The Personal Emergency Relief Fund helps artists in Minnesota recover from personal emergencies by helping pay an unanticipated, emergency expense.
The Fund supplies monies to help 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 intent of the Emergency Relief Fund is not to supplement income due to unemployment or underemployment. The Fund does not cover rent/fees to landlords, home mortgage, utilities, dues to financial institutions (i.e. credit card companies, banks), or any other anticipated expenses. The fund does not cover equipment or automobile repair or replacement unless the loss is a result of theft or natural disaster.
Funding: Artists may apply for up to $500. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and are subject to approval and available funds. While repayment is not required, an artist who receives $500 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.
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.
- 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 to).
- In some instances, the Fund can issue a check to the artist applicant or to the business the artist owes money to. Issuing a check may take up to 7 days longer than the options listed in the previous options.
*Artists may need to claim the contribution as income; please consult with a tax expert.
- 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.
The examples provided above 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 email@example.com before applying.
Don’t qualify for Springboard’s Emergency Relief Fund or need additional assistance? Please consult this list of emergency resources [PDF].