Help for artists is here.

The Artist Relief Trust is a coalition-led initiative to provide emergency assistance to artists who have lost work due to Coronavirus / COVID-19 and related closures and cancellations. Though applicants must demonstrate that they are working artists, there is no review of their artwork — awards are based on need. 

A Trust for the COVID Era.

ELEVATOR Artist Resource and our coalition partners for the Trust are working to help artists who have been disproportionately affected by necessary — yet devastating — closures of theaters, museums, music venues, galleries, and more. Many artists have lost multiple gigs and various other sources of income they typically count on to pay essential living expenses. Others are newly unemployed, let go by beloved arts organizations or from service industry employment. This new Artist Relief Trust has been created to provide rapid response microgrants as a stop-gap to help struggling artists meet basic life needs during this difficult time.


Many thanks to our Major Gift Donors:


Donations can be made through GoFundMe to help make sure artists get the help they need right now. If you are considering a large donation and would like more information about supporting the Trust, click below.




Note: Scroll to the bottom for the full list of donors.


About the Coalition

The scale of this pandemic crisis requires a response larger than any one donor. The Artist Relief Trust is a coalition of people, organizations, foundations, and businesses working to support the urgent needs of artists. The Trust began with $75,000 in seed money from Great Meadows Foundation, Kentucky Foundation for Women, and two private donors, and is continuing to raise additional funds for artist support.


Special thanks to our Art Relief Trust Coalition Partners:


KMAC Museum, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Great Meadows FoundationLouisville Ballet, Louisville Fringe, OPEN Community Arts Center, Commonwealth Theatre Center, The Carnegie (Covington, KY), The Carnegie Center for Art & History (New Albany, IN)Kertis CreativeKentucky Rural-Urban Exchange, UnderMain Inc (Lexington), Mightily


HOW TO APPLY: Artist Eligibility

The Artist Relief Trust will award $500 microgrants to artists of all disciplines across the state of Kentucky, including the Greater Louisville area as funders allow and as long as funding is available. Some funders may choose to restrict awards based on geographic area, artistic disciplines, and/or other criteria in the application, but the process for artists is the same and all awards are prioritized based on need. 




• Be 18 years of age or older;

• Reside in Kentucky or a So. Indiana county that is part of Greater Louisville MSA (Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott, Washington) at time of application & payment;

• Demonstrate current financial need for basic life expenses (housing, food, medical, etc);

• Be individual working artists who have lost income because of Coronavirus/COVID-19 and related work disruption.




• Be currently enrolled in any graduate or undergraduate degree program as of the time of application and receipt of an award;

• Apply on behalf of a company, organization, community group, ensemble, or collective;

• Be a current member of the Artist Relief Trust Steering Committee or member of their immediate family;

• Have adequate sources of other household income, a financial safety net, or are otherwise able to meet current basic needs – awards will be prioritized based on current financial need.

Additional Info

• Please complete only one application per individual – your application will stay active as long as the Trust is in place. However, you may resubmit an application if your financial needs change significantly after your original submission.

• Applications are reviewed and awarded on a rolling, weekly basis as funding is available.

• Applications are prioritized based on immediacy of demonstrated need with priority given to vulnerable and / or underrepresented populations.

• Awards are unrestricted — artists may use them for any purpose as they see fit.

• Funds cannot be requested based on loss of projected future income sources more than one month out – this fund is to help with current needs.

• If you are chosen to receive an award, we will contact you about method of payment.

• No report will be required after receipt of an award; however, we would love to hear your feedback about the experience if you are so inclined.


Due to the volume of applications expected, we ask that you do NOT contact us about the status of your submitted application or general questions about the application or the Trust – please just complete an application to the best of your ability based on these criteria. If you have technical issues with the application itself, please send a brief message to and we will try to help resolve the problem.



Thanks to our generous donors (up to $999):


Anonymous (3), Jesse AlFord, Ellen Archer, Koan Jeff Baysa, John Begley, Heather Bell, Edith S. Bingham, Gwen Bischoff, Michelle Bornstein, Kevin Brown, Mary Carothers, Mike Chmilewski, Colin’s Voice, Jill Cooper, Matt Distel, Field & Main, Loretta Filip, Mike Floyd, Margaret Fowler, Valerie S Fuchs, Robert Gipe, Kate Gipson, Kelsey Goldman, Alice Gray Stites, Rachel Grimes, Dominic Guarnaschelli, Eric Gurevich, Jed & Vian Hayden, Clare Hirn, Minda Honey, Alison Huff, Beverly Huff, Heather Hughes, Christine Huskisson, Jeffrey Jamner, Miriam Kienle, Lori Kullberg, Monica Laake Beavers, Jordan Lienhoop, Jonathan Lowe, Brett Marshall, Keith McGill, Connie Milligan, Aldy Milliken, Mollie Murk, Joan Musselman, Jackie Pallesen, Amy Parish, Kevin Ratterman, Ehren Reed, Elizabeth Richter, Julien Robson, Keith Runyon, Stuart Sanks, Sandy & Bill Schreiber, Cliff Schweickart, Claude Stephens, Mary Clay Stites, Alice Gray Stites, Chuck Swanson, Emily Tarquin, Jo Anne Triplett, Caroline Waite, Matt and Tina Jo Wallace, Jenny Zeller, Carrie & Zach


Contact Us.

If you have any questions, please fill out the form below.
Get In Touch