NYFA Source | Hurricane Maria Resources Round-Up
Artists impacted by Hurricane Maria: find the support you need.
In the wake of large-scale devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica, artists, cultural workers, and their communities have shown remarkable resilience. Spanish artist and Puerto Rico resident Noelia Medina Fernández pointed to “the amazing efforts the community develops to move forward” in a recent Hyperallergic piece on the response from the arts community in Puerto Rico.
Below are a range of resources for artists working towards short-term and long-term recovery. Find resources related to Hurricane Irma recovery here and resources related to Hurricane Harvey here.
Tools for Searching
Additional information on Current Disaster Resources, Emergency Grants, and more can be found on NYFA Source, an online arts database with over 12,000 resources and opportunities for artists in all disciplines. Individuals can also call the NYFA Source Hotline at (800) 232-2789, from Monday – Friday, 3:00 – 5:00 PM EST, or email [email protected]. Please note that assistance over the phone will be in English, but emails in Spanish can be accommodated if needed. For questions specifically about the emergency grants and opportunities in the “Arts and Culture Specific Resources” section below, please contact those organizations directly.
While some of the programs below currently offer application materials in Spanish, others do not. Artists who would like to receive assistance with translations can contact the Ladon Language Team. Responders and volunteers can call the Ladon Language Hotline at 844-561-4888 to connect to a language assistant who can help translate over the phone. Users can also text the hotline to request translation of any short text. To request document translation, users can email the document to [email protected].
Interruption of income can be one of the most distressing effects of a disaster, especially for those who make their living on a freelance basis and through creative work. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available from the U.S. Department of Labor and its affiliates. Find information regarding Hurricane Maria Disaster Unemployment Assistance here; Puerto Rican residents impacted by Hurricane Maria can apply through el Departamento del Trabajo y Recursos Humanos before January 11, 2018, and can call (787) 625-7900 for help. The deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been extended to December 29, 2017. Call (340) 773-1994 or (340) 776-3700 for help.
Individuals and businesses can also apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Applicants can apply online or visit a disaster recovery center in their area. Call (800) 659‐2955 with questions.
Puerto Rico residents, find resources and information from FEMA in English and in Spanish. Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, information is available in Spanish, in Haitian Creole, and in English. Individuals in the U.S. Virgin Islands have until January 8, 2018, and individuals in Puerto Rico have until June 18, 2018, to apply for individual assistance.
You can also apply for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) from the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP). This program provides money, up to the program maximum, for necessary expenses and serious needs, that are not housing related, and which can’t be met through other means. Other needs assistance under IHP includes:
- Personal property
- Medical and dental expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
Housing assistance is also available from the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP).
DisasterAssistance.gov consolidates the application process across several agencies like FEMA and SBA. The site is also available in Spanish. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by navigating federal assistance, you’re not alone. These Tips for Working with FEMA + SBA from CERF+ may help. Artists seeking free legal aid with issues like housing and FEMA applications can also contact Ayuda Legal Huracán María, or the Louisiana Civil Justice Center hotline, which can be reached at (800) 310-7029 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CST, Monday through Friday. Assistance in Spanish is available.
Americans for the Arts has created and will continue to update a Hurricane Maria Relief page, which lists ways to help and ways for impacted artists to get help. There are a range of arts and culture organizations working with the affected communities that you can support, like Beta-Local, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico’s Artist Emergency Fund, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund, and Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PRTT)’s Relief Drive for Artists. Learn more about the peer-to-peer fundraising efforts of Pregones//PRTT in our interview with Arnaldo J. López, the organization’s Development Officer and a native of Puerto Rico.
Arts and Culture Specific Resources
See below for a variety of emergency grants and other services for artists of all disciplines. *Updated December 30, 2017
- 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 New York City office, at (212) 221-7300, ext. 119 or [email protected].
- Alliance of Artists Communities Emergency Funds for Individual Artists: The fund disburses mini-grants of up to $1,000 to artists 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. The Alliance also serves artists affected by natural disasters by mobilizing its network of residency programs to offer residencies to eligible artists.
- 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 her at (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.
- Assets for Artists / Studios at MASS MoCA Emergency Residency for Artists from Puerto Rico: The Studios at MASS MoCA invites artists in Puerto Rico who have been affected by Hurricane Maria, including artists displaced from the island by the hurricane, to apply for residencies up to 6 weeks. The normal residency fee will be waived, and additional support will be provided for travel and meals. Apply via submittable before December 18, 2017, 11:59 PM.
- 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.
- Beta-Local El Serrucho Fondo De Emergencia Para Trabajadores Culturales / Emergency Fund for Cultural Workers: Beta-Local, an organization based in San Juan, Puerto Rico is accepting applications through an open, ongoing call from cultural workers in all disciplines.
- 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 now available in Spanish.
- Dramatists Guild Fund (DGF) Hurricane Relief: DGF provides financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in need, and is offering a special expedited process to those writers affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. In conjunction with the online application form, email [email protected] to submit as many of the following documents as you are able. For questions, contact DGF at 212-391-8384 or [email protected].
- Proof of address: a utility bill with your name and address
- A recent itemized bank statement
- A resume or bio including your experience as a writer for the stage
- Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC): The free Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel Mobile App is designed for anyone in need of practical advice for saving collections or items in the first 48 hours after a disaster. Additionally, the National Heritage Responders Hotline can be reached 24/7 at (202) 661-8068 for conservation advice and referrals.
- 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 Housing and Emergency Assistance Program: Provides a wide range of social services for jazz musicians.
- 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: Musicians and music professionals in Puerto Rico can request disaster relief by contacting the East Regional MusiCares® office in New York City at (212) 245-7840 or toll-free at (877) 303-6962.
- 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.
- PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund: Provides emergency funding for professional—published or produced—writers in acute, emergency financial crisis.
- 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.
- The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture / Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña Emergency Sponsorship: Support is available for non-profit entities and individual artists. Find necessary documents here. Applicants have until Tuesday, December 26, 2017, to deliver applications personally between the 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, or to submit via email to [email protected]. For questions, contact [email protected].
- Wesleyan University Center for the Arts Residency: Artists from areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria are invited to apply for a short-term residency in April 2018. Artists may work in any performing arts or visual arts discipline or in a practice that crosses disciplines. Artists are invited to create a work that responds to hurricanes and their environmental and social impact. The project budget includes a $10,000 artist fee and up to $5,000 for travel and materials.
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, translated into Spanish by Alicia Ehni, Program Associate, NYFA Learning
Image: Diógenes Ballester (Fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists Books ‘91), La Espera