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Arts Emergency Relief Fund


The City of L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund – Round One, for performing artists and ensembles in dance, music or theatre.


In order to help slow the impact of COVID-19, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued an order on March 16, 2020, to halt all indoor public and private gatherings and all outdoor public and private events within a confined space, where at least 50 people are expected to be in attendance at the same time. This had an unanticipated impact on Los Angeles artists and small arts groups, who had rehearsed and prepared for performances, only to have those events cancelled. Through Round One this Arts Emergency Relief Fund, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) aims to provide relief to a spectrum of LA-based performing artists who were financially affected by the unanticipated disruption caused by COVID-19.


This program provides emergency relief grants to City of Los Angeles-based dance, music, and theatre artists, as well as small ensembles who have had their public performances, shows, or concerts cancelled. Solo artists are eligible for up to $400 and ensembles up to $1,200 to cover losses in time and/or materials that were committed toward events, which were to have taken place at a venue within the City of Los Angeles and were to be open to the general public. Eligible events should have been publicly advertised and scheduled to take between March 16, 2020 and May 16, 2020, AND must have been cancelled (or postponed to after August 30, 2020).

Given the modest amount of monies available in Round One of this Fund, artists who were scheduled to perform pieces within a festival, teach private solo or group lessons, or perform at a private function for an invite-only audience are not eligible; instead, Round One focuses on artists and groups who were headlining an entire public event/evening.


Professional dance, music, and theatre solo artists may apply directly. Small ensembles should designate a single individual to represent the group. Only one application is allowable per eligible individual or group, and Individuals may apply only once, as either a solo performing artist or as a member of a small ensemble.

All applicants must:

• Reside within the City of Los Angeles
o (Please visit http://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org/ to verify your home address is within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles. Addresses falling outside of the City of Los Angeles would yield a ‘Nothing Found’ result via this online tool.)
• Demonstrate professional presenting experience over at least the past 3 years on an attached resume for the applying performing artist or group
Applicants cannot be high school or college students performing projects for school accreditation.

Please note this arts-community relief program is working in tandem with other local relief programs who are collectively sharing lists of beneficiaries. Therefore, please do not apply if you have been approved to receive funds from any of the following Funds: The Actors Fund, Behind the Scenes, Dance Resource Center, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Community Services AFL-CIO, Motion Picture & Television Fund, SAG/AFTRA, or the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.

To verify that each applicant had a public presentation that has been cancelled due to COVID-19, two additional attachments are required:

• A letter of cancellation signed by the venue (this attachment shall provide the same address, date and time as written in the application, and be signed by the venue owner or manager of the event-site). Body of the letter should indicate two brief facts: (A) Event was scheduled to take place between March 16, 2020 and May 16, 2020; and (B) event was cancelled (or postponed to take place after August 30, 2020), and
• Sample of marketing material that was released to market the cancelled event, showing the same location, date, and time the applying artist or group was due on stage.

Assets Available for Round One

In Round One of this Relief Fund, DCA anticipates having a total of approximately $160,000 to award an estimated 250-300 individual grants of up to $400 (solo performing artists) and/or or $1,200 (small ensembles). Depending on the number of eligible Round One requests received, DCA may choose to fund more applicants at lesser grant amounts. Should additional funding become available, DCA anticipates opening additional funding rounds in the near future.

Application Process & Timeline

Please access and submit your one-page application via the following link:


DCA will accept applications until approximately 450 eligible applications are received or until 11:59 PM, Friday, May 1, 2020, whichever comes first.

Applicants who are found to fulfill all program eligibility requirements will be placed in an eligible pool, from which proposed grantees will be selected by lottery until Round One funding is exhausted. Any eligible applicants not selected for funding in Round One would automatically be rolled-over for consideration in additional rounds of this relief program. All applications received after the first 450 eligible proposals will also be rolled-over into any future rounds.

A list of the names and allocated amount will be presented to the City of LA’s Cultural Affairs Commission for review and final approval in early May 2020. All applicants will be notified of their funding status before May 31, 2020. These processes of consideration and approval will continue monthly based upon the ability to replenish the Relief Fund.

Applicants selected for funding will be connected with DCA’s collaborating agency, Community Partners that will collect W-9 forms and process payments in approximately 30 days. Thank you in advance for timely submission of W-9 forms with the same address listed in your proposal.

Application Requirements

If you are eligible for this relief, please proceed to submit a one-page application including three attachments (resume, venue letter, event marketing) via the weblink indicated above. For reference, completed applications will include the following:

Applicant & Event Information:
o Name and contact information
o Physical mailing address (must be within the City of Los Angeles)
o Indication of whether applicant is a solo performer or representing a group
o Date, time, and location of cancelled event (must be between 3/16-5/16/2020, within the City of Los Angeles)
o Name, title, and contact information of venue manager who is providing a letter of cancellation
o Resume/CV for demonstrating solo artist’s or ensemble’s three or more years professional presenting history
o Signed letter from the original scheduled venue that confirms, date, time, location of the cancelled event
o Sample of marketing material that was released demonstrating the event was advertised to the general public. Sample marketing should clearly indicate the exact date, time, and location applying solo performer or ensemble was due on stage. Acceptable examples include press releases, social media posts, website screenshots, and flyers.
Digitally signed applicant statement:
o Statement from applicant confirming accuracy of submitted details under penalty of perjury, including confirmation applicant has suffered a loss in time and/or materials of approximately $400 (solo artists) or $1,200 (ensembles) as a result of the cancelled event, and assurance applicant is not receiving assistance from the Actors Fund, Behind the Scenes, Dance Resource Center, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Community Services AFL-CIO, Motion Picture & Television Fund, SAG/AFTRA, or the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. Resources/Links

Arts Emergency Relief Fund Application Link>>


Please contact the DCA Grants Staff via email at dca.grants@lacity.org with questions.


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Author: nohoarts