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Craft Emergency Relief Fund



CERF+ provides emergency assistance to artists working in craft or materials-based folk/traditional disciplines that are 18 years or older and have resided and worked in the U.S. or U.S. territories for the past 2 years. These artists must have experienced a recent, unforeseen, career threatening emergency.​

Here’s some more details about what we consider:

  1. Working 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 is the creation of original objects through the skillful manipulation of materials. These materials were traditionally considered to be clay, fiber, metal, wood, or glass. However, today’s artist working in a craft discipline may also employ concrete, plastic, synthetic fibers, recycled materials and other non-traditional materials, and may self-identify as a maker, designer, potter, ceramicist, mixed media artist, etc. CERF+ broadly defines eligible artists to be inclusive of all materials-based artists regardless of whether they use “craft” to describe themselves.

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.

We do not support art practices that include hate speech or hate symbols.

  1. Emergency

For the purposes of this program we define a career or practice threatening emergency as a circumstance or a group of circumstances that are unforeseeable and that have an immediate and profound effect on the applicant. The types of events that we use as examples of a career or practice threatening emergency events are fires, floods, other acts of nature, theft, and emergency medical need. Our experience has been that career or practice threatening events are determined as much by how they impact the life of the applicant as by the nature of an event, so the examples cited above are not exclusive.

This program will not consider requests for routine dental work, chronic situations, capital improvements, or projects of any kind; nor can it consider situations, resulting from general indebtedness or lack of employment. Emergencies vary based on an individual’s circumstances and inquiries will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

  1. Reside and Work in U.S or U.S Territories 

To be eligible, applicants must have resided and worked in the U.S. or U.S. Territories for the last two years.


Check the FAQs page. Also, review the eligibility guidelines. If after reviewing this information, you believe you may be eligible for CERF+ emergency assistance, please complete our application form. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Please note that CERF+ may limit the frequency or total number of emergency assistance awards an artist may receive, or may limit assistance to artists who have defaulted on a CERF+ loan, even if otherwise eligible.




Artist + Grant Recipient Johnathon DeSoto

Grant Recipient Robert Silent Thunder displays the handmade regalia he makes as part of his Native American heritage.

Chest by Furniture Maker and Grant Recipient Anthony Buzak

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