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Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants: FAQs


Only visual and media artists and choreographers may apply to this program. The applicant must be the maker of the creative work (television producers, television/film performers and crew members, dance performers, et al are not eligible). These are defined as:


This category includes work in all choreographic styles, including mixed-media or multi-genre performance works in which choreography and/or organized movement is primary.

Visual Arts

Crafts/Sculpture: All forms of craft, including ceramics, glass, wood, metal, fiber, textiles, and mixed media. This category accepts work in all forms of sculpture, including kinetic works and installations.

Painting: Painting of any kind upon any surface.

Photography: Work in traditional and experimental photography or any work in which photography or photographic techniques are pivotal, if not exclusive.

Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts: Work in visual media other than painting, including artist’s books, aquatints, collages, engravings, etchings, lithographs, monotypes, prints, serigraphs, woodcuts, and drawings.

Media Arts

Video/Film: Any work in which video or video techniques are pivotal, if not exclusive. This category also accepts work that has been initially shot with a film camera. Filmed material that has been transferred to computer for editing and processing is acceptable.

Digital/Electronic Arts: Work in which technology is an essential element of the work’s creation, presentation, or understanding. Examples include: works created or displayed on computers or other electronic media; work created with computer models such as sculptural works; interactive installations including immersive virtual environments; internet projects; hypertext documents; other image, text, audio, or video works rooted in technology.


  • What constitutes a medical, dental, or mental health emergency?

A one-time, unexpected, non-chronic condition as a result of illness, violence or an accident.

  • Does this grant cover lost wages?

No, Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants do not cover lost wages. Please check NYFA's Emergency Grants page for COVID-19 emergency resources.

  • Can I apply for an ongoing health issue?

No, funds can only be used for a one-time, unexpected health-related issue.

  • Can I apply for physical or occupational therapy?

Yes, as long as it is prescribed by a medical professional, limited in scope and is vital to recovery from the emergency cited.

  • Can I apply for prescription drugs?

Yes, as long as it is prescribed by a medical professional and is vital to recovery from the emergency cited and not ongoing in nature.

  • Can I apply for psychiatric treatment?

Only if it is prescribed by a medical professional and is vital to recovery from the emergency cited and not ongoing in nature.

  • If I am injured as a result of a natural disaster, can I also request funds for loss of property or other damages?

No, the fund only covers medical, dental, or mental health expenses, no other damages or loss of property.

  • Do I need insurance to apply?


  • Can I use the funds to buy insurance?

No. You do not have to have insurance to apply, but funds cannot be used for the purchase of insurance.

  • Can I apply for non-medical related expenses such as loans or rent?

No, funds can only be used for medical emergencies as outlined above. Please refer to NYFA’s website for other kinds of emergency or financial support.


  • Can I ask for less than $5,000?

Yes, you may ask for any amount up to $5,000.

  • Might I be awarded less than my full request?

Yes. Our goal is to provide as many meaningful grants as possible, therefore, as the availability of funds and the nature of the request dictates, the panel may choose to award a smaller sum or provide funds only to cover a specific aspect(s) of the request.


  • Can I ask someone else to complete the application on my behalf?

Yes. We understand that certain medical conditions may make it necessary for a surrogate to complete the application, but the funds will only be released to the artist who has experienced the emergency.

  • Can I submit a paper application?

Yes. We understand that under certain conditions, it may be easier for an artist to submit a paper application. If this is of interest, please email [email protected] to arrange to speak with the fund administrator.


  • How long after I apply will I hear if I receive the funds?

Applications will be reviewed in early July, and all applicants will be notified as soon as possible following the panel meeting.

  • Do I have to pay taxes on these funds?

You will receive a 1099 for these funds. You can discuss the tax implications with a tax preparer.

  • Can you just send the check directly to my doctor or other medical provider?

No, checks are only sent to the artist involved. Even if the application was completed by a proxy, the funds must go directly to the artist.

  • What happens if the funds are all expended?

Once all funds are expended we will cease making grants until additional funds become available. We will update the website when funds are expended and again when new funds are received. If they continue to meet eligibility requirements, applicants denied funds due to lack of funding can reapply within six months with an updated application when new funds become available.

  • If I receive a grant, do I need to submit any additional reports or paperwork?

We do require a report six months after the award to know how your recovery and work are progressing. We may request an interim report after two-three months, as well.

While we appreciate the generosity, we cannot accept gifts of any kind, including artwork from successful applicants.


Though funded by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the program is administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and all questions should be directed to [email protected]. Inquiries to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will be forwarded directly to [email protected].

Image Credit: Detail Robert Rauschenberg; Hearts (Spread); 1979; solvent transfer, fabric collage, graphite, Plexiglas boxes, and electric lights on wood panels; private collection; Copyright: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

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