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COVID-19 Relief Grant

Thank you for your interest in CERF+’s COVID-19 Relief Grant.

Due to an expected delay, the review period took longer than anticipated. You will be notified of the status of your application via email on October 4th, 2021.

Because our staff is small and the volume of applications is large, we are unable to respond to individual requests for updates.

We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you again for your patience and understanding


COVID-19 Relief Grant

CERF+ the Artists Safety Net — The COVID-19 Relief Grant provides $1,000 to artists working in craft disciplines who are facing dire circumstances due to food, housing, and/or medical insecurities as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

In the first three cycles of the program, we awarded 888 grants to artists in 48 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia.

Eligibility Guidelines
To be eligible for a “CERF+ Covid-19 Relief Grants”, applicants must:

Work in a Craft Discipline
CERF+ broadly defines eligible artists to include those who create work using historically recognized craft materials such as clay, glass, textiles, wood, metal; as well as those whose work expands on these historical definitions through the incorporation of non-traditional materials, new technologies and experimental approaches.

CERF+ is equally committed to the preservation of folk and traditional arts, as rooted in, and reflective of, the cultural life of a community. We recognize and support the ways that information is often passed on from one generation to the next and celebrate practices rooted within a common ethnic heritage, geographic region, religious affiliation or occupation.

CERF+ serves artists at all stages of their careers and seeks to support people from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Eligibility is not determined solely by the amount of money an artist generates from their work and we recognize that many individuals have careers that rely on multiple streams of income and financial support.

Craft objects may be functional or nonfunctional, but both types derive part of their meaning from their association with traditional functional forms such as chairs, vessels, garments or implements, and/or their association with cultural tradition. Qualities that contribute to the success of a craft object include the skill of the maker, the use of the material, the refinement of the design, the originality of expression, its cultural significance – or all of these.

Reside and work in the U.S. or U.S. Terrorities for the last two years

Dire Financial Emergency
Experience a dire financial emergency as a result of Covid-19 including food, housing, or health insecurities.

Conflict of Interest
Current employees, board members, consultants, immediate family members of CERF+ are not eligible to apply for this grant.

Key Dates
Cycle 4:

August 10, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. (ET) – Application Cycle Opens
August 31, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (ET) – Application Cycle Closes
September 1, 2021 through September 12, 2021 – Application Review
September 13-20, 2021 – Notifications Made

*Due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to assist with submissions after the deadline. In order to avoid any difficulties, please submit your application in advance of the last day.

Review Process and Selection Criteria
  • A committee will review applications based on dire financial need (food, housing, or health insecurities). Priority will be given to eligible artists who have traditionally been underserved by the grantmaking community including people of color and folk and traditional artists.
  • Awardees will receive an email notification and must complete a grant agreement. Payments will be issued as either a check and mailed directly to the address provided on the grant agreement.


Before I apply, am I guaranteed to receive funds?
Unfortunately, due to limited funds and an anticipated significant volume of applications, not every applicant will be funded

How can I apply?
If eligible, you can apply here. You are encouraged to save your answers in a Word document before transferring them over the application in case there is a technical glitch. If you need any assistance, please contact [email protected]

How will applications be selected for funding?
Because of the anticipated volume of applications and limited funds— a committee will review applications based on dire financial need (food, housing, health insecurities) and prioritize artists populations that have been underserved— people of color and/or folk and traditional artists. The committee’s recommended applicant list will enter a lottery for final selection.

Artists that are not funded are welcome to reapply in the next cycle as long as they meet the eligibility standards.

Will the application be open continuously for the duration of the fund?
No. While all dates are subject to change, the application will be open in cycles:

  • Cycle VI Applications: August 10th –  August 31st, 2021 (closes 5:00 pm ET)

Each cycle, all non-funded applications will be closed so that artists can reapply the following round. This system maximizes each applicant’s opportunity to receive a grant. Additionally, reapplying each cycle allows artists to re-articulate their needs as their circumstances change during this pandemic.

Can I apply more than once?
We will only review one application from an artist per cycle. If your application is not selected in one cycle, you may reapply to the next cycle.

If I don’t receive the grant in one cycle, do I have to submit another application?
Yes. You will need to reapply in each cycle if you have not been funded already. We highly recommend that you draft your responses in a separate word processing program and paste it into the application. Please save a copy of your application in the event that you reapply.

Why are you collecting demographic data from applicants? Who has access to this data?
CERF+ is committed to supporting a diversity of voices and backgrounds. We ask our evaluators to think comprehensively about the cohort of artists we are funding to make sure that each cycle represents a multitude of voices.

As an applicant, your data will be viewed by our staff and review committee. Individual applicant data (including your name) will not be shared, duplicated, or distributed publicly.

Additionally, aggregated applicant data will be collected, summarized, and shared in reports to funders and/or the public, without disclosing any personal information.

If I’m awarded a grant, will my name be made public?
The names of grantees will be kept anonymous unless they indicate that they are willing to share their story.

How long will it take to review my grant?
Grants will be reviewed within 12 weekdays after the application cycle has closed. Applicants will receive notification at the end of this period on their application status.

What is the timeline for grant distribution?
Grants will be issued within 10 business days of an approved application dependent upon the recipient completing required paperwork. Delivery of the check may be slightly delayed due to slower than usual postal delivery services and the check will be mailed to the address you provide on your grant agreement – not the address used on your application.

If I receive a grant, will there be reporting requirements?
No, however you will be requested to submit a short survey 6 months after receiving a grant in order for CERF+ to gain a better understanding of your recovery needs.

What will you require to issue my grant?
If you are awarded a grant, CERF+ will request a grant agreement form for your signature.

What can I use the funding for?
There are no restrictions for how the grant can be used.

Am I able to get this grant more than once?
No. Because of the magnitude of this crisis, we anticipate many more requests for funding than available funds. Therefore, we are only providing one-time relief to as many artists as possible.
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