Application Requirements


  • 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 that have occurred in the past 6 months.  
  • 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, wellness visits, 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.
  • Grants cannot be requested 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.
  • 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 the application opening date and/or projected six months after the application closing date.

If funded, recipients might be required to submit a copy of their most recently filed tax return demonstrating adjusted gross income.

*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.


NYFA Grants staff review the guidelines and application form of the Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants and respond to frequently asked questions.


Applications are open to visual artists, media artists, or choreographers in need who are seeking support for a medical, dental or mental health-related emergency.

Applications must be in English (though they may be translated by someone other than the applicant) and can be completed by a proxy if needed. 
All applications, including support materials, should be submitted online via Submittable. Please contact [email protected] for additional assistance.

To complete an application, applicants will need to provide:

  • Information on the economic severity of their condition:
    • Annual income
    • Access to resources 
    • Description of the economic severity of their condition (maximum 250 words) 
  • Information on the medical severity of their condition:
    • Date of the emergency
    • Amount of request, up to $5,000
    • Valid documentation confirming condition/diagnosis and proof of expense, such as invoices (invoices should include date of service and type of service; name of provider and amount paid/payable). These must be documentation from a care provider and be on official letterhead. If diagnosis/treatment has not yet been provided and documentation isn’t on hand, the applicant should provide as much information about their condition as possible. Images such as photographs and x-rays are not requested.
  • Description of the onset and nature of the recent medical/dental/mental health emergency (maximum 150 words)
  • Description of the severity of your medical/dental/mental health emergency (maximum 250 words)
  • Provide information on a sustained artistic practice in visual arts, media arts, or choreography. Applicants will need to provide:
    • Through a resume/bio/CV, the applicant must show, in recent years, opportunities for the public to experience their work, through exhibits/screenings/performances in arts spaces, galleries, local businesses, art houses/film series, public art installations, public spaces, museums, or fairs/festivals. We do not accept portfolios/work samples. 


Applications are reviewed by NYFA Grants Staff for eligibility and completeness. Applications will be reviewed by a panel and assessed using the following:

  • Demonstrated need.
  • Severity of the medical/dental/mental health condition.
  • Economic severity of the condition.

Please note, while it is our desire to fund as many applications as possible, an application is not a guarantee of support.

A note on privacy: We take the privacy of applicants and recipients seriously. The names of recipients of emergency grants are not published on our website or in our 990 or other financial documents. All panelists sign confidentiality agreements and financial information such as tax returns is not kept on file after the panel has met.


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