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Demond Melancon, Big Chief of the Young Seminole Hunters – 2020 COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipient, New Orleans, Louisiana, Photo courtesy of Christopher Porché West

CERF+ Responds to COVID-19

In response to the financial emergencies that artists experienced due to the pandemic, CERF+ created an expedited COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to provide immediate relief to artists. As of October 6, 2021, CERF+ has provided 1,425 grants totaling $1.75 million to artists from 49 States, 3 U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia whose lives have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

  • 1,187 CERF+ Relief Grants to artists experiencing dire circumstances related to food, medical, and/or housing insecurities due to COVID-19.
  • 138 Get Ready + COVID Career Resilience Grants for artists to safeguard their studios, protect their careers, and acquire the skills and resources needed to continue their creative practice during the pandemic.
  • As a Field Partner to Artist Relief, CERF+ served as an advisor and contributed $500,000 to the $25 million relief effort which provided emergency financial assistance to nearly 4,000 artists.

As COVID-19 disproportionately impacted marginalized communities, CERF+ prioritized these communities and 72% of CERF+’s COVID-19 grantees were Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and 20% were folk/traditional artists.

None of this would have been possible without the generous support from CERF+’s community and with significant support from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, GlobalGiving, The Haven Foundation, Jeffrey Spahn Gallery, The Margaret A. Cargill Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, and Windgate Foundation.

Together, we made a real difference. And while there is light at the end of the tunnel, far too many artists continue to face dire financial circumstances related to housing, food, and health insecurities. If you’re able, please make a donation towards our efforts to help these artists recover.


“It was such a dark time for us. No one knew what to do. Everything stopped. The grant from CERF+ allowed us to start moving forward again. Having someone reach out to offer support and knowing that there was someone out there that cared made all the difference in the world.”

Andrew McCall – Basketry/Furniture - 2020 COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipient, Letohatchee, Alabama

Carolina Sardi 01

“The help from CERF+ was a ray of light in the difficult period of the lockdown.”

Carolina Sardi – Sculptor, 2020 COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipient, Miami, Florida

Wafa Ghnaim 01 Photo Carlos Khalil Guzman Cropped for eNews

“The CERF+ Emergency Grant gave me hope when I felt like I was in a perpetually hopeless and isolating situation.”

Wafa Ghnaim – Embroidery, 2020 COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipient, Arlington, Virginia, Photo courtesy of Carlos Khalil Guzman

Pourier At Work

“Getting help from someone in an emergency, especially as an artist, can make a world of difference in whether you are going to make it or not.”

Kevin Pourier – Oglala Lakota Buffalo Horn Artist, 2020 COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipient, Pine Ridge Reservation, Scenic, South Dakota

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