COVID-19 Resources for Gig/Creative Entrepreneurs/Contract Employees

Workers who earn a living through gigs or events, selling pieces or products, or work that is temporary or project-based. The self-employed – independent contractors, gig workers, temporary and part-time workers – number 57 million in the U.S., representing more than a third of the working population and driving $1 trillion in income. This page is for you.

*NEW* 4/1/20
Our friends at Arts in Stark provided this very helpful resource:

*NEW* 3/31/30
Free Webinar: Join creative consultant and co-owner of Akron’s AVclub Phil Anderson for a webinar devoted to helping artists learn more about producing, distributing, live streaming, and getting paid for creative work in this time of social distancing and staying at home. : 3/31/30

Local Live Streaming Support: 3/31/30

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. 3/30/30

2-1-1 Support: Food, transportation, housing, utilities and more

ArtsNow has created a comprehensive resource list for artist and creative entrepreneurs that is being updated as information changes. This Google Sheet can be shared or downloaded.

COVID-19 Freelance Artists started as a crowd-sourced public document and has transitioned into resources in support of 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.

IRS: The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available.

Writers’ Emergency Fund: PEN America is expanding its long-standing Writers’ Emergency Fund as part of our efforts to support the literary community at a time when the health and livelihoods of so many are at risk. 4/1/20

Musicians Foundation
The Musicians Foundation provides grants to U.S. musicians in any genre in a time of acute need due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.

Springboard for the Arts has created an evolving list of resources for information, exchange, and support in this time. This is largely focused on artists as independent workers, arts organizations dependent on gathering groups together, and creative people engaged in travel and exchange.

cerf+ Artist Safety Net was started by artists for artists in the craft community as a grassroots mutual aid effort in 1985 and has since emerged as the leading nonprofit organization that uniquely focuses on safeguarding artists’ livelihoods nationwide:

Facebook: “We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.”

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. The one-time Rauschenberg Emergency Grants will provide visual and media artists and choreographers with up to $5,000 to cover a number of unforeseen medical expenses, including hospital bills, insurance co-pays, prescription drugs, and even some dental work. 

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant
The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers Emergency Grants between $200 and $2,500 for visual and performing artists. They review applications once a month, so you can quickly take advantage of momentum or solve any budget errors.

Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program
The Actors Fund provides services and financial support to entertainment professionals facing personal or work-related problems. It is also a conduit for emergency financial assistance in times of pressing need or in response to catastrophic events.

What The Fund: Patreon has set up a fund for artists navigating the COVID-19 crisis to apply for emergency resources.

The Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund was set up on short notice to provide direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of Corona-related event cancellations. An FAQ on the fund is at Any musician who can be legally paid in the US who has had work cancelled by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gottlieb Emergency Grant Program
This emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

The Guild has created two Facebook Groups for folks to connect and share strategies and advice. One for all community arts education providers and one specific to creative aging practitioners.  

Teaching Artist Covid-19 Community Conversation: On Friday, March 13, 2020, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, Association of Teaching Artists, Teaching Artists Guild, Creative Generation, National Guild for Community Arts Education, and Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic hosted a free webinar to address how the COVID-19 health crisis is affecting teaching artists. Watch the recording.  

Tech giants like Google, Zoom and Microsoft are giving free, limited-time access to conferencing and collaboration tools for business.

Ways of Gathering in the Age of COVID-19: A Guide to Livestreaming on HowlRound TV