COVID-19 SPECIAL EDITION | April 6, 2020

The COVID 19 economy is devasting for our community. I have compiled a list of over 70 grants, emergency funds and resource lists for you to consider. This list is not definitive and does not include unemployment or the CARES act (see below).

Unemployment Benefits for Artists:
Hard to Register Keep Applying
Under the  CARES Act , a coronavirus response package, freelancers and self-employed people will qualify for unemployment benefits. While intentions are good, the CARES Act leaves artists in a precarious position. As CNBC  reports , there’s mass confusion over how exactly we are to go about proving we are entitled to unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. That’s because most states’ unemployment administrations haven’t had time to set up procedures for processing unemployment claims from the self-employed. While a laid-off worker generally needs to provide past W-2s to claim unemployment benefits, freelancers and gig economy workers have issues with documentation.

How do I apply for unemployment?
You'll need to go through your state's unemployment benefits program. You can find information about how to apply in your state  here .

What information will I need?
This one is a bit tricky. If you have any jobs where you are paid as an employee on a W2, your state's labor department will already have those records. Normally, they use those to determine unemployment payments. But states aren't used to calculating unemployment for freelancers and are figuring things out as they go. My own state's (Maryland) Department of Labor, couldn't tell me exactly what documentation freelancers will need and is not accepting Freelance claims at this time. I was told that most likely, you'll need to submit your tax returns, so make sure you have your last few handy. File 2019 taxes right away, even if you haven't filed for a few years.

There are reports of  long call wait times  and website crashes, so have all your information ready to go. This also includes basic personal information like your social security number, date of birth, address and some form of state-issued ID, as well as detailed information about your lost work.

Keep documenting your needs, because further relief programs are on the way. Don't lose hope, there are so many artists, organizations and activists fighting hard to make sure that individual artistians and art organizations are included in the economic resource allocation and recovery.
Mental Health and Coping with Stress
Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate - I am a big fan of Headspace - an app that is offering free meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you manage your stress (not paid just want to recommend).
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Some Good News
John Krasinski is hosting Some Good News on YouTube
The actor-director turned YouTube star  launched the show last week , the first episode of which has now garnered over 12 million views, to highlight positive news stories as the world endured a lockdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. He is encouraging you to do the same and Art-Linx would love to publish your "good news".
Contact Robin Markowitz at
The Art-Linx website has the most current Call to Artist information