NYFA Source | California Wildfire Resources Round-Up

NYFA Source | California Wildfire Resources Round-Up

Artists of all disciplines, find the support you need.

Have you or someone you know been impacted by the California Wildfires of 2017 and 2018? Artists can be especially vulnerable members of the economy, and, for that reason, many arts organizations offer ongoing or disaster-specific emergency assistance. Below, we’ve highlighted these programs in the hopes that each artist who has been affected will find the right support on their paths to recovery and resilience.

Want to help Californians impacted by these devastating wildfires? The New York Times suggests ways you can pitch in

Multiple Sources of Support

Additional information on Current Disaster Resources, Emergency Grants, Legal Resources, Public Assistance, and more can be found on NYFA Source, an online arts database with over 12,000 resources and opportunities for artists in all disciplines. Artists can also call the NYFA Source Hotline at (800) 232-2789, from Monday – Friday, 3:00 – 5:00 PM EST or email [email protected].

For displaced residents and emergency workers who are in need of free shelter, local Airbnb hosts are offering free housing until December 14, 2018. Additionally, you can find multiple open shelters through the Red Cross.

Government Assistance

For assistance with finances, housing, and more, visit the Wildfire Recovery portal from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES). For help with unemployment, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of services to individuals and businesses affected by disasters in the state. FEMA is also an essential source of information; the agency provides updates on which areas are officially declared disaster areas, which impacts the amount of federal assistance available for residents. Learn about the declared areas here.

Find information on filing a state claim for Unemployment Insurance (UI), as well as a federal claim for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) in areas declared a disaster by the President of the United States. Assistance from representatives is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Finally, businesses and homeowners in eligible disaster areas can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Arts and Culture Specific Resources

See below for a variety of emergency grants and other services for artists of all disciplines.

  • Actors Fund of America Emergency Assistance: For all performing artists and those working in entertainment. Eligible individuals can apply online for assistance in English or in Spanish, and can also contact the Los Angeles office, at (323) 933-9244, ext. 455 or [email protected].
  • Alliance of Artists Communities Emergency Funds for Individual Artists: The fund disburses mini-grants of up to $1,000 to painters and sculptors who have already been accepted and scheduled for a residency, but who would not otherwise be able to participate due to a sudden change in circumstances. 
  • Artists’ Charitable Fund: Artists who need financial assistance because of medical, fire, or other disaster should email Fund Coordinator Judy Archibald at [email protected] or call (970) 577-0509.
  • Artists’ Fellowship, Inc. Financial Assistance: Provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement, or unexpected extreme hardship.
  • Authors League Fund: Provides assistance to professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune.
  • Book Industry Charitable Foundation Financial Assistance Program: Assists with specific unforeseen emergency financial needs of a bookstore employee and their immediate family members living in the same household.
  • Carnegie Fund for Authors: Awards grants to published authors who are in need of emergency financial assistance.
  • CERF+ Emergency Financial Relief: Provides financial assistance for eligible artists who work in craft disciplines, and tips for safety and studio protection for artists of all disciplines. Application guidelines are available in Spanish. CERF+ has also gathered a wide range of resources to help artists recover after the Wildfires.
  • Dramatists Guild Fund (DGF) Emergency Grants: DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness. After submitting the Grant application form, additional information will need to be emailed or mailed to DGF for the application to be considered complete.
  • Hero Initiative Grants: Provides assistance for eligible comic book writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists, or letterers on a work-for-hire basis. 
  • Jazz Foundation of America Jazz Musicians’ Emergency Fund: Provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, and financial support for musicians who have made a living playing blues, jazz, and roots music. Eligible artists can call (212) 245-3999 to inquire about services.
  • Joan Mitchell Foundation Emergency Grant: Emergency support to artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and/or drawing after natural or manmade disasters. 
  • Motion Picture and Television Fund: Provides temporary emergency financial assistance to qualified industry members experiencing financial hardship due to illness, disability, unemployment, or other reasons.
  • MusiCares® Emergency Financial Assistance: This program is available to music people who have experienced an unavoidable emergency. Eligibility consists of documented employment in the music industry for at least five years or credited contribution to six commercially released recordings or videos. Contact the MusiCares West Region Office at 1- 800-687-4227.
  • Musicians Foundation Support: Gives grants for medical and allied living expenses in emergencies. All professional musicians, regardless of their genre or instrument, are eligible to apply. 
  • Pioneers Assistance Fund (PAF): Serves members of the motion picture entertainment industry (exhibition, distribution, and trade services) who are encountering an illness, injury, or life-changing event. All assistance is intended to provide support during a recovery or adjustment period and lay the foundation for a lifetime of ongoing success. 
  • Rhythm & Blues Foundation Financial Assistance: Provides financial and medical assistance to Rhythm & Blues artists of the 1940s through the 1970s, as well as a support system to help identify other sources of assistance. 
  • The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grant: Provides interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. 
  • The Haven Foundation: Gives financial assistance to provide temporary support needed to safeguard and sustain the careers of established freelance artists, writers, and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster, or personal catastrophe. 

To find more resources and opportunities, use NYFA Source, a free searchable database of 12,000+ awards, residencies, and services.

– Mirielle Clifford, Program Officer, Online Resources, 

Image: Noel W Anderson (Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work ‘18)

Amy Aronoff
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