Sign In for NYFA Fiscally Sponsored Artists or Advertisers:
User Name and/or Password incorrect

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants

Home > Awards and Grants > Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants

The program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to partner with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer a new emergency grant program called Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants. Robert Rauschenberg was committed to assisting fellow artists in need of emergency medical aid, ultimately establishing the nonprofit foundation Change, Inc. in 1970. In this spirit, this program is designed to serve artists in financial need who otherwise may delay critical treatment or incur substantial and perhaps overwhelming debt. And in this moment, we recognize the urgency of caring for and helping one another. While artists are famously self-sufficient, this is a time to ask for support when needed, and to offer support when possible.

The Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies experienced by artists in financial need. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers currently residing in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories and who have limited resources. This is a competitive grant opportunity; applications are reviewed based solely on the criterion of need. Please review our artistic discipline definitions to determine that you are eligible before applying. If you have questions, please contact the grants administrator. This project is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Please note: Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants are not for lost wages. Visit NYFA's Emergency Grants page for a regularly-updated list of emergency resources.


For medical emergencies occuring from January 1, 2020

Application Opens: Friday, July 31, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT

Application Closes: Monday, August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT

Questions? Please email [email protected].




Cycle 4 application opens September 28, 2020; the deadline is October 26, 2020, for emergency treatment between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.

Cycle 5 application opens December 2, 2020; the deadline is January 5, 2021, for emergency treatment between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.


  • Open to visual and media artists and choreographers.
  • Open to artists who reside in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.
  • Open to artists whose adjusted gross annual income is $75,000 or lower, averaged over the last two federal tax returns.
  • The emergency must have occurred January 1, 2020 or later.
  • Applicants must demonstrate current and ongoing activity in artistic discipline/s.
  • Applicants cannot be enrolled in any degree-seeking program.
  • Artists of color and those living outside of the East and West coasts are encouraged to apply.


  • The fund provides one-time cash grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses caused by one-time, unexpected medical, dental, or mental health emergencies. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to: hospital and doctor bills (including insurance co-pays), tests, physical/occupational therapy, prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition, and emergency dental work.
  • Grants cannot be used to cover expenses for non-emergency medical conditions, ongoing psychiatric treatment, regular dental check-ups or procedures, eyeglasses or standard vision care, elective surgery, non-medical expenses resulting from financial hardship, purchase of materials, loan repayment, purchase of insurance/premiums, and loss of property, even if the result of an emergency.
  • Applications must be in English (though they may be translated by someone other than the artist).
  • Applications should be submitted online via Submittable. An applicant can work with a proxy to complete and submit an application. 
  • Funds go directly to the artist, not a medical provider, vendor, or any individual on the grantee’s behalf. Grant awards are routinely paid electronically.
  • Period covered: expenses from six months prior to applying and/or projected six months into the future can be requested.
  • If funded, recipients might be required to submit a copy of their most recently filed tax return demonstrating adjusted gross income.
  • Recipients can receive one grant from the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program in their lifetime.


All questions should be directed to [email protected]. Inquiries to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will be forwarded directly to NYFA.


Image Credit: Robert Rauschenberg in front of his Vydock series photographed in Rauschenberg's Laika Lane studio, Captiva, FL, 1995, Photo Credit: Ed Chappell, Copyright: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Back to top