Only visual and media artists and choreographers may apply to this program. The applicant must be the maker of the creative work (television producers, television/film performers and crew members, dance performers, et al are not eligible). Visual and media arts which are intended for commercial or mass production, or are work-for-hire projects, are not eligible. Eligible disciplines are defined as:

This category includes work in all choreographic styles, including mixed-media or multi-genre performance works in which choreography and/or organized movement is primary. Choreography performed solely within an instructional/training setting, or for competitions, is not eligible.

Visual Arts
Crafts/Sculpture: All forms of craft, including ceramics, glass, wood, metal, fiber, textiles, and mixed media. This category accepts work in all forms of sculpture, including kinetic works and installations.

Painting: Painting of any kind upon any surface.

Photography: Work in traditional and experimental photography or any work in which photography or photographic techniques are pivotal, if not exclusive.

Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts: Work in visual media other than painting, including artist’s books, aquatints, collages, engravings, etchings, lithographs, monotypes, prints, serigraphs, woodcuts, and drawings.

Media Arts
Video/Film: Any work in which video or video techniques are pivotal, if not exclusive. This category also accepts work that has been initially shot with a film camera. Filmed material that has been transferred to computer for editing and processing is acceptable.

Digital/Electronic Arts: Work in which technology is an essential element of the work’s creation, presentation, or understanding. Examples include: works created or displayed on computers or other electronic media; work created with computer models such as sculptural works; interactive installations including immersive virtual environments; internet projects; hypertext documents; other image, text, audio, or video works rooted in technology.

Performing artists in film/video or television/live performance, performing arts recorded digitally, and performances/writing distributed online, are not eligible.


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 one’s health or life.

What constitutes current and ongoing activity in artistic discipline/s?

Through the resume/bio/CV, the applicant must show, in recent years, opportunities for the public to experience their work through exhibits/screenings/performances in art spaces, galleries, local businesses, art houses/film series, public art installations, public spaces, museums, or fairs/festivals. We do not accept portfolios/work samples.

Does this grant cover lost wages?

No, Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants do not cover lost wages. Please check NYFA’s Emergency Grants page for COVID-19 emergency resources.

What time period is covered?

The emergency must have occurred within the 6 months prior to applications opening month and treatment must conclude within the 6 months after the application month.

Ie: Applicants to Cycle 7 can apply for medical emergencies that occurred between September 1, 2020 and the deadline of May 3, 2021. Applicants to Cycle 8 can apply for medical emergencies that occurred between November 1, 2020 and the deadline of June 29, 2021.

Can I apply for an ongoing health issue?

No, funds can only be used for a one-time, unexpected health-related issue.

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

Yes, you may request funds for expenses related to an emergency within the last six months, whether they’ve been paid for or not, as well as for treatment over the next six months.

Can I apply for physical or occupational therapy?

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

Can I apply for 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.

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?

Yes. Our goal is to provide as many meaningful grants as possible, therefore, as the availability of funds and the nature of the request dictates, the panel may choose to award a smaller sum or provide funds only to cover a specific aspect(s) of the request.


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.

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] to arrange to speak with the fund administrator.


How long after I apply will I hear if I receive the funds?

We anticipate notifying applicants of their status within six weeks of the application deadline. Additional documentation is required of grantees, and payment processing can take a minimum of 15-25 business days after all paperwork is submitted. These processing times are subject to change.  

Do I have to pay taxes on these funds?

As an emergency grant, you will not receive a 1099 for these funds.

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

No, checks are only sent to the artist involved. Even if the application was completed by a proxy, the funds must go directly to the artist.

What happens if the funds are all expended?

A pool of funds is allocated for each cycle. We currently plan two more cycles in FY21, with deadlines on May 3 and June 29, 2021. If they continue to meet eligibility requirements, unsuccessful applicants can reapply with an updated application in a future cycle.

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

We do 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.

While we appreciate the generosity, we cannot accept gifts of any kind, including artwork from successful applicants.

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