Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants

This program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for recent unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies to artists in financial need* who are creating in the visual arts, film/video/electronic/digital arts, and choreography.*


Applications Open: November 29, 2022

Applications Close: January 13, 2023, 5:00 PM EST*

For Emergencies Occuring: April 1, 2022 and later

Notification of Award: February 17, 2023

*Please note that the application form on Submittable will automatically close and stop accepting applications at this time.



New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to partner with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer the 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. We recognize the urgency of caring for and helping one another and, while artists are famously self-sufficient, we encourage you to ask for support when needed.

This is a competitive grant program.

This program is for generative artists, the primary creator of the artwork. Please review our eligibility requirements and the eligible types of expenses, above, to determine that you are eligible before applying. If you have questions, please contact the Grants Coordinator at [email protected] This project is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Please note: Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants are not for lost wages, living expenses or medical care for individuals other than the artist. Visit NYFA’s Emergency Grants page for a regularly-updated list of emergency resources.


Cycle 16 will open November 29, with a deadline of January 13, for emergencies occurring April 1, 2022 and later.


The Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program provides one-in-a-lifetime grants of up to $5,000 for one-time, unexpected medical, dental, or mental health emergencies that have occurred in the last six months for artists in financial need.*

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, these out of pocket costs to the artist:

  • Provider (hospital/doctor/dentist/clinic) bills, including co-pays
  • Tests/diagnostics/assessments/consultations to determine necessary treatment
  • Physical/occupational therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic
  • Prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition
  • Emergency dental work
  • Transportation expenses to/from appointments/treatments

Grantees will be required to submit copies of paid bills/receipts.

Grants cannot be requested for non-emergency medical conditions, ongoing medical/psychological/psychiatric treatment; wellness visits; regular check-ups, annual exams or procedures; standard vision care or eyeglasses, or hearing aids (unless required as a direct result of an emergency injury/surgery/condition); elective procedures; insurance purchase/premiums, or any non-medical expenses, even if the result of an emergency. 

Grants cannot be requested for treatment, prescriptions, or other expenses related to a chronic condition, or, generally, for eyeglasses, hearing aids or equipment.** Extenuating circumstances which cause an unexpected and severe worsening of the condition may be considered at the discretion of the review panel. Example: A recent traumatic incident triggered a flareup of an existing mental health condition.

Funds go directly to the artist, not a medical provider, vendor, or any individual on the grantee’s behalf. Grant awards are routinely paid via direct deposit.

Period covered: Related, eligible expenses incurred for up to 12 months from the date of the emergency. 

If funded, you will need to submit copies of paid invoices/bills for all funded expenses. You may also be required to submit a copy of your two most recently filed tax returns, demonstrating your adjusted gross income.

*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).

** Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last one year or more and require ongoing medical, dental, or mental health attention or limit activities of daily living or both.


Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, Program Coordinator, Rauschenberg Grants, reviews the guidelines and application form of the Rauschenberg Medical 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 New York area to apply.

To request an accommodation or assistance in applying, please email [email protected]. 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 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