Application Requirements


Applications are open to artists in need working in the visual arts, film/video/electronic/digital arts, or choreography, 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. However, we understand that under certain conditions, it may be easier for an artist to submit a paper application or receive assistance with an online application. Please contact [email protected] or (212) 366-6900 ext. 239 to request assistance or an accommodation.

To complete an application, applicants will need to provide:

  • Provide your annual Income (averaged over the last two years)
  • Complete the access to resources checklist
  • Describe the onset and nature of your medical/dental/mental health emergency (maximum 150 words)
  • Complete the medical severity checklist
  • Describe the economic severity of your condition (maximum 250 words)
  • Provide the date of the emergency
  • Request a grant amount, up to $5,000
  • Include as much valid documentation confirming condition/diagnosis and proof of expense as possible, such as:
    • Invoices (invoices should include date of service and type of service; name of provider and amount paid/payable).
    • Documentation should be from a care provider and be on official letterhead.
    • If diagnosis/treatment has not yet been provided and documentation isn’t on hand, provide as much information about your condition as possible, including estimates of treatment costs in your local area, if possible
    • Images such as photographs and x-rays are not accepted.
  • Through your resume/bio/CV, show a sustained artistic practice in recent years, in visual arts, film/video/digital/ electronic arts, or choreography. You should demonstrate this through specific events/opportunities for the public to experience your work. These can include 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. We do not accept portfolios/work samples.


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

Demonstrated need.

  • Severity of the medical/dental/mental health condition
  • Economic severity of the condition.
  • The potential impact of funding on the artist’s ability to continue/return to their creative practice.

Please note, this is a very competitive category, and 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 reviewers sign confidentiality agreements and financial information such as tax returns is kept confidential by staff. 


All questions should be directed to [email protected] or (212) 366-6900 ext. 239. 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