The Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities

The program will distribute $1,000 to artists with a disability who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to launch The Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities. The program will distribute unrestricted cash grants of $1,000 to artists with a disability who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. The program is open to visual, media, music, performing, and literary artists who live in New York City (five boroughs).

Barbara and Carl Zydney were born and raised in New York City, and later retired there after raising their family on Long Island. In retirement, they were both patrons of the arts and volunteered as docents in museums. Carl inspired others through his kindness, generosity, and adventurous spirit—still bicycling in the Five Boro Bike Tour well into his 80s. Barbara bettered her community as a specialist dedicated to teaching children with visual disabilities within the public school system. 

This grant enables their legacy to live on by offering financial help to New York City artists with disabilities so they can make their work accessible to others. It combines three things that were important to the Zydneys: their love for New York, their passion for the arts, and Barbara’s dedication to working with individuals with disabilities. This grant was created in response to the devastation by the pandemic to New York City’s art scene, and is specifically geared towards people with disabilities who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

If you would like to contribute to this initiative, donate here or email [email protected] for a direct mailing address. 

Applications closed on Tuesday, June 15 at 5:00 PM EDT. After reviewing for completeness and eligibility, qualifying applicants will be selected for funding via a lottery process.


  • Applicants must identify as having a disability.
  • Applicants need to be actively creating in visual, media, music, performing, or literary arts.
  • Applicants need to provide documentation of a sustained commitment to their artistic practice from anytime in the past 4 years (2017, 2018, 2019 and/or 2020).
  • Applicants must be 21 years or older on or before Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
  • Applicants need to be current residents of New York City and have maintained residency since July 2020.
  • Applicants can be past recipients of any of NYFA’s grant programs, including 2020/2021 COVID-19 Emergency Grants such as: Anonymous Was a Woman, Maurice Sendak Foundation Emergency Grant, Tri-State Relief Fund to Support Non-Salaried Workers in the Visual Arts, or Keep NYS Creating.
  • Applicants do not need to be U.S. citizens but must be able to provide a W-9 with a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or EIN (after selection).
  • Applicants cannot be an NYFA employee or NYFA Board member or NYFA Advisory Committee member, or an immediate family member nor can they be an immediate family member of the Zydney Family.


Grant Launch: Wednesday, April 21
Applications Open: Tuesday, May 4 at 10:00 AM EDT
Applications Close: Tuesday, June 15 at 5:00 PM EDT
Applicants Notified: Saturday, July 24


Please click here for a list of application questions for completing the application form. 

Please click here to view application guidelines.


NYFA is committed to supporting artists from every background, and at all stages in their creative careers. We strongly encourage artists of color with disabilities and LGBTQ+ artists with disabilities to apply.

To request an accommodation or if you need assistance in applying online, please email [email protected] or call 646.801.0632 on Mondays between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM EDT. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible, and no later than Tuesday, June 1 to allow adequate time for staff to support you in submitting an application before the deadline.


See below for a pre-recorded overview of the guideline and applications questions for The Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities.