19 and circulate it to funders nationwide;
  • Share Information and Experiences: WPA will share the survey results with those who complete it, connecting artists and arts organizations across communities; and,
  • Create a Record: The survey will create an evolving, historical record of the COVID19 crisis and its impact on artists.

The information gathered will be shared amongst the survey participants, arts organizations, and funders. WPA will not circulate participants’ email addresses or in any way divulge their identities.


Anonymous Was a Woman Emergency Relief Grant
via New York Foundation for the Arts

This program will distribute $250,000 in grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) has partnered with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) to launch an emergency relief grant program to support artists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The program will distribute $250,000 in unrestricted grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to artists who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. As with AWAW’s annual award, the program is open to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 in the United States and territories, and aims to address the unique challenges faced by artists in middle age or older, particularly at this critical time. Apply here.

APPLICATION CLOSES: Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 6 p.m. EST
APPLICATION NOTIFICATION: By Thursday, April 30, 2020

Due to anticipated high demand, applications will be accepted from Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 8. All applications will be reviewed after the closing date. Funds will be awarded to eligible applicants in the order in which applications are received.


Bromo Artist Relief Grant
via Bromo Arts District

Artists and arts organizations are critical to Baltimore’s culture and economy and have been significantly impacted by the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic. In response, the Bromo Arts and Entertainment District will assist artists from varying creative industries with financial support. The Bromo Artist Relief Fund is specifically for artists whose place of business and/or home is located within the geography of the Bromo District.

Applications open on April 3 and will close on Friday, April 17 at 5 p.m. Grants will be awarded the week of April 27h. Twenty $500 grants will be made available to artists working in all disciplines. Mimicking the newly launched “Boston Relief Fund,” giving parameters are as follows: The fund will be open for but not limited to the following uses:

Recouping financial losses due to cancelled events. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Performances in all performing arts disciplines
  • Readings, panels, and speaking opportunities
  • Reimbursement for travel expenses related to creative work that you paid for yourself. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Attending conferences and convenings that have been cancelled
  • Artist Residencies
  • Touring
  • Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes and school closures
  • Support for artists working full or part-time in the service industry who have lost supplemental income used to support their creative practices.

Applications will be reviewed to ensure that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements. If eligible, applicants will receive a number that enters them into the grant lottery. Awardees will then be chosen through a randomized selection process. All awardees and applicants will receive notification from the Bromo Arts District organization the week of April 27th. Please click here to view current Bromo District boundaries.


aSHE Fund Freelance Artists Resource Database for Black Women Creatives

The creative economy is being greatly affected by COVID-19. This is the time for us as creatives to do what we do best which is to make something out of nothing. To use what we have to innovate and in times like these to survive.

The aSHE Fund wants to continue its mission in supporting Black women creatives at this difficult time. I’m going to use the model shared via the Freelance Artist Resources by creating a financial solidarity database. However, this database has the intention of being specifically for any Black woman creative who needs assistance at the time. This database will be shared with my network via email list for anyone who may want to contribute directly to women in this database.

If you are someone with resources that would like to be added to the list to receive the database and help the creatives directly sign up.

If you’re a Black woman creative in need of assistance at this time please fill out the form to be added to The aSHE FUND’s Black Women Creatives Support Database. Your info will be automatically added to the database which will be shared via The General Store Inc and The aSHE FUND Network. During this process please email me once your request is fulfilled so I can update the list accordingly.


Collecting in Quarantine
via Maryland Historial Society

As we continue to face these challenging times together, the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) is finding new ways to bring Maryland history to you, and to continue its 175-year legacy of collecting history, during this unprecedented time. The historical society is now crowd-sourcing for their new initiative—Collecting in Quarantine—to ensure that future generations will have a reference point for this pivotal moment in history as we navigate the novel coronavirus/COVID-19:

  • Letters from the Homefront: Inspired by the poignant letters in their collection documenting past adversities from the Spanish flu of 1918, to the Annapolis yellow fever epidemics of 1793 and 1800, MdHS is calling all Marylanders to send their personal stories of how the pandemic is impacting their lives. Whether you are staying at home in self-quarantine or working through the crisis, your story is unique and important. In addition to Marylanders here at home, MdHS is also interested in receiving accounts from Marylanders abroad and our healthcare workers. All submissions can be sent to [email protected], and can be followed on social media with #LettersFromtheHomeFrontMD
  • Business Unusual: At a time when business is anything but usual, businesses big and small are having to quickly react to the ever-changing landscape that necessarily puts public health before profit. With this, MdHS is asking business employees, owners, customers, passers-by, and neighborhood residents to share their experiences so far. Photo submissions, and stories to go with them, can be sent to MdHS will create a photo essay illustrating the industrial spirit of Marylanders during this critical time, and everyone can follow along on social media with #BusinessUnusualMD.


Call for Submissions
via Stoop Storytelling Series

Hello everyone.

The Stoop is seeking true, personal tales about the “rapidly evolving situation” that is daily life right now.

We want to hear your experiences—whether they’re weird, wonderful, scary, surreal, heartbreaking, or heartwarming.

Please submit your story here. Don’t worry if it’s short, incoherent, incomplete, or whatever—please share it with us. We’ll take it from there.

Hugs (from a social distance),

p.s. Send us your story.

p.p.s. Please forward this to anyone else who might like to share a story.


The Unknowable Present
via Chandi Kelley/Signal Outer Space


Exploring themes of distance, uncertainty, and isolation while occupying and contemplating a profoundly unknowable time.

The Unknowable Present seeks submissions by artists engaging with themes related to the unseen and the undefined, and in dialogue with shifting perceptions of space and time. All relevant concepts will be explored, including the surreal and the hyperreal, loss and comfort, domesticity and confinement, future nostalgias and past longings, occupation and vacancy, and what it means to be both together and separate.

Interested artists should submit 2-5 images for selection. Please include your name (as you would like to be represented), title, dimensions, and medium as well as your website and contact information. There is no restriction of medium, although please keep in mind that audio and video may not be supported in our first phase. Writing is welcome, although I would request that this also be sent as an image file of a printed or handwritten page. I will individually follow up with artists regarding selections and include a contract for image use. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis.

I will forward all purchase inquiries directly to artists, and will not take a commission from any sales to aid in supporting income to artists during this difficult time.

In addition to maintaining the exhibition website and social media, I will be producing a hardcover book of images and writings featured in the exhibition. Participating artists will be able to purchase copies of the book at cost. I will keep proceeds from additional sales to offset costs associated with website hosting and book production.

My hope is that this will serve as a sort of collaborative journal of this very strange moment in our lives, as well an online space for creative output and contemplation as we navigate this experience together.


Insider Art Fair | Call for Entry
via Willow Street Gallery + DC Arts Studios

In response to our extraordinary circumstances, the Willow Street Gallery is seeking artwork from local artists to showcase on our digital platforms for an online exhibition titled, “Insider Art Fair”. This exhibition allows us at the WSG to continue our mission to provide a platform for local and emerging artists, and make meaningful connections while the community remains indoors and isolated.

Please keep reading for details on how to apply. We hope you are all keeping yourselves safe and healthy. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook to ensure you catch the upcoming show.


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