The Emergency Relief Fund exists to meet the emergency needs of artists living in Minnesota. The Fund helps to support artists with personal emergencies and to support artists who want to respond to emergencies in their own communities. There is not an expectation of repayment, but the Fund is replenished in part by recipients paying back into the Fund so that others can benefit later.
Artists can choose one of one of several options when applying for funds:
- The Fund can make a direct donation to a GoFundMe, Modest Needs, YouCaring, or other online fundraising mechanism. Note that in this case, the artist may need to claim the contribution as income (please consult with a tax expert.)
- The Fund can issue a prepaid credit card to help cover the emergency expense.
- The Fund can directly pay an unpaid bill that has resulted from the emergency (the applicant must provide a copy of the outstanding bill and, if funded, the Emergency Relief Fund makes payment directly to the business that the artist owes money).
- In some instances, the Fund can issue a check to the artist applicant or to the business the artist owes money. Issuing a check may take up to 7 days longer than the options listed in the previous options.
The examples provided below are intended to give you an idea of qualifying expenses and how they must be 1) unanticipated, and 2) directly related to the emergency. If you would like help determining your own eligibility, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before applying.
Don’t qualify for Springboard’s Emergency Relief Fund or need additional assistance? Please consult this list of emergency resources [PDF].
The Fund supplies monies to cover unexpected expenses directly resulting from a catastrophic, career-threatening event such as theft, fire, flood and health emergency. Emergencies must have taken place within 6 months of the application date.
The Emergency Relief Fund does not cover unemployment and equipment/automobile repair that is not a result of a natural disaster. The Fund does not cover rent/fees to landlords, home mortgage, utilities, dues to financial institutions (i.e. credit card companies, banks) and any other anticipated expenses.
- For a medical emergency, an artist supplies an unanticipated, unpaid medical bill. If funded, Springboard will send a check to the hospital on that artist’s behalf.
- For theft, an artist locates a retailer to replace their stolen items, and verifies that the retailer issues gift cards. If funded, Springboard will purchase a gift card for the artist to make that purchase.
- For a natural disaster, the artist requests funds to help offset expenses they’ve already paid to a contractor to help repair their home (expenses that are not covered by their liability insurance). If funded, Springboard sends a check to the artist.
Artists may apply for up to $500. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and are subject to approval.
While repayment is not required, an artist who receives funding through the Emergency Relief Fund is not eligible to apply to the Fund again unless they replenish the Fund. Started in 2001 through a $10,000 endowment by theater artist Bob Malos, funds are sustained through donations and repayment by past Relief Fund recipients.
Questions about eligibility? Please contact ERF@springboardforthearts.org before applying.
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 new Community Emergency Relief Fund!
The focus of the Fund is to support artists 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. We encourage you to reach out to us to see if your project might be a good fit.
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.
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.
Timeline: Artist projects should respond rapidly to community emergencies or current events. Projects must be completed within six months of the application.
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. Click here to request a free consultation.
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.
Applicants should apply when they have a clear vision of how they will spend project funds, and are ready to start their project immediately upon receiving project funds. For that reason, there are no set application deadlines. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until further notice. Applications are subject to available funding and approval by Springboard for the Arts' board of directors and Emergency Arts.