Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants

This program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 to professional dancers in need, who have a dire financial emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Our aim is to allow dancers to move forward and gain stability by providing up to three months of essential expenses. You must demonstrate an urgent and critical need for emergency support in order to apply.


This program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 to professional dancers* in need,** who are in dire financial emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. “Dire financial emergencies“ include the lack or imminent endangerment of essentials such as housing, medicine/healthcare, utilities, and food. If you were displaced due to COVID-19, expenses to enable you to return to your working home base are eligible. You must demonstrate an urgent and critical need for emergency support in your application.

*Professional = You do not need to be a full-time dancer or receive your primary income through your dance performance. You must have recent and sustained activity as a paid dancer (in any stage/performance style, including aerial, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, modern, tap, and traditional/folk) since at least 2019 in public-facing performances (outside of educational/academic settings). Inactivity, or online/streaming activity, during COVID is allowable. Self-produced online presentation and/or performances shared solely through Instagram or Facebook are not eligible.

**To be eligible to apply, your average adjusted gross income for the last two years you’ve filed tax returns must be no greater than $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers).

You may request funding for eligible essential expenses for up to a three-month period, ranging from four months before the grant deadline through four months after the grant deadline. Expenses can be already paid; can be owed; or can be coming up in the near future. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Rental Housing (deposits, rent, utilities)
  • Medical/dental/vision insurance premiums
  • Essential medical/dental/vision/mental health care
  • Food
  • Transportation (car payments, insurance, ride shares/taxis, mass transit)
  • Legal expenses (only for dire emergencies such as fighting eviction, or visa renewals)
  • Other essential expenses which you can specify

Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Expenses related to other family members – e.g. food, healthcare, child/parent-care
  • Non-essential expenses including credit card debt or student loans
  • Purchases of vehicles or other equipment

While housing and utilities expenses may be requested for your general household, other eligible expenses may only be requested for your own individual purposes. If you receive a grant, you will be required to certify your use of the funds for the expenses itemized in your application, and provide copies of your tax returns for the last two years you have filed.


Please check back here, or sign up for our newsletter, to receive updates on any potential future cycles. If you have questions, contact the Rauschenberg Grants Coordinator at [email protected], or 212-366-6900 x 239.


New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to partner with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants, an emergency grant program for professional dancers. Robert Rauschenberg was committed to assisting fellow artists in need of emergency aid, ultimately establishing the nonprofit foundation Change, Inc. in 1970. Recognizing the particularly extreme impact the pandemic and its ongoing effect has had on dancers, the Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants have been created.


Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, Program Coordinator, Rauschenberg Grants, reviews the guidelines and application form of the Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants and respond to frequently asked questions.


NYFA is committed to supporting artists from every background, and at all stages in their creative careers. We strongly encourage artists of color, LGBTQ+ artists, artists with disabilities, and artists living outside of the East and West coasts to apply.

To request an accommodation or assistance in applying, please email [email protected] or call 212-366-6900 ext. 239. We ask that requests for accommodation be made as soon as possible, preferably two weeks prior to the deadline, to allow adequate time for staff to support you in submitting an application on time.

Image Detail: Robert Rauschenberg, “Untitled [Cunningham dancers],” 1961, Copyright: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation