What constitutes current and ongoing activity in artistic discipline?

You must show recent and sustained artistic activity in an eligible discipline(s) over the course of at least the last five years, since 2019, on your resume/bio/CV. You must list multiple opportunities for the public to experience your work, including the year, location (city or town and venue), and title. This can be through exhibits/screenings/performances/activities in art spaces, galleries, local businesses, art houses/film series, public art installations, public spaces, museums, fairs/festivals, community projects, and/or residencies with public-facing components. Student exhibits, performances, and other activities are not considered. We do not accept portfolios/work samples as evidence of recent and sustained artistic activity. Reduced activity during the Covid-19 pandemic (2020-early 2022) is acceptable.

If self-produced online presentations or sales of your work are your sole platform, such as Instagram or YouTube, we cannot consider your application eligible.

What if I work in multiple disciplines? 

You may apply if you work in multiple disciplines, as long as you have sustained public-facing activity in one or more of this program’s designated disciplines over at least the last five years (2019-2024).

What if I perform and choreograph my own dance work?

Clearly indicate on your resume that you were the choreographer, dancer, or both for each credit.

What if my theatre/dance/other work incorporates film/video/digital/electronic arts?

In this program, we can only consider work that is self-standing within the designated disciplines.

What if I am planning elective dental or medical procedures?

Elective or pre-planned treatment is not eligible.

Is there an income limit?

Yes, this program is intended for artists in financial need. To apply, you need to have an averaged adjusted gross income (from your two most recent federal tax returns) of $75,000 or less; $150,000 or less if you file jointly.

What work samples should I provide?

None. These applications are reviewed for Demonstrated Need only, so work samples and portfolios are not requested.

Should I only list the last five years on my resume?

No, please feel free to submit your full resume. One, because we don’t want you to have to create a new resume for this application; and two, because seeing your complete artistic history is helpful contextual information. However, if you do want to submit just the last five years’ activity, be sure that it runs from 2019 to the present.


What constitutes a medical, dental or mental health emergency?

A one-time, unexpected, non-chronic condition as a result of illness, violence, an accident or triggering event, or sudden medical event, that requires treatment to ensure your health or life, and which without treatment has extreme impact on your daily life and ability to carry out/return to your creative practice.

Can I apply for an ongoing health condition?

No, funds can only be used for a one-time, unexpected health-related condition. We do not cover expenses for treatment, prescriptions, or other expenses related to a chronic condition. Extenuating circumstances which cause an unexpected and severe worsening of the condition may be considered at the discretion of the panel. Example: A recent traumatic incident triggered a flareup of an existing mental health condition.

If you have recently been diagnosed with a condition which requires long-term treatment, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis, you may apply for the expenses of your initial exams/diagnosis, any emergency surgery, and other urgently-needed treatment to stabilize your condition.

Grant funds can be requested for expenses directly related to the emergency for up to 12 months following the date it occurred (a series of treatments to resolve the problem, physical therapy, etc.)

What if I don’t have a diagnosis/can’t afford to see a doctor without funds?
  • Provide as much detail on your own as you can
  • Find typical expenses in your area
  • Request the maximum likely amount

If you are awarded a grant, you can discuss receiving funds ahead of time to allow you to pay for exams/diagnosis.

What if I don’t know yet what my out of pocket costs will be?

Submit what you have, and we encourage you to estimate the highest likely amount up to the maximum of $5,000. If you receive a grant, you will ultimately only receive funding in the amount of your actual costs.

What medical documentation do I need to submit with my application?

A PDF of no more than 15 pages including:

  • Record of diagnosis/injury from your medical provider with the date of the emergency
  • Document from your medical provider of what treatment was/is required
  • Date(s)
  • Type
  • Your actual or estimated financial obligation
  • No photos or x-rays, please
What if my documentation is more than 15 pages?

Provide information on the primary condition/diagnosis and the expense. Staff will reach out to you for more information if your application moves forward in the panel process.

What if I have two different emergencies?

We recommend that in selecting which emergency to apply for, you consider which:

  • Has the highest eligible expenses up to $5,000
  • Meets our definition of emergency 
  • Has the most solid documentation

If all other requirements are met, you may apply for expenses related to both.

May I apply if I’ve already paid for the emergency treatment?

Yes, you may request funds for expenses you have already paid and/or expenses not yet paid or incurred.

Can I apply for physical or occupational therapy or acupuncture?

Yes, if 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, if they are prescribed by a medical professional and are vital to recovery from the emergency cited and not ongoing in nature.

Can I apply for supplements, herbal therapy or experimental therapy?

No, these are generally not eligible expenses.

Can I apply for psychological/psychiatric treatment?

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

What if I have delayed medical or dental care and now need it urgently?

If you can demonstrate your condition is at a point where treatment is urgently necessary to protect your life or health, you can apply. For example:

  • A broken tooth wasn’t repaired and it is now infected
  • An injury from a past fall wasn’t treated and has recently gotten much worse, requiring treatment
What if I can’t get the application in by the deadline, or I don’t have my medical documentation by the deadline?

Our deadlines are firm. If the only item you are missing is the medical documentation, and you expect to receive it shortly, go ahead and apply. If your application moves to the next stage of the process, staff will reach out to you for material. Otherwise, plan to apply in the next cycle if your emergency occurred during the eligible time window.

What if I am planning elective dental or medical procedures?

Elective or pre-planned treatment is not eligible.

Can I request living expenses or other costs while I am not working/receiving treatment?

No. Only out-of-pocket emergency medical expenses are eligible.

What if my parent, partner or child has a medical emergency?

This program can only accept applications for the emergency medical expenses of the artist themselves.

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, 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?

Our support is to help grantees to recover and return to their creative practice. Therefore, grants are generally awarded at the maximum amount of eligible expenses, up to $5,000 (sometimes these are less than the actual requested amount). NYFA reserves the right to determine eligible and reasonable expenses to support through this grant program.

Do I need to document my expenses?

Yes. If you are awarded a grant, you will need to provide copies of paid bills/receipts for the emergency expenses described in your application.


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 proxy to complete the application, but the funds will only be released to the artist who has experienced the emergency.

What if my artist friend/relative has had a medical emergency and can’t submit the application?

We do accept applications completed and submitted by a proxy; if the grant is awarded, the artist themself will need to legally accept the grant.

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] or call (212) 366-6900 ext. 239 to speak with the program coordinator. 

What if I don’t have the technology to create a PDF file of my medical documents or resume?

If you have MS Office, and you have the files as Word, you should have Adobe Acrobat on your computer or you can download it for free, and you can save the doc or an email from your provider as an Adobe pdf file.

For medical documentation, the best choice is to scan up to 15 pages and have them saved as one PDF. If you don’t have a scanner, if you have a friend or relative close by with a scanner, or can get to a FedEx-type shop, that’s best. If not, you can contact the program coordinator at [email protected] to make arrangements.

When is the deadline to apply?

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.


How long after I apply will I hear if I receive a grant?

We anticipate notifying applicants of their status within six weeks of the application deadline. For those receiving grants, additional documentation is required, and payment processing can take a minimum of up to 30 business days after all paperwork is submitted. These processing times are subject to change.

Do I have to pay taxes on these funds?

We classify these as emergency grants, and you will not receive a 1099 for these funds.

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

Checks are only sent to the artist, not a medical provider, unless there is a specific reason to do otherwise, with pre-approval from NYFA. Grant awards are routinely paid via direct deposit.

What happens when the funds are expended or I don’t receive a grant?

A pool of funds is allocated for each cycle. Cycles will occur bi-monthly through at least June, 2024. If you are an unsuccessful applicant, and continue to meet eligibility requirements (including the date of your emergency), you may reapply with a new application in a future cycle.

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

To receive your grant, you will need to sign a Letter of Agreement and provide other formal documentation including copies of your medical bills/invoices. We 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.


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