COVID-19 | Anonymous Was A Woman Introduces Emergency Relief Grant in Response to Coronavirus Crisis

COVID-19 | Anonymous Was A Woman Introduces Emergency Relief Grant in Response to Coronavirus Crisis

Program provides grants of up to $2,500 for women artists over the age of 40, administered in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts.

Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) has introduced an emergency relief grant program to support artists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis that will be administered by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). The program will distribute $250,000 in grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to artists who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. As with AWAW’s annual award, the program is open to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 in the United States and territories, and aims to address the unique challenges faced by artists in middle age or older, particularly at this critical time.

This emergency relief grant has no strings attached, and the recipient may use the funds however they see fit. While the annual AWAW award is nomination-only and chosen by a panel in recognition of artistic accomplishments and potential, artists may apply directly for the emergency relief grant, which is an award based solely on documented loss. The application is open from Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 8, with funds awarded to eligible applicants in the order in which applications are received. Please visit NYFA’s website for the application and detailed information on the Anonymous Was A Woman Emergency Relief Grant.

The $250,000 emergency relief grant program represents the equivalent of AWAW’s entire annual award, an unrestricted grant of $25,000 given to 10 artists each year. AWAW will present its 2020 award as previously planned in the fall.

While the AWAW award has historically been funded solely by founder Susan Unterberg, motivated donors may contribute funds to expand the AWAW Emergency Relief Grant via the AWAW website.  

“At this moment of unprecedented uncertainty, I am acutely aware that artists — many of whom are self-employed or rely on multiple sources of income — face significant challenges. In many cases, women over the age of 40 carry additional stress as caregivers for both children and parents. I am pleased to partner with NYFA to launch this program, and to expand the parameters of Anonymous Was A Woman’s philanthropic mission to respond to this difficult moment and provide immediate aid to fellow artists,” said Susan Unterberg, founder of Anonymous Was A Woman.

On the Anonymous Was A Woman Emergency Relief Grant, Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA said: “Susan is an inspiration as both an artist and a philanthropist. This fund will not only provide much-needed financial support for artists, but, just as importantly, it will be an incredible source of hope. NYFA is honored to be administering this fund on behalf of Anonymous Was A Woman.”

If you need resources, please check our Emergency Grants page on NYFA’s website. We are updating it regularly as new funding comes in. You can find more articles on arts career topics by visiting the Business of Art section of Sign up for NYFA News and receive artist resources and upcoming events straight to your inbox.

Image: Polly Apfelbaum (Fellow in Sculpture ’95) and Anonymous Was A Woman recipient ’98

Amy Aronoff
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