COVID-19 Resources for Artists & Small Businesses

Please find links to craft artist resources which the MCA has identified as helpful to craft artists during, and for recovery from, the COVID-19 crisis.

We are purposefully keeping this list small and focused on Maine craft artists’ needs – however, the last resources to links to longer more comprehensive and diverse lists of resources for more types and locations of artists, individuals and businesses.

US Small Business Administration

Apply for CARES Stimulus Funds: Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

The Red Backpack Fund

Open for applications again on May 4, June 1, July 6, and August 3.
Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen neighborhoods, cities and countries, The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.

National Artists Relief Funds

Applications for Cycle I close on April 23.
Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward.

CERF+: Craft Emergency Relief Fund

CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+’s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief.

Creative Portland: Portland Artist Relief Fund

The Portland Artist Relief Fund helps artists in Portland, Maine recover from income loss and personal emergencies by awarding small grants for unanticipated, emergency expenses in 2020 as part of our response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Creative Portland, the City’s nonprofit arts agency, is leading an initiative to raise  a fund of up to $50,000 to support this effort and is committed to working with partners to increase the fund based on demand.

CMCA: Artist Tool Box

The ARTIST TOOLBOX is a new statewide initiative designed by the Center for Maine Contemporary Art to provide professional development skills to artist in response to the changing dynamics of today’s arts and culture sectors.

The Toolbox has ongoing/normal professional development resources artists may be interested in working on during quarantine (such as social media education) as well as, Covid-19 specific resources.

Bernstein Shur: Legal Guidance on COVID-19

Bernstein Shur, a Maine based law firm offers a useful COVID-19 FAQ page for Employers / Small Business as well as webinars.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources

An aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines. It is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.