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The communities we live in experience emergencies everyday: violence, racism, natural disasters and other threats to a community's health and wellbeing. Can your art shed light on an emergency in your community, or help your community stand together? Springboard for the Arts and Emergency Arts have teamed up to offer support for artist-led projects via our Community Emergency Relief Fund!

As July 1, 2020, we have paused the Community Emergency Relief (CERF) program. We look forward to continuing to support the creative leadership of artists during emergencies.

The focus of the Fund is to support artists living in Minnesota to respond to urgent community needs with creative leadership. Emergencies can be sudden or ongoing, natural disaster or human made. A few examples include natural disasters, public health crises, school/workplace/neighborhood/police violence, changing policies (such as immigration, healthcare or gun control), high unemployment, homelessness, or environmental threats. Please see below for a list of projects funded to date.

Qualifications: All artistic mediums are welcome. No prior experience responding creatively to community emergencies is required. Projects must be led by artists with a connection to the community impacted by the emergency.

Timeline: Artist projects should respond rapidly to community emergencies or current events. Projects must be completed within six months of the application.

There are no set application deadlines. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until further notice. Artists are eligible to receive up to $500 funding per calendar year. Funding is subject to available funding and approval by Springboard for the Arts' board of directors and Emergency Arts.

In an effort to encourage and support artists’ rapid response to emergencies, the application and distribution of funds is quick and streamlined. The application is brief and should take most applicants 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Application approval may take as little as 3 days or as long as two weeks, depending on additional follow-up. Funding is typically ready within days of the application’s approval. Please factor this into your timeline when applying.

Project funds: Artists may request up to $500 to cover project expenses. Expenses may include art materials, hardware, supplies, and artists’ time. We imagine these funds as support for small, rapid response projects and not as part of fundraising campaigns for large-scale art projects.

Artists can choose one of several options when applying for funds*:

- The Fund can make a direct donation to an artist's GoFundMe fundraiser (or other online fundraising mechanism).

- The Fund can issue a prepaid credit card.

- The Fund can directly pay an unpaid bill that has resulted from the project (the applicant must provide a copy of the outstanding bill and, if funded, the Fund writes a check directly to the business that the artist owes money to). Issuing a check may take up to 7 days longer than other options.

- In some instances, the Fund can issue a check to the artist applicant. Issuing a check may take up to 7 days longer than other options.

*Artists may need to claim the contribution as income; please consult with a tax expert.

Questions about the Fund?

Program Director- Health
Request a Free Consultation

If you’d like to talk through project ideas or would like guidance on your project, please sign up for a free consultation with Amelia Brown before applying! Amelia Brown is founder of Emergency Arts, a central resource to advance arts as integral to emergency management.

Request a consultation here
Apply to the Community Emergency Relief Fund
As July 1, 2020,  we will pause the Community Emergency Relief (CERF) program.  During the month of July applications will be closed while we assess the program.  We hope to relaunch a version of CERF in the fall.  We look forward to continuing to support the creative leadership of artists during emergencies. 
Apply here
Looking for the Personal Emergency Relief Fund?
Click here!

To date, funded projects have addressed:


Winna Bernard, photography
Photography collaboration with photographer Whitney Bradshaw to address gender discrimination and violence.

During a photo shoot to address gender discrimation, participants are being photographed screaming

photo by Nancy Musinguzi

Brianna Williams, visual art and poetry
Mural and poem to address racism.

A mural depicting bees and a beehive by Brianna Williams to address racism

photo by Nancy Musinguzi

Thomas LaBlanc, poetry
Gathering of native artists to address the ongoing insult, grievances, and inadequacies surrounding Native issues in the local arts community, in response to the Walker Art Center “Scaffold” installation.

photo by Mary Richardson

Leon Wang, visual art
Posters displayed at a rally planned against ACT of America, one of the largest anti-Muslim groups in the US.

Posters by Leon Wang read "Stop Hate" were made for a rally against ACT of America

photo by Leon Wang


Jacob Ladda, visual art
Banner displayed at protest of verdict in the case of police officer who killed Philando Castile.

Leon Wang, visual art
Posters displayed during a press conference and community meeting in partnership with Black Lives Matter Saint Paul and the family of Cordale Handy, who was shot by Saint Paul police.

Participants speak to each other at a community meeting in partnership with Black Lives Matter Saint Paul

photo by Thaiphy Phan-Quang

Kiet Tran, visual art
Poster displayed at March for our Lives rally for gun control.

red, back and white poster by artist Kiet Tran that says "Not One More"

photo by Thaiphy Phan-Quang

Sheronda Orridge, poetry
Poem and community gathering to address child protection.

A person plays guitar at a community gathering organized by artist Sheronda Orridge to address child protection

photo by Sheronda Orridge


Rachel Wacker, theater
Performance about the effects of gentrification in Lowertown Saint Paul.

As part of a theatrical production by Rachel Wacker to address gentrification, a resident and a construction worker speak to each other

photo by Darrell Lloyd


Arminta Wilson, music and theater
Music and theater performance around homelessness crisis.


Leon Wang, visual art
Posters displayed at an action to denounce immigration policies and keep families together.

Posters by artist Leon Wang read "Abolish ICE" and depict the Statue of Liberty's land holding a torch

photo by Leon Wang

Leon Wang, visual art
Posters displayed at DACA decision protest rally.

Posters by artist Leon Wang read "Protect the Dream" and depict illustrations of people and a rainbow

photo by Leon Wang